Msgr. Ellsworth Kneal
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Posted by: Katie Richards
Monsignor Ellsworth Kneal, 92, a nationally known and respected expert in Roman
Catholic Church law, Canon law judge,
professor and pastor for 43 years passed away on January 28, 2010. He
had retired from active ministry in 1978 and more recently, was a resident of
Colonial Acres Health Care Center in Golden
A native of St.
Louis, Missouri, he was ordained a
priest in 1944 following studies at St.
and the Saint Paul Seminary. He also did
post graduate study at Catholic University of America in Washington DC. From 1944 through 1958, Monsignor Kneal
served as associate pastor at parishes in White Bear Lake
and south Minneapolis,
but it was as a canon lawyer and canon law judge that he earned his national
reputation. A former member of the St. Paul Seminary
faculty, he was also an official with Archdiocese’s Metropolitan Tribunal
which resolves disputes within the Church and focuses primarily on marriage
dissolutions. He was directing judge of
the tribunal for ten years and also taught at the Catholic University of
America from 1982 to 1986.
In 2001, Monsignor Kneal received
the Canon Law Society of America’s highest honor when he was given their Role
of Law award.
"Monsignor Kneal was one of the
finest gentlemen I’ve encountered as a bishop and as a priest,” said the Most
Reverend Harry J. Flynn, Archbishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese. "He was thoughtful, learned and a skilled
canonist with a pastoral heart.”
A former student of the
monsignor’s who went on to replace him at the tribunal, Father Ron Bowers ,
said Kneal was loved and respected by
seminary students. "We worked together
for many years,” Bowers said. "He was
an excellent teacher, both from the point of view of ministry and of canon
Mass of Christian Burial, 10:30
a.m, Monday, February 1 at The Saint Paul Seminary, 2115 Summit Avenue in St. Paul. Viewing one and one half hour prior to Mass. Committal/interment to follow immediately at Resurrection Cemetery. Please remember Msgr. Kneal in your prayers and masses.