US University President’s Donegal roots

A Jesuit priest whose parents came from Donegal will today be inaugurated as the 27th President of St Joseph’s University, Philadelphia.

A Jesuit priest whose parents came from Donegal will today be inaugurated as the 27th President of St Joseph’s University, Philadelphia.

Fr Kevin Gillespie is one of six children born to the late Frank Gillespie of Beaugreen, Dunkineely and the late Sarah Gillespie (née Cullen) of Ardara.

Both parents emigrated from Ireland in the 1930s and all three of their sons entered the Jesuit order.

Fr. Kevin’s three sisters all entered convent life but did not take their final vows and went on to marry and have children.

A nephew of the late Eddie Gillespie, Bruckless, Fr Kevin has invited his cousin Eamonn Gillespie (General Manager of the Central Hotel) to attend his inauguration today in Philadelphia. Father Gillespie has other cousins in Donegal Town, Ardara, Dungloe and Dunkineely.

Last year Fr. Kevin celebrated the 25th anniversary of his Ordination as a Jesuit priest and his most recent post involved overseeing five Centres of Excellence at Loyola University, Chicago.