Father Francis de Paul Kealy, OFM, 83 years of age, a professed friar for 60 years and a priest for 55 years, died on March 11 at Holy Name Friary, Ringwood, N.J.
Francis was born on Oct. 27, 1922, in Jersey City, N.J., to Michael and Catherine (née Silk) Kealy. He was baptized Robert on Nov. 19 at St. Mary’s Church. He graduated from Sacred Heart Parochial School in 1937, and after one year at Aloysius High School, he entered St. Joseph Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y. He attended Callicoon from 1938 to 1944.
Raphael Adams received Francis into the novitiate in Paterson, N.J., Aug. 12, 1944. He professed his first vows before Bertrand Campbell, on Aug. 14, 1945.
He pursued the normal course of studies in philosophy at St. Stephen’s Friary in Croghan, N.Y., and St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J. He undertook his theological studies at Holy Name College in Washington, D.C., and professed his final vows there on Sept. 17, 1948. He was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Amleto Cicogani in the Chapel of Trinity College on June 11, 1950.
After ordination, Francis was assigned to Bishop Timon/St. Jude High School in Buffalo, N.Y. There he served as prefect and teacher from 1951 to 1958 before transferring to St. Raphael Novitiate in Lafayette, N.J., as procurator and then assistant novice master. In 1960, he moved to Callicoon, where he taught in the seminary until 1965. He joined the Province’s Mission Band residing at Holy Cross Friary, Bronx, N.Y., from 1965 to 1973, and at St. Stephen of Hungary Friary on East 82nd Street in Manhattan until 1977. 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.
In 1977, Francis was assigned to Holy Name College, Washington, D.C., for a year of continuing education, and then returned to the Mission Band, while residing at Holy Name College until 1984. From 1984 until 1987, he served in the Ministry of the Word, while residing at Sacred Heart Friary in East Rutherford, N.J. In 1987, he was assigned as guardian of Our Lady’s Friary in New Bedford, Mass. From 1992 until June of 2003, he was parochial vicar at St. Francis of Assisi Church on West 31st Street in Manhattan, before transferring to St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J. Francis was hospitalized in 2005 and then went to Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J., where he died on March 11, 2006.