Family > Testimony: Robert Cunningham


I was upset thinking he would live a lonely life

Fr. Cunningham

My youngest child, James Kieran Cunningham, was born on August 7, 1968.  Being the youngest with three older siblings there was a great deal of excitement surrounding his arrival and this excitement has never left his persona.


James always had an outgoing personality.  He loved to perform on stage, to sing, to dance and even to act.  People have always been drawn to him and have enjoyed being in his company.  Easy to talk to, always a talker, he grew up a well rounded, young man.  All of my children attended Saint Sebastian School and proudly climbed threw the ranks.  My three sons were all altar servers in their day, but, James took to the Church and never left.  After serving as an altar boy for several years he continued working for the Church in the rectory and the sacristy.  His interest and devotion continued through high school and college.  He always wanted to have an active role in the Church.  By the time he graduated from Saint John’s University I knew James would be entering the seminary.  Honestly, at first I was upset thinking he would live a lonely life and I had some strong reservations about his career choice.  But, over the years he has shown me that this is his calling and the life he wants to lead.  As a parent I recognized his great business sense and thought of how much money he could make in “the real world” and how working for the Church would offer little financial gain and maybe a waste of his talents.  I did realize I was wrong and that James is richer than I will ever be.  His devotion to God and all the people in his parishes is second to none.  Father Jim Cunningham has opened my eyes to what is most important in life, faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love. 


So in reflecting back on these experiences I suggest to each and every parent to encourage, not discourage your child to have an interest in serving our Church.  It is not a lonely, poor life at all.  It is a rich and rewarding life.  I learned that my son, is Father to many and friend and leader to even more.  Always proud, I remain…


Robert J. Cunningham is the father of Fr. James K. Cunningham.
Fr. Cunningham is the pastor of St. Mary Star of the Sea-St. Gertrude Parish, Far Rockaway





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