Joseph Healey-Biography

Joseph Graham Healey was born on April 29, 1938 in Detroit, Michigan, son of John Anthony Healey and Virginia Mary Graham. At an early age his family moved to Baltimore, Maryland. He has two brothers, three stepbrothers and one sister. He attended Gilman School and graduated from Portsmouth Abbey High School in Rhode Island in June 1956. After three years at Princeton University he entered Maryknoll College, Glen Ellyn, Illinois, on September 4, 1959. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Maryknoll College in June 1961, and his Bachelor of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees from Maryknoll Seminary, New York. He was ordained a priest there on June 11, 1966. After ordination, Father Healey received a Masters degree in Journalism (International Communications) at the University of Missouri in 1968 and then worked for the Maryknoll Magazine at Maryknoll, New York and produced religion television programs for the local NBC affiliate station in New York City.

He came to Kenya in 1968 and founded the Regional Catholic Bishops Association (AMECEA) Social Communications Office based in Nairobi. For many years he served in parish and missionary ministry in three places in Tanzania: Rulenge, Musoma and Dar es Salaam.He lives in Nairobi, Kenya. 

Presently he teaches a full semester core course on “Small Christian Communities (SCCs) as a New Model of Church in Africa Today” at Tangaza University College (CUEA) in Nairobi and a similar Elective Course at Hekima University College (CUEA) in Nairobi. He facilitates SCC Workshops and animates SCCs in Eastern Africa. He is a member of the Interim Eastern Africa Small Christian Communities (SCCs) Training Team.

He is an ordinary member of the St. Kizito Small Christian Community in the Waruku Section of St. Austin’s Parish in Nairobi Archdiocese. He is a member of St. Isidore of Seville International Online Skype Small Christian Community. He represents the Maryknoll Africa Region on the Orbis Books Advisory Committee of the Maryknoll Society. He is on the National Missionary Council of PMS and the Cardinal Otunga Beatification Committee.

His main ministries are:

1. Animating Small Christian Communities.

a. He wrote Building the Church as Family of God: Evaluation of Small Christian
Communities in Eastern Africa, Eldoret: AMECEA Gaba Publications – CUEA Press Double Spearhead Nos. 199-200 (2012). The book is updated every month and is presently 1,002 pages. It is available as a free online digital (electronic) Ebook on the Small Christian Communities Global Collaborative Website at:

b. He co-edited Small Christian Communities Today: Capturing the New Moment, (Orbis Books and Paulines Publications Africa, 2005.

c. He co-edited Strengthening the Growth of Small Christian Communities in Africa — A Training Handbook for Facilitators, Nairobi: AMECEA Pastoral Department and Nairobi: Paulines Publications Africa, 2017.

d. He is the Moderator of the Small Christian Communities Global Collaborative Website ( and the SCCs Facebook Page.

e. For the last five years he has helped to form and strengthen Youth Small Christian Communities (YSCCs) and promoted them through social media networking.

2. Promoting African culture and values:
a. He co-authored Towards an African Narrative Theology, Orbis Books and Paulines Publications Africa, 1996.)

b. He is the Moderator of the African Proverbs, Sayings and Stories Website ( and African Proverbs, Sayings and Stories Facebook Page.

c. He is the Coordinator of the Sukuma Legacy Project.

d. He has written several books of African stories.

He has contributed the following chapters in books and journals:

1. “Small Christian Communities: Promoters of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace in Eastern Africa” in Reconciliation, Justice and Peace – the Second African Synod (Orbis Books and Acton Publishers).
2. “Historical Development of the Small Christian Communities/Basic Ecclesial Communities in Africa.” in Small Christian Communities: Fresh Stimulus for a Forward-looking Church (Herder and Claretian Publications).
3. “How African Small Christian Communities Implement the Pastoral and Missionary Vision of Vatican II” in Tangaza Journal of Theology and Mission
4. “Promoting Small Christian Communities in Eastern Africa in the Light of The Joy of the Gospel.” Chapter in Klaus Krämer, and Klaus Vellguth, Evangelii Gaudium: Voices of the Universal Church, Quezon City: Claretian Communications Foundation).
5. Promoting Small Christian Communities in Africa through the Internet” in International Journal of African Catholicism (IJAC),
6. “Small Christian Communities (SCCs) Promote Family Ministry in Eastern Africa,” Hekima Review,
7. “Beyond Vatican II: Imagining the Catholic Church of Nairobi I” in Emmanuel Orobator, The Church We Want: African Catholics Look to Vatican III (Orbis Books and Acton Publishers).
8. “Small Christian Communities (SCCs) as Agents of Change in the Fight Against HIV AND AIDS in Eastern Africa” in Jacquineau Azetsop, HIV and AIDS in Africa: Theological Reflection, Public Health Crises, and Social Transformation, (Orbis Books).
9. “What Catholic Young People Really Want to Talk About” in Kevin Ahern and Christopher Derige Malano, God’s Quad: Small Faith Communities on Campus and Beyond (Orbis Books).

He has helped to produce a number of videos and DVDs on SCCs, African culture and mission as well as coordinate radio and TV programs.


Rev. Joseph G. Healey, MM
Maryknoll Society
P.O. Box 43058
00100 Nairobi, Kenya
0723-362-993 (Safaricom, Kenya)
973-216-4997 (AT&T, USA)
Skype: joseph-healey