A few days before Christmas, Brother Kevin Stephens OP, joined Jerusalem as an administrator of Ebaf and a trustee of St. Stephen convent. He takes over from Brother Stanislaw Gurgul OP, who joins the Dominican convent of Geneva.

Brother Kevin comes from the province of Saint Albert the Great in the United States. Perfectly bilingual, he learned French at school, and practiced it a lot in the refectory of St. Stephen’s convent! As a computer scientist, an actor and a biblical scholar, he is not at the École biblique et archéologique française of Jérusalem for the first time. He joined the Dominicans in 2001, after ten years spent in a semi-professional theatre company where, among other things, he directed Robert Schenkkan’s “Kentucky Cycle” (winner of the 1992 Pulitzer Prize) and acted in Corneille’s “L’Illusion comique”.
Ordained a priest in 2008, he studied for his Sacred Scripturies Licence at Ébaf from 2008 to 2012, before defending his doctoral thesis on the nudity of Isaiah in 2019. Since 2008, he has been part of the Bible in its Traditions research programme. “You could say I wrote the BEST website,” he smiles. Until his arrival, he also taught Old Testament at the Aquinas Institute of Theology (Saint Louis, Missouri).

In March 2023, he received the announcement, of his assignment to Jerusalem as a surprise, but a “surprise that makes sense”. His background as a computer scientist and his many stays at the École biblique et archéologique française will be just some of the assets he will need to succeed Brother Stanislaw. Relieved to have finally arrived after four postponements due to the war, Brother Kevin confides that he is deeply happy to be back living in Jerusalem and serving Ébaf – “my second home”. Being reunited with the brothers, the local culture and the atmosphere of this corner of the Middle East, with its smells, tastes, faces and shared stories that he left four years ago, give this new stage its full meaning.

1910, the procurator in his office, with the postal scale in the background

Brother Kevin, with the postal scale, inherited from brother Stanislaw

Photos: Ébaf, photothèque and Charlotte Desachy
Interview by ChD