A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Br Jerome (Adrian) Kennedy SM – Brother of the Society of Mary

Born 16 August 1927 Ashburton

Died 21 August 2012 Christchurch


Employment: Foreman grain & seed & flour milling.

Professed in Society of Mary

19 March, 1963 Final Vows: 19 March, 1966


1963-1971 Highden Farm

1972 St Bede’s College Farm and Grounds,

1973-1983 Highden Farm

1984-1993   Greenmeadows

1986-1987 Renewal - Cliftonvill, England

1993 Apr-Nov: Tu Hono Maori Pastoral Care, Porirua

1993 Nov-1998 Aug:  St Mary of the Angels, Wellington

1998 Aug-2003: Attached Manchester Street, Christchurch

2004 Armstrong Village, Christchurch retired

2004  Nazareth House.

2011 St Nicholas Private Hospital

From the Eulogy by Br Denis O’Brien SM

Jerome Kennedy, (known to many of us as Br Adrian) was a brother in the Society of Mary which he dearly loved, and had a very strong conviction of the value of and the contribution the brother made to the life of the Society of Mary.


Highden Farm where Jerome spent 20 years of his religious life

He was a pray-er, a hard worker who was prepared to take on anything asked of him.

After his first profession his role on the Highden farm was low profile - donkey work ,the ‘go-for’ brother and finished up with some of the very hard dirty jobs.

His primary work was looking after the pigs. The unit was very well run and he was very proud of them- he had his moments with them- mucking out. He pioneered the barley silos which removed the need for heavy lifting. It impressed the staff of nearby Massey Agricultural College.

There was many a tour of visitors, young and old, who came to look and hold their noses as they watched the antics of piglets through to porkers.

He lived and worked under a house regime that was virtually an ongoing novitiate programme.

Then ,just before he finished with farming, he was sent to St Vincents Hospital in Sydney to do a CPE to help prepare him for formation work. That was a major step in a very different direction. He did very well in Sydney, and when I followed him a few years later he was still remembered with admiration and affection by the staff.

He often spoke of his family and followed up whatever his nephews and nieces were up to. Proud of his brother John Kennedy, the journalist, he almost purred when he heard people speak of him.

Jerome, you never had any high profile jobs yet your contribution was great in the places you lived in and was truly hidden and unknown.

You were trustworthy, reliable, competent, not afraid of hard work, very prayerful, a great prayer of the rosary and a great man to live with.

In the SM Constitutions reflection book ‘Bearings’ written by Craig Larkin he quotes a comment of a fellow marist about an earlier Brother, Genade who lived through hard times in Melanesia in the 1850’s.“We are happy with Genade. He cares a lot about the Society and the mission. I think he deserves our confidence. He’s candid and honest, and he is straight forward with the local people, and that is what is needed.”

I could swap Jerome for Genade and the statement would be just as true.

Eternal rest to you and may the Lord reward you for what you have been for so many. 

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