Archdiocesan Priest, Rev. William J. Kelly Dies
Served Oak Park Parishes for Many Years
Chicago, IL (December 31, 2009) – Rev. William J. Kelly, an Archdiocese of Chicago priest who was a pastor and assistant pastor in Oak Park parishes for nearly 30 years, died on Monday, December 28. He was 89 years old and had been retired from active ministry since 1987. He was living with his niece, Ms. Patricia Jones, in Cicero at the time of his death.
A Chicago native, Fr. Kelly attended Catholic elementary schools in Chicago and graduated from Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary and the University of St. Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary. He was ordained in 1948 by Samuel Cardinal Stritch. Fr. Kelly did post graduate work in psychology at Loyola University and was a counselor for the Catholic Family Consultation Service in the late 50s. In his parish ministry Fr. Kelly also used this expertise to counsel married couples.
His first assignment was as assistant pastor at Nativity of Our Lord Parish, where he served for six years. For nine years beginning in 1954, Fr. Kelly was the assistant pastor at St. Edmund Parish in Oak Park. In 1963, he was named assistant pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Parish, on W. Roosevelt and Hoyne, where he served for five years before assuming the same duties at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Oak Park from 1968 to 1975. All of these parishes, with the exception of St. Edmund, are now closed.
In 1975, Fr. Kelly was named pastor of St. Edmund Parish, and remained there for the next 12 years until his retirement from active ministry in 1987, when he was named pastor emeritus.
Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago, will be the main celebrant at a funeral Mass for Fr. Kelly on Tuesday, January 5, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Edmund Church, 188 South Oak Park Avenue in Oak Park. Retired Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Goedert will deliver the homily. Inurnment will be at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside. In addition to Ms. Jones, Fr. Kelly is survived by another niece and six nephews.
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