Mass of Christian Burial
Thursday, November 2, 2023
11:00 AM EDT
SS. Peter and Paul Parish
520 Myrtle St NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
1 (616) 454-6000
Visitation from 10 AM until the start of Mass
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Rev. Michael Gerard McKenna, age 79, completed his earthly pilgrimage and entered eternal life on October 26, 2023.
He was preceded in death by his parents, James Patrick McKenna and Marion Ruth [Pennell] McKenna, and his beloved sister and best friend Kathleen McKenna-White. He is survived by his nephew, Ryan (Carissa) McKenna-White of Statham, GA, and many friends and cousins in the US and Ireland.
Father Mike was born in Grand Rapids, on May 7, 1946. He attended St. Francis Elementary School and then entered St. Joseph Seminary in Grand Rapids as a high school freshman in 1960. He attended Aquinas College and was awarded a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy from St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, Maryland in 1968. In 1972, he received a Masters of Divinity Degree from St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth, MI.
Father Mike was ordained on St. Patrick’s Day in 1973. For many years Father Michael served the people of the Diocese of Grand Rapids at the parishes of St. John Vianney, Wyoming; Sacred Heart, Muskegon; St. Dominic, Wyoming; St. Francis Xavier, Conklin; Our Lady of Consolation, Rockford; St. Charles Borromeo, Greenville; St. Mary Magdalen, Kentwood and St. Mary, Big Rapids.
Father Mike’s personal interests included genealogy, photography and Notre Dame football. His love of travel took him to Ireland, England, Scotland, Germany and Italy. In Rome, a special honor was a small group audience with Blessed Pope Paul VI in the Vatican Clementine Chapel.
On Thursday, November 2, 2023, the family will host a visitation at 10 a.m. followed by an 11 a.m. Funeral Mass, presider Bishop David John Walkowiak, at SS. Peter & Paul Parish, 520 Myrtle, Grand Rapids MI 49504. The Rite of Christian Burial will take place later in the afternoon at Woodlawn Cemetery-West, on the corner of Kalamazoo Avenue and Alger Street in Grand Rapids.
Memorial contributions may be made at Father McKenna’s request to God’s Kitchen, Mel Trotter Mission, or all ministries of feeding, sheltering and “recognizing Christ in the disturbing disguise of the poor” (Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta).
The family gives a special thank you to Clark Retirement at Franklin for their special care and support for the last several years.
Father Mike’s final admonition for all is, “To love another person is to see the face of God!
Funeral arrangements will be handled by Heritage Life Story Funeral Home on Plainfield Avenue in Grand Rapids.