Fr. James Kelly O.S.B. (1931-2006)
Born Clement Kelly, in Dansville, NY on August 20, 1931 to Clement and Caroline Kelly. Baptized in St. Patrick's Church, Dansville. Entered Mount Saviour Monastery on October 7, 1951. Clothed as postulant and receiving James as his name in religion on Nov. 1, 1951. Sent to St. Benoit-du-Lac in Canada, which at the time benevolently trained the novices of the recently ( earlier in 1951) founded Mount Saviour, where he began his novitiate on July 22, 1952.
Pronounced his simple vows on July 25, 1953. Sent to study philosophy at Conception Abbey, MO. in September of that year and to S. Anselmo in Rome the following October to continue his studies for the priesthood. Ordained subdeacon at Assisi in 1956 and a deacon at the abbey of Subiaco in June of the following year(1957). Together with others from Mount Saviour studying at S. Anselmo he spent the summer of 1955 at the abbey of Maria Laach in the Rhineland, the summer of 1956 at the abbey of Engelberg in Switzerland, and the summer of 1957 at the abbey of Solesmes, France. On July 11, his solemn profession was received on behalf of Mount Saviour by Dom Ildefonso Rea, abbot of Monte Cassino in the newly restored basilica of that abbey.
Ordained to the priesthood by Bishop James Kearney at Mount Saviour on July 25, 1958. Returning to Rome to complete his studies just prior to the election of Bl. John XXIII, he received his S.T.L. from S.Anselmo in June, 1959. In December 1962 he was sent to aid the community of Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem, beginning studies at the Ecole Biblique in October of 1963, remaining in Jerusalem until June 1967. During these years he learned to converse in both Hebrew and Arabic and traveled on education trips to Egypt (several occasions, including visits to the then well nigh undiscovered Coptic monasteries), Iraq and Iran, several visits to Lebanon and Syria. On one of his visits to Turkey (1967) he was received and entertained by both the Orthodox Armenian patriarch Schnoik and by the Greek Orthodox patriarch Athenagoras, who introduced him to other Greek prelates as "Fr. James, my spiritual grandson." This same year, 1967, he received his S.S.L. from the Pontifical Biblical Commission.
Professor of Scripture at St. Bernard's Seminary, Rochester NY from 1968-1970, he began research as Visiting Fellow at Princeton Seminary in 1970 for his S.T.D. with specialization in Scripture received from the Antonianum in Rome, after further studies at the Franciscan Biblical Institute in Jerusalem. He was Visiting Scholar at Cambridge University in 1977-78 and served as campus minister to Hobart College 1979-81 and to Cornell University 1981-83, as well as at St. Leo College 1983-86. He subsequently served as civilian chaplain to the U.S. Army in Germany,1987-90 (Nuremberg) and to the U.S. Dept. of Defense at Bad Aibling , near Munich, from 1990-1994. Since then he has remained at Mount Saviour, occasionally giving Scripture workshops both at Mount Saviour and in parish communities, in addition to serving as Mount Saviour's outreach to the poor in the form of preaching once per month on behalf of Food for the Poor.
He died in his sleep before the Easter Vigil on April 16th, 2006.