Joseph A. Kelly, S.J. Memorial Scholarship
Beginning in 1968, Rev. Joseph A. Kelly, S.J. inspired generations of students at Saint Peter's to embrace the Jesuit ideals and live worthwhile lives. To many, he was our priest, our friend, our confidant. As director of campus ministry, he advocated a genuine spirituality and promoted issues of social justice. His homilies were thoughtful and brief, funny and piercing. He posed more questions than he gave answers, like the question he often posed to students: "What is the best possible use to which to put your life?" Fr. Kelly advised, "Listen to the answer, and do not be afraid."
When he died on December 5, 2008, an annual scholarship for students involved in campus ministry or community service projects was established in his memory. To date, it has benefited nine students: Jacob Hayden '10, Matthew Santomenna '12, Marissa Ferris '12, Michael Murcia '12, Marlin Fernandez '13, Nashay Hendrick '13, ShaVonne Honor '15, Nelcida Garcia '15 and Christian Rendon '18.
Carmel Galasso '79, Fr. Kelly's longtime friend and former colleague in the Office of Campus Ministry at Saint Peter's, described him as a man of prayer, courage and joy. She said, "His greatest gift at Saint Peter’s was as he would say 'the ministry of presences.' Joe wanted to travel with people on their journey and make the road less lonely."
One of his homilies stated, "We preexisted in God's mind. We came into this life for a short time, and we return to the God who made us. Somehow or other our death is destined for the good of others and the fruitfulness of our lives is often shown after we die." This is true of Fr. Kelly. His good work continues through the Joseph A. Kelly, S.J. H '05 Memorial Scholarship.
Carmel said, "I have had the opportunity to meet the Kelly Scholars (some featured in the above photo) and I see the impact of my gift in support of this scholarship. Joe loved Saint Peter's and would be thrilled that he is remembered in this special way. Scholarships are very important at Saint Peter's as many students have financial need. As we celebrate the seventh anniversary of Joe's passing, please consider a gift to the Kelly Scholarship this Christmas."