Remembering Fr. John Kelly, SJ, beloved teacher, campus minister and pastor

Rev. John T. Kelly, SJ, was born in Philadelphia, Pa. on June 10, 1942. He graduated from St. Joseph’s Prep and entered the Novitiate of St. Isaac Jogues in Wernersville, Pa. in 1960. He received his Bachelor’s in History and Philosophy from Loyola Seminary in Shrub Oak, NY, and a master’s in American History from Fordham University. He also earned a Master of Divinity from Woodstock College in NY and later went on to receive a master’s in counseling/psychology from New York University. He was ordained a priest on June 1, 1974.

Following ordination, Fr. Kelly spent a year teaching social studies at Xavier High School in NY and another year as director of counseling at Loyola College in Baltimore. After receiving his master’s in counseling/psychology, he became chairman of the counseling department at his alma mater, St. Joseph’s Prep, where he remained for seven years, also teaching Latin.

In 1985, he moved to The University of Scranton to serve for four years as the assistant dean of admissions. Then, heading to Washington, D.C., Fr. Kelly landed at Georgetown University, where he spent most of the decade, his first year as a counselor in the school of business and then eight years as a campus minister.

Fr. Kelly’s next jaunt took him overseas where he spent nine years as pastor of St. Leonhard Parish in Frankfurt, Germany. In 2009, he returned to the States and served for a year as retreat director at Loyola on the Potomac Retreat House in Maryland before beginning a 10-year assignment in pastoral ministry at the Jesuit community at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

Fr. Kelly died on April 18, 2020 at the age of 77.

Recent News

Bishop George V. Murry, SJ, Fifth Bishop of Youngstown, OH, dies at 71.

June 1, 2020 — “As a black man living in America, the video of George Floyd’s suffocation cues unhealed experiences with police in this country and makes me less optimistic that change between the Black community and the police will soon change."

May 27, 2020 - Now more than ever, we invoke God to wipe away the darkness of anxiety, allowing us to be guided by the light of Christ and to trust in God’s promise of new life. Over the last few months, our Jesuit provinces have been in a place we don’t often find ourselves, a place that saw our schools closed, parishes empty, and the halls of our retreat centers giving new meaning to the word “silent.”

May 13, 2020 - Fr. Daniel Lahart, SJ, president of Regis High School recently asked one of the school’s alumni, Dr. Anthony Fauci, class of ’58, to record a video for the Jesuit graduates of 2020.

May 12, 2020 - Susan Baber has been named the Associate Provincial Assistant for Secondary Education for the new USA East Jesuit Province. The new province will come into being on July 31, Susan will assume this new role in August.

Fr. Dennis E. McNally, SJ, beloved painter and professor of fine arts at Saint Joseph’s University, dies at 76.

May 5, 2020 - Let us pray that deacons, faithful in their service to the Word and the poor, may be an invigorating symbol for the entire Church.

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