Msgr. Charles S. Kelly


Msgr. Charles S. Kelly, pastor of St. John and St. Mary parish in Chappaqua since 2002, died Oct. 11 after suffering a heart attack. He was 63. A Funeral Mass was offered on Oct. 16 at St. John and St. Mary Church. Auxiliary Bishop Gerald T. Walsh, vicar of North Manhattan and pastor of St. Elizabeth's parish, was the celebrant, and Msgr. Patrick J. Keenan, pastor of St. Columbanus parish in Cortlandt Manor, was the homilist. Bishop Walsh told CNY that Msgr. Kelly was "a very faithful priest" who was a true pastor to all of the people of the parishes in which he served. "He was very compassionate to immigrants and poor people, and at the same time able to service the people who had more means," he said. Bishop Walsh described Msgr. Kelly as someone who was also "very interested in the well-being of priests." During his homily, Msgr. Keenan, who had been a friend of Msgr. Kelly's since their days at St. Joseph's Seminary, also commented on the close relationships Msgr. Kelly had with other priests, especially with his classmates. During their years in the seminary, Msgr. Kelly "took me under his wing," he said. "There are many ways to characterize Charlie, but the thing that stands out is that he wanted to be a kind priest," Msgr. Keenan said. He explained that the spiritual director during their time at St. Joseph's Seminary, Msgr. John Sullivan, would say, "If there is one thing you want to do as a parish priest-be kind-people will accept all your failings if you are a kind priest." "Charlie strove to live up to that, and I am sure that is how his parishioners looked upon him," he said. He told those in attendance that Msgr. Kelly, who spoke Spanish, was also very active in ministry to Spanish-speaking people. Msgr. Kelly earlier had served as pastor at St. Peter's parish in Haverstraw, 1987-2002. He also served as parochial vicar of St. Joseph's, Middletown, 1983-1987; St. Bernard's, White Plains, 1974-1983; and Our Lady of Lourdes, Manhattan, 1969-1974. Born in Wilmington, Del., he began his studies for the priesthood at Cathedral College before continuing on to St. Joseph's Seminary. He was ordained in 1969 and named a monsignor in 1999. He is survived by a brother, John. Burial was in St. Peter's Cemetery in Haverstraw.