If you’re wondering: he’s the one on the left.
In late May Father Dan Kredensor, a theology teacher at Archbishop Carroll High School in Radnor for the past two years, started planning activities with students on the ministry team for the upcoming school year.
It’s been said that when you make plans, God laughs. This certainly seems to have happened with Father Kredensor, 32, who is now the youngest priest to be named a pastor in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. On July 1 he began serving as pastor of the recently merged St. Ignatius and Our Mother of Sorrows Parishes in West Philadelphia.
“I figured it would be at least five to eight more years before I became a pastor,” said Father Kredensor, who was ordained in 2008. “I feel very honored to have been asked.”
He said the vision of Archbishop Charles Chaput is to re-evangelize the inner city, and he wanted to place a young priest who was interested in ministering there. “He wants priests in different ministries that will fit their interests, and age is not a barrier to him,” Father Kredensor said.
His interest in ministering to Black Catholics goes back to his apostolate experiences at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. During that time his uncle, Father Thomas McGann, was pastor of two parishes in the city of Kingston, Jamaica, so one summer Father Kredensor worked there with medical mission groups, AIDS houses for children and the youth of the parishes.
As a seminarian Father Kredensor also had the opportunity to serve at St. Martin de Porres Parish in North Philadelphia with Father Edward Hallinan, who was pastor of St. Martin’s for 14 years.
“I loved North Philly, and I really didn’t want to leave,” Father Kredensor said. “Father Hallinan was a great mentor there. I was very much in love with not just inner city ministry but ministry to Black Catholics, and in the back of mind I wanted to get back to it.”
While Father Kredensor will be the youngest pastor, he won’t need to figure out this new role by himself. During his meeting with Msgr. Daniel Sullivan, vicar for clergy, Father Kredensor was assured that he would receive the support he needed.
“He said, ‘We want you to be a pastor, and we’re going to give you a mentor. We’re going to be with you every step of the way,’” Father Kredensor said.
Filling that mentor role will be Father Henry McKee, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Havertown. Father Kredensor has been in residence at Sacred Heart for the past year, and Father McKee has been a pastor for 23 years, including 10 years as a pastor in the city.
“I was surprised (by the news), but he’s a young and enthusiastic priest who wants to go and work in the inner city,” Father McKee said. “I’m happy for him and for the people of St. Ignatius and Our Mother of Sorrows.”