Rev. Joseph A. Kerin

November 15, 1931April 14, 2014

Charlotte - Reverend Monsignor Joseph Aloysius Kerin, a retired priest of the Diocese of Charlotte, died on 14 April 2014 at Pennybyrn at Maryfield, a retirement community located in High Point, North Carolina. He was 82 years old.

Monsignor Kerin served the Church in North Carolina well, taking on a variety of responsibilities including pastor, teacher, counsellor, school administrator, principal, vicar forane, chaplain, Diocesan Chancellor, Diocesan Consultor, Presbyteral Council Member, Diocesan Finance Committee Member, and Director of the Hispanic Catholic Center.

Born 15 November 1931 in Mount Vernon, New York, to the late Thomas F. and and Helen Gertrude Murnane Kerin, Monsignor was predeceased by his eight siblings: Dominican Sister Gertrude Mary Kerin, Dominican Sister Thomas Mary, Thomas F. Kerin Jr., Marian Kerin, Theresa Kerin, Evelyn J. Kerin, Lorraine Kerin Hoyt and James Kerin.

Monsignor Kerin received the bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Niagara University, Niagara Falls, NY (1953) prior to seminary studies at Catholic University, Washington, DC (1953-1957). He was ordained priest by the Bishop Vincent S. Waters, Bishop of the Diocese of Raleigh, on 30 May 1957 in Saint Mary’s Church, Wilmington, N.C.

As was the custom at that time, Bishop Waters assigned him to the Missionary Fathers Apostolate as an assistant at St. John’s in North Wilkesboro from May, 1957 to June, 1958. He spent the summer of 1958 with the Apostolate’s Trailer Chapels, which served Catholics in rural areas of the state where there were no Catholic churches.

From September, 1958, to August 1960, Father Kerin was a teacher and counselor at Notre Dame High School in Greensboro. From August, 1960, to June, 1966, he served simultaneously as pastor of St. John the Baptist in Tryon, and as administrator and principal of Asheville Catholic High School. During three of those years, he also was a part-time graduate student at Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, N.C.

He then became pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption, Charlotte, and was serving there when the Diocese of Charlotte was established in January 1972. In August of that year, Father Kerin went to Mexico City to serve the mission operated jointly by the Dioceses of Raleigh and Charlotte.

Upon his return from Mexico in the spring of 1975, Father Kerin served for a month as administrator of St. Gabriel’s parish in Charlotte. In June, Bishop Michael J. Begley named him pastor of Our Lady of Mercy, Winston-Salem and vicar of the Winston-Salem Vicariate.

Father Kerin returned to Charlotte in September, 1977 as rector of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and director of the Hispanic Catholic Center, a post he continued to hold during his service as Chancellor of the diocese and as founding pastor of St. Matthew’s in Matthews. Father also served as State Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus from 1977-79.

In July, 1979, Bishop Begley named him to succeed Monsignor Joseph Showfety as second chancellor of the diocese, with responsibility for the day to day operation of the diocese.

When Father Kerin expressed a desire to return to parish ministry, in September, 1986, Bishop John F. Donoghue named him first pastor of the newly created St. Matthew Parish, Charlotte. In December 1988, His Holiness Pope John Paul II named him a Prelate of Honor.

In January, 1996, at his request, Monsignor Kerin was granted a sabbatical to attend the Vatican II Institute, Menlo Park, CA; shortly after his return to the diocese, Bishop Curlin named him pastor of the newly formed Saint Mark Parish, Huntersville, N.C., where he served until his retirement in July, 2003.

A Wake Service will be held at 6:00 pm on Monday, April 21, with visitation to follow until 8:00 pm, and again on Tuesday, April 22 from 9:00–10:15 am at Saint Mark Church.

The Solemn Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated also in Saint Mark Church on Tuesday, April 22 at 10:30 am, with interment to follow immediately in Belmont Abbey Cemetery, Belmont, N.C.

Harry & Bryant Company is serving the Diocese.


  • Wake Service - with visitation following Monday, April 21, 2014
  • Visitation Tuesday, April 22, 2014
  • Solemn Mass of Christian Burial Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Rev. Joseph A. Kerin

have a memory or condolence to add?

Deacon Joe Fugere

May 18, 2014

I was priviledged to know and serve with Monsignor Kerin at both the vigil services and funerals of both sisters of Deerfield Beach, FL.while serving at St. Ambrose Church. I was most sincerely humbled when Monsignor asked me to do the vigil service for each of his sisters. For the brief time I knew of Monsignor Kerin he truly was a dedicated servant of our Lord God. May he rest in the presence of whom he served and dedicated his life.
Deacon Joe Fugere (Flowery Branch, GA)

Colleen Carow

April 22, 2014

Our family will hold on to the wonderful memories of working with Msgr. Kerin at St. Matthew Catholic Church. It was a fun and exciting time, building the parish from masses in the Tower Place Movie Theatre to mass in our parish gym, to our beautiful church on Ballantyne Commons Parkway. We will miss this wonderful man.

Cecy Ramirez

April 22, 2014

Msgr. Kerin welcomed the Hispanic Catholic Center with open arms, worked with the small diverse community at the time and set examples of the Christian love with his actions. With love and gratitude.
Cecy Ramirez and Family.

Sandra (Sultana) Stephens

April 21, 2014

Fr. Kerin was our high school principal while I was a student at Asheville Catholic High School. I thought about Fr. Kerin just a few days ago and what I remembered about him was his gentle nature and his contagious smile. I was deeply saddened to hear just this morning of his death. My condolences to his family and all who knew him.

Sandra Sultana Stephens

Pat Ward

April 21, 2014

Msgr. Kerin was a caring, friendly priest. He was our pastor at St. Matthews. We moved to TX for several years but visited on several occasions. Msgr was so proud of the St. Matthew complex. He personally gave my daughter and I a complete
tour of the then new actual church not the gym. We were early members and attended Mass initially at a movie theater and then a nearby Lutheran church. He was the best. Pat Ward

Theresa Ammons

April 20, 2014

Fr. Kerin was a wonderful person who I have known for many years. I first met him after my parents moved to NC from Minnesota. I was only 16 back then but eventually Fr. Kerin married me and my husband back in l968. I eventually moved away from Charlotte and started living in Concord, NC but later on I happened to see Fr. Kerin at my current church and had the pleasure of talking with him a few times after that when he would come to help out at my current church. He was a wonderful person and will be very much missed by many.

April 19, 2014

A great man and a greater priest! May the perpetual light shine upon him. He was the rock of St. Matthew.

Pat Brown

April 18, 2014

What a wonderful Priest Fr .Kerin was whom I have known for years, a perfect example of what a Priest should be. He was my Pastor at Assumption & married my daughter there. There is no doubt that he is a Saint in heaven. RIP Fr.

April 18, 2014

There is much joy in the memories of a life well lived! As much as he will be greatly missed, Msgr Kerin will hold a special place in our hearts!
The Colasanti Family

April 17, 2014

Condolences to the Kerin family. May the love of family and friends sustain you during this difficult time.
Matthews 6:10.