The Rev. Charles H. McKenna, O.P., 75, a former prior of the Dominican House of Studies in Washington and the pastor of St. Dominic's Church here from 1971 to 1978, died of cardiac arrest Thursday at the Washington Hospital Center.

Father McKenna, who was born in Pawtucket, R.I., graduated from Providence College in Providence, R.I., in 1926 and then entered the Dominican Order. He was ordained at St. Dominic's Church in Washington on June 15, 1931. He earned a master's degree in international law at Catholic University in 1932.

Except for the years 1935 to 1938, when he studied at Oxford University, England, Father McKenna was a teacher at his alma mater, Providence College, until 1955. He then was assigned to St. Stephen's Priory in Dover, Mass., and in 1958 moved to the Dominican House of Studies in Washington as prior.

He remained at the House of Studies until 1964, when he went to St. Catherine's Priory in New York City. In 1971, he returned to St. Dominic's as its pastor and prior. Since 1978, when he retired, he had been assistant director of the National Rosary Shrine of St. Jude at St. Dominic's Church.

He leaves no immediate survivors.