Father Gerald E. Kelly, M.M., a Maryknoll priest who received the 2017 Pope Francis Mission Award for “embodying mission” in all he did, died March 7 in Houston. He was 85.
Father Kelly, who served in Chile for decades, was commended for his dedication and enthusiasm for Maryknoll and his passion for mission. The award came from the United States Catholic Mission Association.. Father Kelly served churches in Chile as pastor and assistant pastor. Also in Chile, he established agricultural projects, worked in team ministry and served as first alternate consultor to the Maryknoll regional superior.
While at Maryknoll Seminary, he participated in religious education programs in Dobbs Ferry and community development projects in Harlem.
He was a promoter of Maryknoll mission work while based in Houston.
Born in Malden, Mass., he entered Maryknoll in 1961 and was ordained in 1967. He held a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Boston College. Before Maryknoll, he served as a helicopter pilot in the U.S. Army.
Father Kelly is survived by his brother, James Kelly, and his sister, Kathleen Cuthbertson.
A Funeral Mass was offered March 18 at the Maryknoll Society Center in Queen of Apostles Chapel. Burial was at the Maryknoll Society Cemetery.