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2013 Gilpin Ave
Wilmington, DE 19806
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Rev. Joseph J. McKenna Osfs


1929 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Rev.  Joseph J. McKenna Osfs Obituary
Rev. Joseph J. McKenna, OSFS

Wilmington, DE - Rev. Joseph J. McKenna, OSFS, 89, a professed Oblate of St. Francis de Sales for 69 years died Monday, May 14, 2018.

"Fr. McKenna was a devoted priest, whether in the classroom or as a chaplain in the hospital," Rev. James J. Greenfield, OSFS, provincial, said. "He was admired for his deep commitment to service, especially as a retired priest. He always had energy to care for the sick. We Oblates admired his willingness to work hard, even though he was retired. He will remain a great role model for us all."

Fr. McKenna, son of the late John L. and Anna (Somers) McKenna, was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1929. He attended Ascension of Our Lord Parish School and graduated from Northeast Catholic High School in 1947. Following graduation, he entered the Oblate Novitiate and made his first profession of vows in 1948. Fr. McKenna earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Niagara University, a Master of Arts in History from the Catholic University of America, and completed his studies for the priesthood at De Sales Hall School of Theology, Hyattsville, MD. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 8, 1957, at St. Anthony of Padua Church, by Most. Rev. Hubert J. Cartwright, Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Wilmington.

Following ordination, Fr. McKenna taught at Northeast Catholic and Father Judge high schools in Philadelphia, and St. Francis de Sales High School, Toledo, OH. During his ministry in secondary education, he served as vice-principal, dean of studies, department chairperson, athletic director, and track coach.

In 1983, Fr. McKenna was the registrar at Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales, now De Sales University, Center Valley, PA. He became chaplain at Christiana Hospital, Newark, DE in 1992, and at St. Francis Hospital, Wilmington, DE, in 1998.

In addition to his Oblate religious community, Fr. McKenna is survived by brother-in-law, Frank Hauser; sister-in-law, Winifred McKenna; and many nieces and nephews, and their children and grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his siblings, John, James, Francis, Charles, Mary Nulty, Nancy Hauser and Marguerite McKenna.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 11:30 a.m., Friday, May 18, at St. Ann Church, 2013 Gilpin Avenue, Wilmington, DE 19806. Viewing will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Interment will follow Mass at the Oblate Cemetery, 1120 Blue Ball Road, Elkton, MD 21921.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Oblate Development Fund may be sent to 2200 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806.
Published in The News Journal on May 16, 2018
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