Rev. Daniel Kenneally came to Kansas fresh from his studies and his ordination as a Catholic priest in Ireland and after a few months at Wichita was assigned to the position as rector of the Immaculate Conception Church at Danville in Harper County. Danville had one of the oldest Catholic parishes in Harper County, established fully thirty years ago, and it had been growing in membership rapidly during Father Kenneally’s administration.
He represents an old family of County Cork, Ireland, and was born at Ballylanders, Cloyne, in that county, May 3, 1883. He was the one of a large family selected for a priestly vocation, and until sixteen years of age acquired his preliminary education in the parochial schools. He then spent five years in the classical course of Mount Melleray Seminary in County Waterford, and for three years pursued his theological work in St. Patrick’s College of County Carlow. Ill health interrupted his studies about the time they were completed and he spent two years at home recuperating. In 1912 he was ordained a priest at St. Patrick’s College, and said his first mass in St. Patrick’s Church May 26, 1912, with the assistance of Rev. William Grace. After a brief vacation Father Kenneally came to the United States and on the 12th of October, 1912, arrived at Wichita, where for six months he was assistant to Father Monnier in the cathedral. He entered upon his duties as rector of the Immaculate Conception Church at Danville, March 26, 1913.
Father Kenneally had a fine new church as the religious center of his parish. The cornerstone was laid in 1904 and the church was completed in 1910. It is a handsome structure, accommodating 400 people in the auditorium. His parish contains 350 souls. Father Kenneally also had under his supervision a parochial school and a residence for the Sisters of St. Joseph which was completed in 1917. The rectory was built in 1914. The parish extends over a radius of ten miles around Danville, and there are also two missions attended by Father Kenneally, one at Harper, Kansas, and the other at Kiowa, in Barber County.
Father Kenneally is a son of Daniel Kenneally, who was born at Ballylanders, Cloyne, County Cork, in 1835, and is still living there, having spent all his long and useful life as a farmer. He married Ellen O’Brien, who was born in Midleton, County Cork, in 1841. They were the parents of eleven children, noted briefly as follows: Margaret, wife of Thomas Hennessy, a farmer at Ballycrenane, in County Cork; Maurice, who had a farm at Youghal, County Cork; James, who lives with and assists his brother Maurice; Mary, wife of John Curtin, a farmer at Ballycronween, in County Cork; Kate, who died at the age of thirty; Nellie, wife of Daniel McCarthy, living at Providence, Rhode Island, where he is connected with a woolen factory; Michael, who lives with his brother-in-law, Thomas Hennessy, and is employed by him; Father Daniel, the eighth in order of birth; David, who is employed in the woolen mills of Providence, Rhode Island; John, still at the old home farm; and Joseph, who also lives at home with his parents.