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Robert F. Hennessey — bishop, priest, friend

Deacon Hennessey celebrates baptism, one of thousands in his lifetime.

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The seminary faculty had decided that the freshman class of St. John Seminary College would live on the same floor and rooms would be distributed alphabetically. The goal was to create class cohesion and spirit. The arrangement meant that my room was directly across from that of one Robert F. Hennessey.

The proximity of our student rooms helped begin a friendship that has continued to this day. As with most friends we have a number of qualities and characteristics in common, and a good number that are different and in some sense complementary.

Since this is about the new bishop, I’ll speak about him -- this is in itself dangerous because he does have a unique ability to “recall” and -- well... “to repay.”


He was born in South Boston on April 20, 1952 a son of St. Augustine Parish where he was baptized by Father Gerard Barry (presently a senior priest of the archdiocese living at Regina Cleri). He was the second of what would be five children of John and Eileen (Cahill) Hennessey. His older brother John, his younger brother Dan and his two even younger sisters Deborah and Barbara, round out the clan.

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