Monday, March 26, 2012

Rev. Jim Kelly

Fr. Jim Kelly, a life-long learner
Glenmary priest, Fr. James Patrick Kelly passed away last week at the age of 95. Fr. Jim professed his first Oath with Glenmary in 1949, meaning he served 63 years as a Home Missioner. 
Apart from his years of service in the missions, Fr. Jim’s major contributions included serving as personal secretary for Glenmary’s founder, Fr. William Howard Bishop, faithfully preserving much of our history and continually calling Glenmarians to sanctification. The sanctification of members was a great concern of his. Every year at our annual gatherings, Fr. Jim would remind us that we are called to a deepening of our holiness through prayer, retreats, adoration, frequent confession, small group sharing and many other means. I thank Jim for this reminder and pray for his intercession in heaven for my own sanctification and the sanctification of all Glenmary members.
As I got to know Fr. Jim better in recent years I have been continually impressed by his never giving up at learning something new. Just last year he showed me his collection of books about Google and the internet that he had been reading. He wanted to know how the internet worked and what he could do with it at his age. A few months ago he asked me to help him set up his Facebook account and take him to the store so that he could buy a book about using Facebook and Twitter. I did not know that books like that existed; I thought you just had to get online and learn it there. Sure enough we found a book and Jim was excited to be reading and learning about something new. I am thankful for his enthusiasm and desire to be a life-long learner. His quest to continue to learn his entire life is a great inspiration to me.

A favorite quote by Fr. Jim is:
"We are trying to make the Church available to every American and that means we have to cover the territory. We succeeded, I think, in improving it. It is better than it was. The Church is more available to more people than it was when we first started." 

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