Pastor of St. Brigid of Kildare Church, Dublin, Ohio; Marathon Runner and Exercise Enthusiast
Msgr. Hendricks enjoys long-distance running and other sports such as golf, skiing, swimming, tennis, and cycling. He runs outdoors every day, rain, shine, or snow, and usually at 5 a.m. in the morning.
“If I have a 7 a.m. meeting, I will get up at 4 a.m. if I have to in order to get my run in.”
He begins the day with a 2 miler with Riley, his trusted dog, an Irish wolfhound. He continues another 2 or 3 miles on his own. Then he often hits the gym to swim, ride, or to lift weights.
For Msgr. Hendricks, discipline with exercise goes along with his life of discipline as a priest.
“I lead a life of discipline in prayer, exercise, and running a parish. All my personal time is in before 8 a.m. or I wouldn’t have a chance to do it.”
Msgr. Hendricks has been serving as a priest in Columbus since 1972. He taught at the Pontifical College Josephinum for 9 years, worked for the Diocese of Columbus as Chancellor and Vicar General for 20 years, and has been Pastor at St. Brigid of Kildare for 10 years.
He started running recreationally shortly after he was ordained a priest at St. Thomas Seminary in Seattle, Washington in 1972. Later, he began participating in races. He has continued running or exercising one way or another, every day, 7 days a week, preferably outdoors.
“As a young priest, I was invited to dinner at people’s homes. I looked around and saw that a lot of priests didn’t exercise, they smoked and were overweight. I didn’t want that to happen to me, so I began running.”
Msgr. Hendricks’ running passion has led him to participate in 24 marathons over the years, including Columbus, New York City, Chicago, Las Vegas, and Parkersburg.
He has been doing a 10-15 mile run with a group of friends every Saturday morning for the last 20 years.
How has this passion for fitness helped him in his life and vocation as a priest?
“This rigid schedule fits well with my lifestyle. Not everyone can do it, but it is important for me to maintain my health and to be able to serve the parish and the community.”
Msgr. Hendricks serves the community by advising and chairing the Boards of five local organizations, including: YMCA of Central Ohio, Goodwill of Columbus, United Way of Central Ohio, Ohio Dominican University, and the Mt. Carmel Foundation. He is President and CEO of the Columbus Diocese-operated Villas at St. Therese and Vice President of Seton Square, Inc.
What advice does he have for men in seminary or those who may be considering the priesthood?
“Learn to live a life of discipline in all forms: personal, social, professional, intellectual, and physical. Take care of yourself so you can take care of others.”
He encourages all of us to live a life of “self-respect.”
“Live life in moderation. Pray every day. Read and nourish your intellectual life. Build social networks. No one is checking on a priest to make sure he is doing what he is supposed to do. You have to do it on your own.”