Kieran O’Connell is a proud member of the St. Bonaventure’s College Class of 2010. After graduating from St. Bon’s, he attended Memorial University of Newfoundland where he completed a double major in Communications and English. Kieran now works as Guest Co-ordinator at The Gathering Place, a not for profit institution that provides service, nourishment and socialization to the marginalized in our community.
While at Memorial, Kieran spent much of his personal time working on various music endeavors – playing shows and recording with various bands. Kieran also founded an arts and media blog while attending MUN, called Secret East, with some of his friends. The blog – for which Kieran contributed written content, photography and filmography – focuses on artists from the Maritime and Atlantic provinces that may otherwise go undocumented.
Upon completion of his Bachelor of Arts degree, Kieran was offered a five-week position at The Gathering Place and a full time, permanent position elsewhere. Taking a chance, he turned down the full time job and took the 5-weeks of work at The Gathering Place. Clearly, the risk was worth it as he’s still there, several years later, continuing to demonstrate his commitment to justice.
In his role as Guest Coordinator, Kieran not only coordinates guests with the services provided by The Gathering Place, but also coordinates needed service for guests with outside agencies. He works closely with each guest and must navigate politics, policies and inadequate conditions and services to connect guests with their needs. Kieran also has become involved with important community initiatives led by the Community Food Sharing Coalition, the Community Action Group on Harm Reduction, End Homelessness St. John’s and the Downtown Primary Healthcare Collaborative.
Kieran is a true man for others. The respect and dignity with which he treats his guests demonstrate that Kieran lives the Jesuit tradition of not only providing service to others, but standing with them in the trenches. Through these experiences, Kieran has been motivated to begin preparing for the LSAT in order to pursue a Law degree to better position himself to advocate and fight for the justice of all persons. In the small amount of free time Kieran finds for himself, he has recently begun to learn Judo, which he thoroughly enjoys.