Local Priest Remembers President Kennedy - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Local Priest Remembers President Kennedy

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by Marcus Washington

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A local priest shared his encounter with President Kennedy in Nashville six months before his assassination.

It's the day most people old enough to remember say they will never forget -- the day President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed.

"On November 22, I was teaching at Father Ryan, that's the old Father Ryan on Elliston Place; up on the third flood in an English class," said Father John C. Henrick.

Father Henrick said it was like that moment in history stood still as the information he had heard was simply unbelievable.

"I remember sitting in that classroom and hearing it come over the PA system, the loud speaker system, and I thought oh my goodness. I just couldn't believe it," said Father Henrick.

He said the emotion he felt was the extreme opposite of just six months earlier.

This newly ordained priest has met President Kennedy during his visit to Nashville for the 90th anniversary of Vanderbilt University.

He said, "I was fairly near the stadium and the motorcade came by and President Kennedy was in the back seat and he waived his hand and said, 'hello father.'"

Though a short encounter with the president, Father Henrick said it was quite emotional.

"As Catholics we were really quite proud of him as being the first catholic president and we were supporting him," said Father Henrick.

As we remember the assassination of President Kennedy 50 years later, one man holds onto a chance encounter with pride saying, "I took it as a great gift."

Thousands attended Friday's memorial in Dallas where Kennedy was assassinated.

Other memorials took place in Washington, D.C. as well as the Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston.

Email: mwashington@newschannel5.com
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