The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

Rev Fr John A Kelly RIP

It is with great sadness that we announce that Fr John Kelly died on the evening 13 March in St James’ Hospital, Leeds.

Please pray for the repose of his soul and for his family and friends at this time.

Details of the funeral arrangements will be available in due course.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.

Rev Fr John A. Kelly RIP

John Anthony Kelly was born in Leeds on 9 May 1941. His family were well known in East Leeds as his father was a local GP. He was accepted as a student for the Diocese of Leeds by Bishop Dwyer and went to Rome to study for the priesthood at the Venerable English College. He was ordained at the Venerabile on 7 November 1965, during the final days of the Second Vatican Council.

Early in 1966 Fr Kelly took up appointment as Assistant Priest at St Paulinus’ parish, Dewsbury. After six years in West Yorkshire he was appointed to St Peter’s, Doncaster in the south of the county, when Doncaster was still a Leeds parish, before the creation of the Diocese of Hallam. In 1974 he became the Catholic Chaplain to the University of Bradford, based at the Chaplaincy in Ashgrove, opposite the main buildings of the university campus. He remained there for six years until his first appointment as Parish Priest, to the Sacred Heart at Bingley, in 1980.

After seven years in Bingley Fr Kelly’s ministry took a decidedly different turn when he joined the Leeds Diocesan Mission in Peru, and went to live in the capital city, Lima. He spent the next decade in Peru, returning to the Leeds Diocese in 1997 when he became the parish Priest of Our Lady of Good Counsel at Seacroft, in Leeds. His stay there was brief and in the following year he returned to the Diocesan Mission in Peru.

Fr Kelly returned to Yorkshire in 2002 and became the Parish Priest of St Columba, Bradford. In 2006 he moved to St Gregory’s at Swarcliffe in Leeds where he remained for the next five years. His final appointment came in 2011 when Bishop Roche asked him to move a few miles down the York Road to become the Parish Priest of St Patrick’s. He retired in 2018 at the age of seventy-seven. At that point Fr Kelly took up residence at Hinsley Court in Headingley where he lived until declining health led to him moving into Mount St Joseph’s Home, to be cared for by the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Like all the residents of Mount St Joseph’s, Fr Kelly was affected by the RAAC concrete crisis which emerged in late 2023 and is forcing the closure of the home. Recently Fr Kelly had moved to an alternative care home in Leeds. His death, at the age of eighty-two, came suddenly and after a brief stay in hospital, on 13 March 2024.

May he rest in peace.