Rev. Edward Kennedy, CSsRFather Edward Kennedy, a Redemptorist priest known as a passionate advocate for social justice and a one-time city councillor, died Tuesday in Edmonton at 89.

Edward Francis Kennedy was born on March 24, 1925, in The Pas, Manitoba, one of four children of Daniel Edward Kennedy and Mabel (Mary Isabel) McDonald.
Inspired by his uncle Ken, a member of the Redemptorist order of priests, Edward also joined the Redemptorists, taking his first vows on August 15, 1944. He did his seminary studies in Woodstock, Ontario, and was ordained a priest there on June 29, 1949.

He obtained his B.A. from the University of Western Ontario and his teaching certificate from the University of Toronto, where he also did his postgraduate studies in English.

In the summer of 1953 he was appointed to the staff of the Redemptorist College in Brockville, Ontario, and taught English there until he was sent to Edmonton as associate pastor of St. Alphonsus Parish.

Father Kennedy served as Director of the Catholic Information Centre of the Archdiocese of Edmonton for 14 years, and as as an elected alderman on Edmonton City Council for six.

In 1980 he was appointed pastor of St. Joseph’s Parish in Grande Prairie, where he served until he was elected the Provincial of the Edmonton Province of the Redemptorists, a post he held for three consecutive terms from 1984 to 1993.

For the next 12 years, Father Kennedy served as pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Vancouver, where he remained until his retirement in 2005 at age 80. He continued to be active in community life upon his return to Edmonton with organizations such as the Social Planning Council and the Alberta Quality of Life Commission.

Father Kennedy was known in the Catholic community as an energetic man of ideas and a progressive pastor. He was a founding member of the Western Conference of Priests and of the Ecumenical Commission of the Archdiocese of Edmonton, and he was the first priest to serve as chair of the Edmonton and District Council of Churches.

Father Kennedy is survived by his sister Janet and brother John (Jack) of Winnipeg, and several nieces and nephews, including Gerard Kennedy of Toronto, a former Member of Parliament who once ran for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada.

He will be dearly remembered and sorely missed by his Redemptorist confreres, family, friends and former parishioners alike. Funeral arrangements are pending.