California-born Msgr. Michael Jennett, outgoing episcopal vicar of the Santa Barbara Pastoral Region, is a native of Glendale and a graduate of St. Finbar Catholic School in Burbank. He entered the seminary at the age of 14, and was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 1974.
After his ordination, Msgr. Jennett served with the Trappist Monks of Utah for five years. In 1981, he received his doctorate in Sacred Theology in Rome, after which he taught theology at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo for 11 years.
Following his teaching tenure, he went on to serve as pastor of St. Joseph’s Church in Carpinteria for seven years, and later became pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Ventura, where he served for nearly a decade.
On July 1, 2005, Msgr. Jennett was appointed pastor of San Roque Church in Santa Barbara, and exactly 10 days later he was bestowed the papal honor of monsignor by Pope Benedict XVI. He is presently pastor-emeritus of San Roque.
In addition to his parish assignments, Msgr. Jennett has served as an elected and appointed member of the Council of Priests for more than 25 continuous years, and has also served on the College of Consultors and on numerous boards and committees for both the archdiocese and the Santa Barbara Region.
On Feb. 1, 2013, Archbishop José H. Gomez appointed Msgr. Jennett as the episcopal vicar for the Santa Barbara Region. In a recent statement, the archbishop expressed his deep gratitude to both Msgr. Jennett and Msgr. James Loughnane, who served as episcopal vicar for the San Gabriel Pastoral Region, for their faithfulness and tireless dedication to serving the people of God.
“The two-and-a-half years as episcopal vicar of this beautiful Santa Barbara region has given me the opportunity to know the fine priests and people, especially celebrating the confirmations of the youth and the installations of the new pastors and other parochial and regional events with the communities,” Msgr. Jennett recently told The Tidings.
“It has been a real pleasure working with Msgr. Jennett! Thanks monsignor for all you do,” said Sofie Hernandez, who worked closely with the monsignor in her role as administrative assistant for the Santa Barbara Region.
As he looks forward to retirement — which will include helping out in local parishes on weekends — Msgr. Jennett said he hopes the new bishops will “bring energy and a great fervor in carrying out their pastoral assistance to the archbishop in his administrative and pastoral care of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.”