Brother Kevin is the oldest of four children born to Betty (Mary Elizabeth Cronin) & Michael Smith in January 1941 and brother of Sister Kathleen RSM, Patricia Keenaghan and Virginia Clerkin. He grew up in East Elmhurst and then Flushing attending St. Kevin’s Parochial School, St. Francis Prep (North 6th Street) and Queens College. He entered the Franciscan Brothers in July 1961, receiving the religious name Colum and began his Franciscan training at the Brother’s Novitiate, first in Wyndanch and then in Upper Brookville, Long Island. Following his profession of religious vows in 1964, he was assigned to Brother Columba Reilly Scholasticate in Brooklyn Heights and completed his BA from Queens College of the City University of New York with a major in Psychology and began an MA in Counseling Psychology at Manhattan College.
Brother Kevin’s full time ministry began in 1965. Since then he has ministered as:
- a high school teacher, counselor, activities moderator and principal -St. Francis Prep, teacher - Countess Moore High School(Staten Island)
- a college professor, Arts & Science Acting Dean (Felician University - Lodi NJ), previously an adjunct professor at Brooklyn College, Richmond College (Staten Island) and Molloy College(Rockville Centre)
- Vocation and Formation Director
- Co-Vicar for Religious and Director of Administration for the Diocese of Rockville Centre
- Member of the US Bishops’ National Advisory Council, President of the National Conference of Vicars for Religious, Instructor in the Pastoral Formation and Diaconate Programs of the Dioceses of Brooklyn and Rockville Centre
- a Congregational Leader, as General Councilor, Treasurer General and for 8 years as Superior General
- the first Executive Director of Franciscans International at the United Nations, achieving consultative status for Franciscan Peacemaking and Social Justice efforts worldwide
In the course of his on-going ministry as a Franciscan Educator, Brother Kevin’s academic achievements/awards include:
- a PhD in Religious Education from New York University
- specialized courses/workshops/programs at: Boston College (Catholic College Leadership); Centro Pro Unione-Rome (Interfaith and Ecumenical Dialogue); Franciscan Studies Certification (Association of Franciscan Colleges and Universities); Franciscan Pilgrimage Study Programs (Europe); College Misericordia Scripture Institutes.
- Doctor of Humane Letters – Saint Francis College; Franciscan Federation – Peacemaker Award; President’s Medallion – Felician College.
Currently, Brother Kevin continues to teach Graduate Courses in Religious Education on line through Felician University, serves on Boards of Trustees of Franciscan Brothers institutions and serves as a mentor to the Boards of a number of Catholic grade-school academies in the Diocese of Brooklyn. Brother Kevin’s hope is to continue to live the gospel wherever the Spirit leads.