‘Building a Relationship with God is Number One’

At one point in the Kiniry family, six of the 10 siblings were in religious professions. “Two priests, two brothers and two sisters,” said Bro. Richard Kiniry, CSC, who is celebrating his 60th Jubilee on April 29. While Bro. Richard was still a student at Johnstown Catholic High School in Johnstown, PA, a priest asked if he would consider the priesthood. “I said, no, I wanted to be a brother,” Bro. Richard recalled. “Where that all came from, I don’t know, but I wanted to teach.”

Before he entered the novitiate, he served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War which, “Gave me a chance to grow up.” The desire to become a Brother of Holy Cross never dwindled and he became a novice in 1957. “When I went into the Navy I knew I wanted to be a brother,” he recalled. “It never left me. And my parents, they just let everybody decide what they wanted to do.”

Bro. Richard did become a teacher and then principal of Msgr. James Coyle High School in Taunton, MA. He values the decade he served on the Provincial Council and then devoted 30 years to pastoral care and healthcare ministry. Ministry was certainly a significant part of his life as a religious brother, yet, “Building a relationship with God is number one,” he stated. “And you do that through the constitutions of the Congregation. You are going into a life that commits you to a union with God.”

Bro. Richard has lived at St. Joseph Center since 2013 though he notes with a laugh, “You never really retire from religious life.” In addition to prayer and community life, he also volunteers two days a week at a local senior center. Several of his siblings, nieces and nephews will be in attendance for his Jubilarian Celebration.