Bishop John Francis Kinney

Bishop John Francis Kinney

(St. Augusta, MN) Bishop emeritus of St. Cloud, John Francis Kinney, has died at the age of 82.  Bishop Kinney passed away at Quiet Oaks Hospice in St. Augusta today (Friday).  

Bishop Kinney lead the Diocese of St. Cloud for 18 years starting back in 1995 until his retirement in 2013.  The Central Minnesota Catholic magazine writes that Kinney was an ardent supporter of Catholic social teaching, marriage, youth and collaborative ministry.  They say he strove to lead in the spirit of the diocese's mission statement; to be Christ's "heart of mercy, voice of hope and hands of justice."

His successor, Bishop Donald Kettler is quoted in the article as saying that “Bishop Kinney was a kind and gracious pastoral leader.  Bishop Kettler went further to say “He was a strong defender of the dignity of every human being, and his love for the Church was evident both in his public ministry and personal life. May our Father in heaven now receive him warmly into his arms.”

Bishop Kinney was born in Oelwein, IA to his parents John and Marie Kinney.  He graduated from DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis, MN.  He received a bachelor’s degree from St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul and a doctorate in canon law from Lateran University in Rome.

He was ordained to the priesthood Feb. 2, 1963, at the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul by Archbishop Leo Binz. Bishop Kinney served in several positions in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, including nine years as chancellor. On Nov. 16, 1976, Pope Paul VI named him an auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese. Archbishop John Roach of St. Paul and Minneapolis ordained him a bishop Jan. 25, 1977. Bishop Kinney served as auxiliary bishop from 1977 to 1982.

On June 28, 1982, Pope John Paul II named him the bishop of Bismarck, North Dakota. He was installed Aug. 23, 1982. On May 9, 1995, Pope John Paul II named him the eighth bishop of St. Cloud. He was installed July 6, 1995.

The bishop’s body will be received at 2 p.m., Friday, Oct. 4 at the Cathedral of St. Mary in St. Cloud, followed by a private family visitation from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and public visitation from 2:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. A vigil service will be held at 7 p.m. On Saturday, Oct. 5, public visitation will continue from 8 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m., with Archbishop Bernard Hebda of St. Paul and Minneapolis presiding. Burial will be at Assumption Cemetery in St. Cloud.