Brother Charles Kenney, SA, was first introduced to the Society of the Atonement by a friend, who gave him a copy of a book containing the words of Servant of God Father Paul Wattson, SA.
For most of his life, Brother Charles described himself as a “covenanted person,” and he eventually joined the Society of the Atonement. He worked for years in pastoral and social ministries, while sharing Father Paul’s message of At-One-Ment during his life.
On Wednesday, July 27, Brother Charles entered into Eternal Life at the age of 77.
Born in Brooklyn, New York on April 11, 1945, Brother Charles received his habit and joined the Society of the Atonement in July, 1963. He took his first vows in 1965 and his final vows six years later.
“In my life, there were a number of experiences, and I cannot say that one stands out more so from another,” Brother Charles once said. “In total, they have all been meaningful to me, as a Friar.”
He first worked in domestic services at St. Paul’s Friary at Graymoor, and later, sacristan services. From 1975-1977, Brother Charles carried out pastoral work for the Friars at St. Anthony Parish in Hereford, Texas.
Following his parish ministry in Texas, Brother Charles worked from 1977 to 1984 at New Hope Manor – a drug rehabilitation program for women. He also served for nine years in pastoral and social ministry in Jamaica. During that time, he learned a great deal and developed a fondness of the island and its people.
“My experiences through the years when I was in Jamaica were meaningful for me, as they brought me into contact with people who were poor materially,” Brother Charles once said. “Some of them had leprosy. I was living in another culture … Life in Jamaica became my reality, and I was happy. I accepted life there.”
Brother Charles returned to Graymoor and worked at St. Christopher’s Inn, the Friars’ rehab center for men in crisis, for more than a decade. While at Graymoor, he also helped to operate a large heating system and steam plant and carried out maintenance work around the campus.
Brother Charles is predeceased by his parents, Patrick and Mary Kenney, and sister, Catherine Petrik. He is survived by his brother, Joseph Kenney, of Wantagh, New York.
A wake service will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 4 at Our Lady of the Atonement Chapel at Graymoor.
A Mass of Christian burial will take place at 10 a.m. on Friday, August 5 at Our Lady of the Atonement Chapel, with interment in the Friars’ cemetery to immediately follow.