Rev. John J. Kelly. - As pastor of the Church of the Visitation at Norfolk, Father Kelly occupies an important
place in the life of the community and is a highly esteemed citizen of St. Lawrence County. He was born at Marlboro,
Mass., April 26, 1882, the son of Peter and Rose (Mullaney) Kelly.
Peter Kelly and his wife were natives of Ireland. He was educated in the Boston public schools and his entire life
was spent in the shoe business. As a young man he entered the employ of the Samuel Boyd Tea Company, now the Marlboro
Shoe Company, and was identified with that concern for a period of 55 years. He died in 1919 and his wife died
in 1901. Both are buried in Boston. Mr. Kelly was a Democrat and held membership in the Immaculate Conception Church
at Marlboro. To Mr. and Mrs. Kelly were born three children: 1. Theresa M., who died in 1916, was the wife of Edward
Hannigan. 2. Jennie A., lives at Marlboro. 3. John J., the subject of this sketch.
After his graduation from Marlboro High School, John J. Kelly attended St. Lawrence College in Montreal. He spent
five years in the study of theology at the University of Louvain, in Belgium, being ordained to the priesthood
at Louvain, on July 15, 1906. Reverend Kelly then returned to the United States and became assistant pastor of
St. Patrick's Church at Chateaugay, N. Y. After three months he was transferred to Rossie as assistant, and after
a year became located at Port Henry, N. Y., as assistant at St. Patrick's Church. He also was identified with St.
Patrick's Church in Watertown for two and one half years, and spent more than a year as assistant of St. Mary's
Church at Ticonderoga, N. Y. He was then located at Clintonville, N. Y., in 1911 as pastor of St. Catherine's Church.
After serving as pastor of St. James Church at Cadyville for 12 years, Father Kelly came to Norfolk in 1925. On
July 25, 1931, he celebrated his 25th anniversary in this diocese. Solemn High Mass was sung by Father Kelly, assisted
by Father R. Morrissey, of Hartford, Conn., as deacon, and Father James S. Duffy, of Norwood, as sub deacon. There
were present four Monsigneurs, Crowley, Pierce, Lacey, and O'Neil. Twenty priests also assisted at the services,
as well as Bishop Conroy, of Ogdensburg. Later a banquet was held in honor of Father Kelly. There were fifty priests
present besides Bishop Conroy.
Father Kelly is identified with the Knights of Columbus.
The North Country
A History, Embracing
Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Oswego, Lewis
and Franklin Counties, New York.
By: Harry F. Landon
Historical Publishing Company
Indianopolis, Indiana 1932