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Kirby receives alumni honor

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by Katie DeMoss/Saint Benedict Press
COLUMBIA – Father Jeffrey Kirby of Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church has been selected by his alma mater, Lower Richland High School, as one of the inaugural inductees of the school’s “Shining Diamonds” Alumni Hall of Fame.
The recognition is the school’s highest individual honor, given for service to the school, Richland School District 1, the recipient’s communities and professions, and society at large.
Kirby received the award during a ceremony in the Lower Richland High auditorium April 4.
“The Lower Richland School Improvement Council has established the Shining Diamonds Hall of Fame to recognize and inform our students, staff, and community of Lower Richland alumni, like Father Kirby, who have demonstrated success in their chosen field,” said Dana Wells, secretary of the School Improvement Council. “The Hall of Fame allows for notable Lower Richland alumni to be commended and expose our students to the various career paths that are available to them once they embark on their journey to adulthood.”
Kirby, who grew up in Columbia, graduated from Lower Richland High School in 1994. While at the high school, Kirby was in the student government, participated in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and was the editor of the school newspaper.
After graduation, Kirby attended college and graduate school at the Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio. After graduate school, he taught at Bishop England High School in Charleston.
After teaching, Kirby entered seminary at the Pontifical North American College in Rome. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 2007, served in different pastoral capacities throughout South Carolina, and received his doctorate in moral theology from Holy Cross University in Rome in 2016.
In 2016, then Gov. Nikki Haley acknowledged Kirby’s work among local communities and young adults throughout South Carolina with the Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest civilian honor.
Kirby is the administrator of Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Indian Land, the newest Catholic parish in South Carolina. He is also the administrator of St. Joseph’s Parish in Chester, and serves as an adjunct professor of theology at Belmont Abbey College.
Kirby is an author and teacher through Saint Benedict Press and Catholic Scripture Study International. He is the author of several books, including “Lord, Teach Us To Pray,” and is the host of the national Christian formation program “Doors of Mercy,” as well as the video course “A Tour of St. Peter’s Square and Basilica.” His latest work is a DVD Bible study program entitled “Luke: The Gospel of Mercy.” Kirby is also columnist with the Crux news service, and writes a regional column for The Catholic Miscellany.