Locals mourn loss, share stories of “kind and friendly” Msgr. Ken Greig
Msgr. Ken Greig, the first priest ordained in the Catholic Diocese of Beaumont, seemed at home in each of the parishes he served through the years.
The retired monsignor who recently entered into hospice care died Sunday at the age of 80.
The Rev. Kevin Badeaux of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Port Arthur knew Greig well. Besides being in the same parish at St. Mary Church, Badeaux also served Greig at Mass as an altar server.
“He was always kind and friendly,” Badeaux said. “Then as a priest I got to know him better. He had a good sense of humor, kind of quiet, modest and soft spoken and a good listener.”
Badeaux said Greig dealt very well with people and had a common touch, getting along with everybody.
“I did get to visit him a few weeks ago in hospice in Beaumont. He was weak and alert and we had a good conversation,” Badeaux said. “He seemed pretty serene and concerned about other people.”
And thus was the nature of Msgr. Greig — caring about others.
“God has put me where He wanted me and He has blessed me tremendously throughout all of these experiences,” Msgr. Kenneth Greig once said of his priestly ministry in Southeast Texas, according to information from the Diocese of Beaumont.
Greig said in a 2016 interview with the Diocese he had come to think of each parish he has served in as a home and the parishioners as his family.
“That’s where my heart is — serving the people that have come to mean so much to me,” he said in the Diocesan story. “Over the years that I’ve been ordained, I’ve met some wonderful people in each of my parishes. Many of them have remained lifelong friends of mine over the years.”
Lois Badeaux, mother of Rev. Kevin Badeaux, remembers Greig from right out of the seminary when he went to St. Mary Church.
“People seemed to take to him and he was a model of a man committed to his faith and vocation,” Lois Badeaux said. “And I do know he cared about the needs of the parishes and anybody that came into his life.”
Dana Weeks has fond memories of the monsignor, saying he celebrated many sacraments for her and her family, such as baptisms and marriage.
“He always had such a calming manner and spirit about him that would always put you at ease,” Weeks said. “Talking with monsignor was like talking to someone you had known all of our life.”
Services for Msgr. Ken Greig have not been announced.
Kenneth Greig was born Dec. 11, 1940, in Port Arthur, the youngest of the four children of John and Claudia Greig, according to information from the diocese. He grew up in Port Arthur and attended elementary school at St. Mary. He graduated from Bishop Byrne High School (Section 1) in 1959. After graduating he entered St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston and began his studies for the priesthood.
Bishop Vincent M. Harris ordained him May 25, 1967. Throughout his years he served St. James, Port Arthur; St. Mary, Orange; St. Mary, Port Arthur; St. Catherine of Siena, Port Arthur; St. Anthony Cathedral, Beaumont; and Our Lady of the Assumption, Beaumont.
Msgr. Greig was pastor of St. Peter the Apostle, Groves, for 21 years and also Immaculate Conception, Groves, for three years until his retirement July 1, 2014.
After his retirement he remained active by “filling in” for his brother priests in parishes throughout the diocese. He also remained active with the Adoration, Community, Theology and Service (ACTS) community.
In addition to his parish ministry, Msgr. Greig also served in a number of other positions with the diocese including Chancellor from May 1976 to June 1983. He ministered to people through the Tribunal and was on several councils, commissions and boards including the Presbyteral Council, Personnel Board, School Board and RCIA Commission.
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