Father Brian Kelly, SJ

Born: 05 January 1902, Athlone, County Westmeath, Ireland
Entered: 01 September 1919, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly, Ireland
Ordained: 14 June 1932, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1935, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 17 February 1974, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Father Kelly came to Hong Kong in 1934. From 1934 to 1954, Father Kelly served as a teacher in Wah Yan (1934-1935 & 1947-1954), as Warden of Ricci Hall (1936-1947), and as a teacher in St Louis Gonzaga College, Macau during the Occupation years.

In 1954 he was transferred to Singapore and taught Literature at the Teachers’ Training College, where he was reportedly doing a splendid job and was very well liked. Known for his evangelising zeal, he conducted weekly hymn or rosary services for the Catholic students, while some other students took religious instructions.

He was made the assistant parish priest of St Ignatius in 1963. Later he was transferred to Petaling Jaya as assistant parish priest of the parish of the Assumption for seven years.

The last few years of his life were spent in Ipoh where he was chaplain to the FMDM Hospital, taught doctrine in the Brothers’ school and helped in two parishes.

In all posts he showed himself a man of intense concentration on his work. When he was teaching, his boys in his classes and their work seemed to be his sole interest in life.

Father Kelly had frail health and he was regularly in hospital. He died in Ipoh on 18 February 1974, aged 72 and was buried there. In the previous week he had attended a catechetical seminar in Cameron Highlands, and returned to Ipoh feeling tired and unwell.

Book: 50 years of the parish of the Church of St Ignatius, 2012

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