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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.





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JESUITS Magazine: Winter 2020

JESUITS Magazine: Spring/Summer 2019

JESUITS Magazine: Fall/Winter 2018



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