Cornelius F. Kelly, OFM
1914 – 2004
Fr. Cornelius Kelly, OFM, was born on Sept. 16, 1914 in Boston and baptized Joseph. He studied at Holy Ghost College in Cornwells Heights, Pa., from 1927 to 1932 and was received into the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., as Cornelius Francis in 1932. He professed temporary vows one year later, made his solemn profession in 1936 and was ordained in 1939.
After ordination, Fr. Cornelius was stationed at St. Francis of Assisi Church as a confessor. He then ministered at St. Patrick’s Parish in Buffalo, N.Y., from 1943 to 1945. He went to St. Francis Friary, Brookline, Mass., as an assistant before serving as vicar for four years, beginning in 1946. In 1950, Fr. Cornelius was appointed the first superior at St. Francis College. He supervised the renovations and prepared the buildings to be used as a clericate. He then served as pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Echo Lake, N.J.
Fr. Cornelius moved back to Boston in 1967, where he ministered at St. Anthony Shrine until 1970. He then became guardian at Our Lady’s Chapel, New Bedford, Mass., where he served until 1975. For 12 years, he worked at St. Anthony’s Guild. In 1990, Fr. Cornelius retired to St. Anthony Residence in Boston, living there until he transferred to Holy Name Friary, Ringwood, N.J.
He died there on Jan. 11, 2004. Fr. Cornelius was 90 years old, a professed friar for 70 years and a priest for 64 years.