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Monsignor Charles A. Kelly, Jr.
Monsignor Charles A. Kelly, Jr. was born in Richmond, Virginia on July 2, 1942. He was the son of Charles A. Kelly, Sr. and Grace Elizabeth Beckett Kelly.
Msgr. Kelly attended Cathedral Elementary School in Richmond, Va. and graduated from Benedictine High School in Richmond in June, 1960. He began his studies for the priesthood at saint Mary's Seminary in Baltimore. In 1964, he was assigned to the North American College in Rome, Italy to complete his studies. On December 21, 1967, Msgr. Kelly was ordained a priest for the Catholic Diocese of Richmond at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. He received a Licentiate Degree in Sacred Theology from the North American College in June, 1968.
Msgr. Kelly began his ministry serving as Secretary to the Bishop and in the Diocesan Marriage Tribunal in July, 1968. He was appointed to serve as Vice-Chancellor for the Diocese in June, 1969 and also served as an associate pastor at Sacred Heart Parish from June, 1970 to July, 1971.
In July, 1971, Msgr. Kelly returned to the North American College in Rome for graduate studies. He joined the faculty at the North American College in September, 1972 and became its Vice-Rector in December, 1974.
In August, 1979, Msgr. Kelly returned to the United States and became the Pastor of St. Mary's Parish in Richmond.
Msgr. Kelly's first homily to St. Mary's is a reflection of his vision and his desire to work for the Lord. He stated that he was sent to St. Mary's by the Lord and the Church to live, to work, to pray, and give thanks with the parish as its Pastor.
He reflected on the core of St. Mary's parish identity as:
Freedom to believe in a God who cares, forgives and unites
Freedom to trust in and share the gifts of mind and heart in all and each other
Freedom to grow in a communion of life and love with God and one another
He pledged to the parish to do his best to:
Call us to prayer - personal and shared prayer at liturgy - deepening our relationship with the Lord
To make St. Mary's always hospitable to the Word and Spirit of God
To proclaim God's word clearly and meaningfully. He stated that he would put forth his best effort to share parishioner's lives, to be accessible and to be open to the parishioner's experience of life.
He encouraged the parishioners to share their gifts for service to all, that together, we may be something beautiful for God and share his glory through service to the Church and to the world. He asked the parishioners to ground their lives, their insights, and their decisions in prayer.