The life of a priest — Father Jeffrey Kendall


The life of a priest is busy to say the least. In this column, The Miscellany readers will get a glimpse at a priest in action. In the spotlight here is Father Jeffrey Kendall, pastor of Sacred Heart Church on King Street and Christ the Divine Teacher at The Citadel in Charleston. He is also campus minister for The Citadel and the College of Charleston as well as diocesan campus minister. We called him at random times during the week of Jan. 14 to Jan. 20. Here’s what he was up to:

Monday, Jan. 14

4:30 p.m. “I was having a meeting with a cadet, Bobby Cox. [Cox is the highest-ranking cadet at The Citadel.] “The cadets just got back from break, and we were catching up. He made a retreat to Gethsemani, a Trappist monastery, for a few days and came back rejuvenated from the break.

“We also discussed the Book of Revelation. I’m teaching an independent study course on Revelation this semester, which he’s taking.”

Tuesday, Jan. 15

2:20 p.m. “I just picked up my laundry [at the Citadel’s cleaners]. I’m going to drop it off at home and walk over to the office.” [Father Kendall lives on campus at The Citadel in faculty housing.]

Wednesday, Jan. 16

3:10 p.m. “I’ve just finished writing thank you notes to Citadel alumni. I’ve started a fund-raising campaign for campus ministry at The Citadel. I’m calling alumni one by one and asking for $10 a month. I’m not asking for a lot, but a little money continuously. So far, every alumni that I have asked has said yes.

“We now have a Catholic Discretionary Fund where alumni can donate to campus ministry through The Citadel Foundation.”

Thursday, Jan. 17

10:30 a.m. “I was meeting with Chaplain David Golden, the chaplain to the corps in charge of all campus ministry at The Citadel. I’m like an assistant chaplain to the corps, though it is not officially designated as such. We discussed some of the cadet leaders; he’s really helping to promote all the religions on campus. And he’s encouraging me in my fund-raising efforts.

“We discussed the Book of Revelation for awhile, since I’m doing that course on it, and we scheduled joint ecumenical activities for campus.”

2:15 p.m. “I’m over at the Sacred Heart office. I just signed checks to pay the bills and am returning phone calls.

“I returned a call about a baptism and am trying to help one of my College of Charleston students find a job, which she really needs. I’m also trying to arrange for our air conditioning to be repaired.

“One of my military families is being transferred, and having to leave Sacred Heart is hard on them and me; I’ll miss them.

“I’m thinking of starting a nursery here on Sundays. I could employ a few students from the college group.”

Friday, Jan. 18

(Father Kendall’s day off)

12 p.m. “I was at Mepkin Abbey, and at high noon we were beginning daytime prayer. I came out to make a confession. Then I spent some quiet time in prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament and took a meditative walk around the grounds.”

[Later that day Father Kendall had a meeting with the college group, attended a reception for a local author at the bishop’s residence, and went to see “Lord of the Rings” with the college students, with whom he discussed the movie afterward.]

Saturday, Jan. 19

2 p.m. “I was in the chapel at the bishop’s house waiting for Sister Rita Marie (a School Sister of Notre Dame). I had a two o’clock meeting with her, and she was running a little late. She’s going to be helping me with campus ministry locally and on the diocesan level. I especially want her to help me at the College of Charleston so that we have a more visible presence there. It was the first time we got to sit down and get to know each other. I wish she was starting Monday, but she’ll start Aug. 1.”

[Sister Rita and two other sisters are coming to the diocese to work beginning this summer.]

Sunday, Jan. 20

2:30 p.m. “I’m on my couch resting half watching a movie and half dozing. I’m watching the end of a movie called ‘The Eagle has Landed.'”