CORNWALL, Ontario – Msgr. Kevin Maloney is marking an important anniversary this week. Friday, Feb. 11 marks the 50th year since Msgr. Maloney was ordained into the Catholic priesthood.
Born and raised in the Cornwall area, Maloney had never considered a life of service to God until he was a teenager.
Raised in a Catholic family, Maloney initially hoped to be a teacher, until he was asked by a priest when he was in Grade 11 of high school if he every considered joining the priesthood.
After attending university in Nova Scotia, and London, Maloney entered the seminary and was ordained at the age of 25.
Maloney said at that time, he could not imagine the kind of changes the world and the Church’s place in it would undergo over the next 50 years.
“The biggest change today is the number of people who attend church on a regular basis,” Msgr. Maloney said, attributing the growing influence of a secular society. “The challenge is to meet people where they are at and bring to them the message of the Gospel.”
Advice Mgsr. Maloney would give to a young man about to be ordained into the priesthood would be to be open to change.
“Be open to the possibility of change and don’t be stuck in your vision of what the church is,” he said.
Maloney does not believe that there is a decline in people who are seeking spiritual fulfillment however. Maloney explained that while his in-person attendance for Mass is around 30-45 people, those who view his service’s live stream are in the hundreds. He began offering a live stream of his Mass in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There is a deep sprirituality in people,” he said. “There is a deep search for spirituality, for God, but less for the organized institutions of all religions.”
While Maloney admitted that adapting to changes in spirituality in a growing secular society has been a challenge, one of his best experiences as a priest has been helping those in need through their hardships, and also being there for special moments in the lives of those in the community like wedding ceremonies.
Msgr. Maloney has spent almost all of his 50 years in the priesthood preaching in Cornwall and the surrounding area. He has been posted to each of Cornwall’s four english language parishes, as well as the Ingleside-Long Sault parish in South Stormont. Currently, he preaches at the St. Frances de Sales Church on Second St. W. in Cornwall.
He has also been very active in the community over the years. Msgr. Maloney said that he was particularly proud of the help he was able to provide in the creation of the local chapter of Big Brothers/ Big Sisters Cornwall. He also has been a strong supporter of the Children’s Treatment Centre.
“It is such a unique organization in that it is completely self-funded by the community,” he explained.
In 2019, Msgr. Maloney was named as Cornwall’s Citizen of the Year for his years of public service.
As for his future, the Msgr. has been blessed with good health he says and will continue in his service.
“My future is in the hands of God,” he said. “I’ve been blessed with good health and I don’t see myself retiring at the present time.”
Msgr. Maloney credits his many years of service in the priesthood to support he’s received from his fellow priests and the community.
“The priesthood is a calling. In order to be happy in the priesthood you need support of other priests and the community,” he said. “I can’t imagine doing this without the support of the community.”