The Institute is named in memory of the late Father Barry Moriarty, C.M. who died in 2017. Fr. Moriarty (commonly known as “Fr. Barry”) spent most of his 50 years of priestly service in formation of those preparing for ministry. He spent 15 of those years serving the Church of Kenya.
After initial studies for the priesthood, he joined the Congregation of the Mission (the Vincentians) in 1958 and was ordained to the priesthood at DeAndreis Seminary, Lemont, Illinois, by Archbishop John Cody on May 19, 1967. He served in the Vincentian community in Lemont, Kansas City, and St. Louis before moving on to further studies in spirituality and in English, graduating with a doctorate. His experience in seminary preparation and his loving and supportive character made him an ideal mentor for Vincentian candidates in New Orleans (1982-88).
He was pastor of St. Vincent de Paul parish in Chicago (1988-94), and again director of Vincentian candidates, this time in Philadelphia. His various personal and organizational skills served him well at DePaul Centre, Nairobi, Kenya, where he served from 1996 to 2011. He laid the foundations for the physical infrastructure and the personal development of Vincentians in East Africa.
In 2001, Fr. Barry was the founding Rector and Superior of DePaul Centre where the Institute is located. Moreover, the building housing the Institute (formerly known as Damascus House) was built under Fr. Barry’s personal supervision; many people testify it was Fr. Barry’s favourite building on the DePaul campus, and he worked and lived in that building for many years.
Fr. Barry’s commitment to provide quality initial and continuing formation is evident in the programmes he established and the students and seminarians he served throughout his ministry. Among Fr. Barry’s many contributions to formation in Kenya, the Emmaus Programme at DePaul Centre is a prime example of his leadership and commitment to continuing formation. The Emmaus Programme began nearly twenty years ago during Fr. Barry’s years as Rector and Superior of DePaul Centre. The Emmaus Programme continues today in reaching out to priests throughout Africa in providing quality continuing formation opportunities.
The Moriarty Institute for Continuing Formation (MICOF) aspires to emulate the same commitment and friendly and joy-filled spirit of Father Barry Moriarty who welcomed everyone he encountered. MICOF shall be a place that loves and cares for those who minister and serve others.