McKenny, Father Francis

1917, May 22

Date of Birth: 1860, May 17

Francis X. McKenny was born in Washington, D.C., on May 17, 1860. He entered St. Charles College on September 11, 1877, and graduated in 1882. After graduation he studied Philosophy at St. Mary’s Seminary, Baltimore; he then returned to St. Charles to teach for the year 1884-1885. For his Theology he went to Paris; was ordained on December 22, 1888, by the Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal Richard; and then entered the Solitude at Issy. In 1889 he returned to the United States.

Father McKenny’s association with St. Charles College as a faculty member resumed in 1890. When Father Vulbert moved in 1896 to St. Patrick’s Seminary in San Francisco, Father McKenny succeeded to his classes. Nine years later, in 1905, he succeeded Father Schrantz as President of St. Charles. His eminent scholarship was rewarded in 1910 by the degree of LLD, conferred on him by Villanova College.

 A year later, fire destroyed St. Charles College at Ellicott City. The strain of its reconstruction in Catonsville was heavy on Father McKenny. Failing health caused him to resign the presidency in 1913. He was able to resume teaching in 1916; but in February 1917, he again became seriously ill. He died at Providence Hospital in Washington on May 22, 1917.

Adapted from The Borromean, June 1917; and from the St. Charles College Catalog, 1918.