December 5, 2006
Keyser, West Virginia
Bernard M. Kelly, 88, of 1340 Ludwick Street, Keyser, W.Va., died Tuesday, December 5, 2006, at Potomac Valley Hospital, Keyser.
Born May 7, 1918, in Providence, R.I., he was a son of the late James C. and Julia (Hanlon) Kelly.
Mr. Kelly was a graduate of Providence College, Northeastern School of Law. He was a member of the Church of the Assumption.
Surviving are his wife, Anna (Beier) Kelly; a stepson, Thomas L. Campbell and wife, Becki, of Safety Harbor, Fla.; a stepdaughter, Cynthia Wilkins and husband, Dutch, of Keyser; and numerous relatives in Rhode Island.
At Mr. Kelly's request, his body will be cremated and there will be no public viewing.
A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at the Church of the Assumption, Keyser, on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 10 a.m. with Fr. Ivan M. Lebar, T.O.R. as celebrant.
Private inurnment will be in St. Thomas Columbarium, Keyser.
Born in Providence, Rhode Island on May 7, 1918, Kelly attended his elementary and middle School studies at Providence College and in his studies to the priesthood at the Pontifical Roman Seminary in Rome and the Theological College of the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He was ordained priest on June 3, 1944. After ordination, Kelly received his doctorate at the Catholic University in Canon Law and served as assistant pastor and as an instructor at La Salle Academy in Providence. He also served as chaplain of Mother of Hope Novitiate in Warwick, Rhode Island and as spiritual director of Our Lady of Providence Seminary in Warwick Neck. Since 1947 Kelly was named marriage defender at his diocese.
Ordination, resignation and reconciliation with the Church
Kelly was named titular bishop of Tegea and auxiliary bishop of Providence on November 25, 1963 by Pope Paul VI. Russell McVinney, Metropolitan Archbishop of Providence ordained him bishop on January 30 of the following year and his co-consecrators were Joseph McShea, Bishop of Allentown, and Gerald Vincent McDevitt, Auxiliary Bishop in Philadelphia.
At the forefront of the ecumenical movement came from Second Vatican Council, in what he participated in its third and fourth sessions, Kelly spoke in front of an evangelical Protestant congregation in 1965. In 1971, he drew controversy when, in a sermon, he called it "scandalous that churchmen are so concerned about abortion and yet have nothing to say about destruction of human life in Laos." Disappointed with the church's position on the Vietnam War, he resigned from the priesthood on June 14, 1971. He later married and then served as director of a hospital administration in Florida and opened his own law firm in Rhode Island. More later he worked as an attorney in Rhode Island and West Virginia, where he moved since the early of 1990 and he died in Keyser in 2006.