Congratulations Deacon Kennedy!

I was born in Gainesville, GA just north of Atlanta on the banks of the Chattahoochee River. I grew up moving all over the country with my father's coaching career: Waterbury, Connecticut; Tacoma, WA; Gastonia, NC; Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, IA; Collegeville and Minneapolis, MN; Lincoln, NE; Yonkers, NY; Fairfax, VA; Wichita, KS and finally here to Omaha. In college I played football and lacrosse and studied theology, philosophy, art and education. I have lived here for the past 14 years; originally working as a teacher, then for the archdiocese in the evangelization and family life offices and now for St. James Parish.

I met my wife, Karla, on a TEC retreat back in high school. We were friends for 8 years before I finally got the hint she wanted me to pop the question. After dropping out of the seminary, we finally married in 2001. We have 5 children Makayla (15), Maggie(12), PJ(10), Brie(9), and Gus(3), and a dog named Juno.

We have always viewed the raising of our five children as our first and most important ministry. To that end, we have focused on having dinner together every night, teaching our kids to pray, and making sure they get to Mass and have a Catholic education. When it does not interfere with those things, we like to volunteer together for miscellaneous tasks in our community: coaching, helping neighbors, providing respite care for the sick, visiting the lonely, etc.

Even before we were married, my wife and I discussed that I felt this call and what it would mean for our lives. As a cradle Catholic, I have always had a certain relationship with Christ and his Church but I handed my whole life over to Jesus at the age of 16 after an encounter with Him on a TEC retreat. My prayer life deepened tremendously and the direction of my life changed completely. Through ups and downs, I have spent the last 28 years of my life seeking to be a good and faithful servant, laying my life's path before Him, tailoring my formation, education, and career to make myself as useful as possible to Jesus. This call to the diaconate is yet another opportunity to lay my life down in service to Him.

I wish to thank the St. James community for supporting me in my preparation and formation for this vocation to the diaconate. Your prayers and support have meant so much to my entire family. May God's grace continue to poor itself out on this parish!