Kyle Tennant is a native of Franklin Furnace, Ohio, near Portsmouth, and a member of St. Monica Church in New Boston. “I grew up involved in the church and was an altar boy starting at age 7 or 8. My family would have the local priests over for dinner and I always felt that God was present,” says Kyle. He thought about the priesthood when he was in 8th grade, but also liked dinosaurs and the idea of being a paleontologist. “I thought, God made me and God loves me, so what does God want me to be?”
In high school, Kyle began to see more signs pointing him toward the seminary. “My friends would say, ‘I wish you could hear my confessions. You would make a good priest.’” Kyle felt that someday he would enter the priesthood, but wasn’t sure when. He graduated as valedictorian of Portsmouth Notre Dame High School and attended the University of Notre Dame, majoring in mechanical engineering.
After graduating, Kyle began working for Accenture in Chicago, where he enjoyed the big city life for a few years. He was active in his church on the weekends, oftentimes leading retreats and regularly teaching Sunday school. Soon, Kyle realized that his involvement with the church was his favorite part of the week and maybe the time was right for the seminary.
Once he made the decision and began at the Pontifical College Josephinum, he received many affirmations and knew he was in the right place. “The more we listen to God and respond to his love, the more fulfilled we are.” He goes to note that “[e]ntering the seminary is an invitation from God…then it’s up to you whether to accept it.”
Kyle is looking forward to many parts of the priesthood including giving homilies, saying mass and marrying couples. “Being involved in the most important days of people’s lives is such a privilege. I love the thought of communicating God’s grace and love to others. I want to help and support people through difficult times.”
Favorite Activities: Kyle likes to play basketball and golf, and watching most sports. He is a fan of the Bengals, Reds and Black Hawks. And, of course, “I cheer for everything Notre Dame and went to Ireland with my family to see them play Navy in football.”
Favorite Music: Singer/Songwriters like Ingrid Michaelson, James Taylor, Ben Folds, Simon & Garfunkel, and Zac Brown Band. “I also play piano, organ, guitar and sing, although I can’t play and sing at the same time. I really enjoy when the seminarians all get together with their instruments and play.”
Favorite Food: Steak, apple pie, cinnamon buns
Favorite Ice Cream: Vanilla
What does he miss about home: Home cooked meals and the woods and hills of Portsmouth.
Something he dreams of doing: Going back to Ireland with my family next year when Notre Dame plays Navy again. “I’d like to say mass in Ireland and visit Our Lady of Knock.”
Something about Kyle that no one would guess: “I started following my dad around the golf course when I was 5 or 6. I had this little canvas golf bag with a driver, five-iron, seven-iron and putter. My goal this year is to break 80.”