Monsignor Edward “Ned” Kavanagh (1925-2018)
The death has occurred of Monsignor Edward “Ned” Kavanagh in Sacramento.
Edward is the Last surviving member of Kilkenny 1947 All Ireland Senior Hurling team that beat Cork in the Final when he went in as a sub at centre-back. The win was the sole McCarthy Cup victory in the famine that lasted from the 1939 win over Cork to the 1957 win over Waterford.
A native of Urlingford he was one of four children and spent much of his time helping out with his family’s bus transport and newspaper distribution business. He played his first competitive hurling during his school days in St. Kierans College. In a time when no Leinster minor hurling championships were played in 1942 and 1943, he made his debut on the senior inter-county scene at the age of twenty-two.
At club level he played for Tullaroan in the 1947 Senior Hurling Final when the side went down to Eire Óg by 3-10 to 0-13. After being ordained in St. Mary’s Cathedral on June 6th in 1948, he was ordered to leave for his new post in America but he refused to go until Tullaroan were finished in the county championship. In it, he won a County Senior Hurling medal at full back on the side that defeated Carrickshock by 1-12 to 2-3. On the day 11,000 spectators attended the game in Nowlan Park where the gate receipts were £155-12 shillings and 6 pence.
After the game he left for New York and took a cross-country train to via Denver. In Sacramento Msgr. Kavanagh, pastor emeritus of St. Rose Parish served as a priest of the diocese for nearly 70 years, serving 58 of those years at St. Rose Parish as assistant pastor and pastor. Over the years Msgr. Kavanagh served as pastor, the parish expanded its Sunday Mass schedule from three to twelve. During his time he baptized more than 16,000 people and celebrated 4,000 marriages. His extensive outreach extended to the Latino community and several Masses were celebrated each weekend in Spanish in the Kavanagh Community Center. Msgr. Kavanagh was appointed Chaplain of His Holiness on July 21, 1965 by Pope Paul VI and appointed an Honorary Prelate on Jan. 21, 1977 by Pope Paul VI.
Aged 93 Edward got his final wish when he passed away on St. Patrick’s Day at the Mercy McMahon Terrace Centre. On Friday, Bishop Jaime Soto will preside at a funeral Mass for Msgr. Kavanagh in the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacramento. In his reflections on “Father Eddy” Bishop Jaime said “He cared deeply for the community, working tirelessly on behalf of the poor and children. ‘Did you need a job? A place to live? Maybe an old car to get to that job? A few dollars for gas?’ Monsignor Kavanagh would always find a way.”
In his time in the United States he remained close to home and his family that he regularly visited. He also looked forward to getting and reading the copies of the Irish magazines and the local newspapers that were posted out to him.