A Mass of Christian Burial for Father Edward J. Kiernan, a senior priest of the diocese who last served as the pastor of St. Columba parish, Marine Park, was celebrated Sept. 28 at the Basilica of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Southampton, L.I.
He died Sept. 24 at the West Hampton Care Center on Long Island. He was 87 and had been living in Southampton since retirement.
Auxiliary Bishop Paul Sanchez was the main celebrant. Special concelebrants included Msgrs. D. Joseph Finnerty, Edward V. Wetterer, Gerard Arella, John Casey, who preached the homily, and Father Charles Matonti.
Born in Brooklyn and baptized in St. Thomas Aquinas, Flatlands, he attended Cathedral College, Brooklyn; and Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington. He was ordained May 29, 1954 by Archbishop Thomas E. Molloy at St. James Pro-Cathedral, Downtown Brooklyn.
He did post-ordination studies at St. John’s University, Jamaica.
He served as an assistant at Holy Family, Flushing, 1954-56; St. Andrew Avellino, Flushing, 1956-68; and St. Joseph, Astoria, 1968-72.
In 1972, he was assigned to a team ministry at the newly established parish of St. Andrew the Apostle in Bay Ridge. He was named pastor there in 1979.
He also served as pastor of St. Columba, from 1988 to 2002, when he retired.
He was a member of the Diocesan Priests’ Senate, from 1979 to 1983.
Msgr. Casey remembered his classmate as “the quintessential priest.”
“He was the only guy in our class who had the opportunity to establish a parish,” explained Msgr. Casey.
“He was well-versed in Vatican II and he kept up with its theology by going to Boston College every summer to make sure he understood what was happening.
“He was very fond of the people in his parishes. He was a very pleasant man. I don’t think I ever saw him get angry.
“On ordination day, there were 33 of us and he was right behind me. I remember the great joy in his heart when his name was called.”
Burial was in Holy Cross Cemetery, Flatbush.