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Duquesne’s Leader of Spiritan Studies to Mark Golden Jubilee

The Rev. Bernard Kelly, C.S.Sp. and interim director of the Center for Spiritan Studies at Duquesne University, is marking the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood with a Mass on April 29 and special luncheon.

Assistant superior at Trinity Hall, Kelly's life as a Spiritan has included service to the Spiritan General Council in Rome and to the Spiritan TransCanada Province. Born in Dublin, Ireland, Kelly attended a Spiritan School and remembers being impressed by the priests. However, "the resolution to enter the priesthood didn't appear like a light bulb" said Kelly. "I spent three years training to be a quantity surveyor, but it wasn't satisfying. I looked around and thought there must be another way of life. So I went to the seminary and completed my theological studies at the Dominican University in Fribourg, Switzerland. From there, life continued as it should."

"Fr. Kelly is considered a living source of our spirituality," added the Rev. James McCloskey, C.S.Sp., Duquesne's vice president for mission and identity. "His contributions to the Spiritan and the University communities have been significant. Several years ago, he continued the work of digitizing the collection of Spiritan works so the historical documents of our founders are now available to our members online. He goes about his work quietly, but the impact is grand."

The Rev. Sean Hogan, C.S.Sp., executive vice president for student life, recalls a time when he was very ill and Kelly frequently called to check on his condition. "I can never be grateful enough for his commitment and interest during that time," said Hogan. "It really demonstrates what a great priest Fr. Kelly is, and we are thrilled that he is with us to celebrate his ordination's 50th anniversary."

Kelly, who was named interim director in 2009, will officially conclude his service to the University at the end of June, but will remain on campus to assist the Rev. James Chukwuma Okoye, C.S.Sp. when he assumes his duties as director on July 1.

"I have been blessed to be at Duquesne and give thanks for my time here," said Kelly. "That is how I want to celebrate my jubilee-by giving thanks for the many blessings I have received."

Starting in August, Kelly will spend a year on sabbatical before returning to Toronto to work with the Spiritan TransCanada Province.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.