Get to Know Fr. Kenny Nauert '14

High School Graduation Year



What did you do right after graduation? College/career/travel/military?

Right after high school, I went to Western Kentucky University. I triple majored in Religious Studies, History, and Asian Religions and Cultures. I graduated in 2017 with a BA in Religious Studies, and again in 2018 from WKU with a MA in Religious Studies. After WKU, I went into the seminary to study to be a Catholic priest for the Archdiocese of Louisville.


Please describe DeSales in three words.

Faith. Brotherhood. Tradition.


Where are you and what are you doing now?

I was just ordained a Catholic priest on June 1, 2024. After graduating from WKU, I studied Philosophy at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology (2018-2020) and received a MA in Catholic Philosophical Studies. Then I began theological studies at Theological College and the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. I received a graduate level Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology (STB) in 2023, and am currently working to receive a Licentiate in Canon Law from CUA. I was ordained a deacon for the Archdiocese of Louisville on March 25, 2023.


What do you like most about what you are doing?

As a Catholic priest, what I like most is encountering people where they are at in their joys, pains, and struggles, and helping them to know God and who they are in relationship to Him - as sons and daughters of the living God.


What is your favorite memory about DeSales?

My favorite memory of DeSales was being able to go on immersion week. I remember each time I went, but my favorite time was my senior year when I was able to go to England and out of the country for the first time. That trip sparked my love for travel, and I have made several overseas trips since then.


Who influenced you most during your time at DeSales?

It is hard to name only one person who influenced me the most at DeSales. In many ways, everyone I encountered there influenced me to be the man I am today. Yet, if I was to name one or two people, I would say Mrs. Gaynor McAnally and Mr. Matt Sommer. Mrs. Mac was the first person who made me feel at home in DeSales. She was my art teacher, and helped to grow more and more passionate for art of every kind, and to develop my own hobbies that I still participate in today. Mr. Sommer was one of my English teachers, and he taught me to never stop learning and growing, no matter the subject or expertise. He was a role model I looked up to as a student and a man I am proud to call my friend today. Each of my teachers influenced me, and I am the man I am today because of them.


What classes and learning experiences did you have at DeSales that are beneficial to the work you do?

My courses in Theology at DeSales, as well as my retreat experiences, helped me grow in my faith and develop a love for studying theology and helping people grow closer in relationship to God.


What is the most important thing you learned while you were at DeSales?

One of the most important things I learned at DeSales is that family is more than blood relation. My biological family is important, but DeSales is a true family of faith and brotherhood. My brothers at DeSales were and are important to me, because their friendships helped me grow as a leader, a man of faith, and as a brother. DeSales taught me what true Faith and Family means, and because of that, I am able to share that with others.


What advice do you have for current (or potential) students at DeSales?

As St. Francis DeSales once said, “Be who you are and be that well.” To be a DeSales man means to be authentically you, to love and grow as your own person, devoted to Christ and to your fellow brothers and sisters. Remain close to God, and to his Son, Jesus Christ. If you can do this, then you can do anything you set your mind to - for with God, all things are possible.


What do you like to do in your free time?

In my free time, I love to read, to draw and paint, to watch tv and movies, and hang out with my friends.


What is something people may not know about you?

I love plants and gardening. I have several potted plants that travel around with me, and I hope to have a beautiful garden at whichever rectory I will be at.


Do you still stay in touch with any of your DeSales friends?

I do to some extent. Many of my friends from DeSales have gone on to do amazing things, gotten married, and started their own families while I’ve gone on for further studies. I have enjoyed watching their lives grow via social media, and am looking forward to returning to the Louisville area for good to serve these same friends as their priest.


What’s next for you/where do you see yourself in five years?

Well, what’s next for me is that I will be ordained a Catholic priest on June 1st, and will be in residence at St. Rita over the summer. I will return to DC to study Canon Law at the Catholic University of America in the fall. In five years, I hope to have finished my degree, return to Louisville, and have my own parish in the Archdiocese of Louisville.