Father Kenneth Ward, C.P., Holy Cross Province (1906-1955)

Home / Biography / Father Kenneth Ward, C.P., Holy Cross Province (1906-1955)

Born Joseph Charles Ward on May 31, 1906 in Williamsburg, Iowa, he was the son of John Henry and Henrietta Ward. One year after he was born the family home was destroyed by fire. This led the family to move to Parnell, Iowa for a short time then on to Medina, New York for about three years. They then went to Mountain View, Missouri. His earliest schooling was in Deepwater, Missouri. In 1917 the family moved to Neosho, Missouri where young Joseph attended the country school called Point Pleasant. He met the Passionists during a parish mission conducted by Father Charles Cassidy, C.P. at St. Canera’s Church in Neosho. Even though he was young and it was not the custom for students thirteen to enter the Passionist Preparatory School at that age, an exception, after some discussion was granted, and Joseph Ward arrived at the Passionist Preparatory School at Cincinnati, Ohio. He showed leadership, and educational skills despite his somewhat fragile health. He was quick in learning Latin and also was an excellent speller. When the new Prep was established at Normandy, Missouri he moved there. He then went on to Louisville, Kentucky where he professed his vows on August 7, 1923. His religious name was Kenneth. While studying philosophy in Cincinnati illness required that he be treated at the hospital of the Sisters of St. Joseph at Del Norte, California. After a year there he rejoined his class and was ordained on December 22, 1929. His first assignment was professor of philosophy at Detroit, Michigan. He later was professor of moral theology at Louisville. Poor health prevented him from continuing as a teacher. Later he was vicar of Holy Cross Monastery, Cincinnati. While home at the monastery in which he lived he was a respectable preacher. In his later years he took care of the Passionist community library in Chicago. He died after many years of frail health.