Cronan Kelly, OFM
1917 – 1993
Fr. Cronan Kelly, OFM, was born on Jan. 2, 1917 in Pittsburgh. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame, he entered the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., on Aug. 12, 1938, professing temporary vows one year later. He made his solemn profession and was ordained in 1942.
After ordination, Fr. Cronan was assigned to St. Francis of Assisi Parish in New York City, where he served as secretary to the General Delegate. In 1947, he went to the General Curia in Rome for four years as secretary to the General Procurator.
Fr. Cronan’s rich and varied career consisted of serving as chaplain of the Newman Club at the University of Georgia, guardian and pastor of St. Francis Parish and Friary in New York City, chairman of the committee for brothers’ affairs, Provincial Councilor from 1964 to 1967, and visitor to the Holy Cross Commissariat in 1967, the Commissariat of the Holy Land in 1968, and St. John the Baptist Province in 1972. He served as Provincial Vicar of Holy Name Province from 1967 to 1976, director of the Family Circle Pilgrimages from 1978 to 1987, and Provincial Secretary from 1987 to 1989.
Fr. Cronan was a shy man who enjoyed community life and used his energy and talents for the good of Holy Name Province. He was a significant spiritual leader during the post-Vatican II years, and a diligent friar who knew the value of work.
He died on Dec. 14, 1993 at St. Anthony’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla. Fr. Cronan was 76 years old, a professed friar for 54 years and a priest for 51 years.