Francis de Paul Kealy, OFM
1922 – 2006
Fr. Francis de Paul Kealy, OFM, was born on Oct. 27, 1922, in Jersey City, N.J. After one year at St. Aloysius High School, he entered St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary, Callicoon, N.Y., in 1938.
In 1944, he was received into the Province’s novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., and professed first vows there the following year. Fr. Francis professed final vows in 1948 at Holy Name College, Washington, D.C. He was ordained to a priest at the Chapel of Trinity College in 1950.
After ordination, Fr. Francis was assigned to Bishop Timon High School in Buffalo, N.Y., serving as prefect and teacher from 1951 to 1958. He then moved to Lafayette, N.J., to be a part of the novitiate program at St. Raphael Friary. There, he served as procurator and then assistant novice master.
In 1960, Fr. Francis moved to Callicoon and taught in the seminary for five years. From 1965 until 1977, he was a part of the Province’s mission band, residing at two of the Province’s New York City friaries. He was appointed director of the Mission Band in 1971, and during that time he also earned a master’s degree in speech and theatre from Columbia University’s Teachers College.
Fr. Francis’ next assignment was for a year of continuing education at Holy Name College; however, what was to be one year actually became seven years. He was well-liked in that large and disparate community for his repartee and sharing his experiences as a preacher, teacher and counselor. He resumed ministry in the mission band mission band while at Holy Name College until 1984.
In 1984, he served in the Province’s Ministry of the Word while residing at Sacred Heart Friary in East Rutherford, N.J. In 1987, he became guardian of Our Lady’s Friary, New Bedford, Mass., and in 1992, he moved to Manhattan to serve as parochial vicar at St. Francis of Assisi Church.
In June 2003, Fr. Francis was transferred to St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J. He was hospitalized in 2005, prompting a move to Holy Name Friary, Ringwood, N.J.
He died March 11, 2006, at Holy Name Friary. Fr. Francis was 83 years old, a professed friar for 60 years and a priest for 55 years.