Archbishop of Kingston calls it a career after 51 years

In 1968, Brendan O'Brien was ordained in Ottawa kick starting a five decade career that took him around the world.

After serving 51 years, the Archbishop of Kingston, Brendan O’Brien, is calling it a career.

O’Brien was ordained in Ottawa in 1968. From there, he went on to serve in Rome, Pembroke, Ont. and St. John’s, NL., before being named the Archbishop of Kingston in 2007.

“I never really considered being an archbishop because it’s not something you apply for, it’s something someone else decides for you,” said O’Brien.

READ MORE: Kingston’s archbishop celebrates five decades of service to the Catholic church

The reason for his resignation is due to a rule under which an archbishop, upon turning 75, must submit a resignation to the Pope. O’Brien did so in September 2018, he said, not knowing whether it would be accepted or not.

“On March 25th, I got a call from the Pope’s representative in Ottawa and the Holy Father accepted the resignation and appointed Michael Mulhall the new Archbishop of Kingston,” said O’Brien.

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Now that O’Brien is on his way out, his congregation is singing his praises, especially when it comes to his contribution to the Catholic community at Queen’s University.

“His grace has been a sign of growth at the archdiocese of Kingston, and of course the Catholic students at Queen’s,” said Christopher Thomas, a parishioner of St. Mary’s.

Other parishioners said that O’Brien is a builder of bridges and has been a supporter of students since he arrived in 2007.

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O’Brien tells Global News that he plans to move to Ottawa to be closer to his 101-year-old mother and other family and friends. He also is hoping to spend more time on his photography hobby.

Michael Mulhall will officially take over as Archbishop of Kingston on May 3rd.

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