Fr. Ken Grooms was born in 1963 into a Southern Baptist family in Charleston, SC. He earned a BA in Music and Philosophy from the College of Charleston in 1985. He converted to Catholicism the next year while a graduate student at the University of South Carolina. He began RCIA there at the exact time in history was made, when Pope. John Paul II became the first and only Pope to visit the state. He spoke two blocks away from where Fr. Ken was staying: Fr. Ken took it as a sign from God that he was on the right track. The following year, he moved to New York and worked as a volunteer for Mother Teresa’s sisters. He was blessed to meet the future saint who promised to pray for his vocation. Fr. Ken then moved to Long Island and worked as a caretaker for a family in Merrick and as a cook for the Pius X residence for retired priests in Uniondale. In 2013, he spent a year with the Trappists at Mepkin Abby in SC before discerning a call to Diocesan Priesthood. In 2015, he entered Pope St. John XXIII Seminary in Weston, MA, a seminary specializing in late vocations. He did pastoral work as a seminarian in St. Patrick’s in Bay Shore and Corpus Christi in Mineola. He was ordained on June 22, 2019 by Bishop Barres and celebrated his First Mass at Cure of Ars in Merrick. His first assignment was St. Aidan’s in Williston Park, which he enjoyed very much. Fr. Ken was named Pastor of Immaculate Conception on May 5th and is looking forward to his first Pastorate!
For now, we continue our walk with the Lord.