Loading
Pope selects American priest for rare St. Peter's job
By Estefania Aguirre
Msgr. Francis Kelly is installed as a Canon of St. Peter's Basilica on Jan. 20, 2013. Credit: NAC/Christopher Brashears.
Msgr. Francis Kelly is installed as a Canon of St. Peter's Basilica on Jan. 20, 2013. Credit: NAC/Christopher Brashears.

.- For the first time in the 21st century, Pope Benedict XVI has made an American priest a canon of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

"You're the first of this century and the first of this millennium," said Cardinal Angelo Comastri during the Jan. 20 celebration for Monsignor Francis D. Kelly.

"This is a celebration of fidelity, and fidelity is maintaining during the whole life the commitment pronounced in your youth," he added in St. Peter's Basilica, referring to Msgr. Kelly's priesthood of 50 years.

Pope Benedict XVI announced his new role in an Oct. 20 decree, giving the 76-year-old the primary tasks of prayer and worship. A canon is a senior priest who is responsible for the celebration of the sacred liturgy at the Vatican basilica and for maintaining a prayerful presence in the place where St. Peter is buried. They lead the recitation of evening prayers and concelebrate Mass on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. as well as on major feast days.

There are 24 canons in St. Peter's Basilica, and with the addition of Msgr. Kelly, they will represent 10 countries.

Cardinal Comastri said that his representation of the United States is "a beautiful sign of the catholicity of the Church."

Before Msgr. Kelly there were two U.S.-born priests who were made canons in the 20th century -- Msgr. William Anthony Hemmick and Archbishop Martin O'Connor.

As he prepared to take on his new role and before his installation, Msgr. Kelly celebrated a Mass at Casa Santa Maria, a residence for American priests who studying in Rome, where he has served as the superior for the last eight years.

"It was a beautiful Mass and very meaningful for me," he said.

"I had the privilege to be the principal celebrant and share with them my great gratitude to God for his extraordinary goodness to me in carrying me through these 50 years of priesthood.

"The priesthood is the most extraordinary adventure, privilege and satisfying lifestyle that anyone could be called to," Msgr. Kelly told CNA.

"As I look back I'm just so grateful to God, and I'm very conscience that it was God who chose me, because I didn't choose this," he reflected.

"From the time I was an adolescent, I knew that was what I wanted to do," he added.

His installation at the Canons Chapel in the basilica included about 300 people.

During the ceremony Msgr. Kelly was taken to the seat where he will be praying and worshiping from now on.

"I was highly honored to have five American cardinals present for the ceremony, my own priest from Casa Santa Maria, and many other friends I've made here in Rome," said Msgr. Kelly.

Tags: Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
23

Liturgical Calendar

April 23, 2014

Wednesday within the Octa ve of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:8-15

Gospel
Date
04/22/14
04/21/14
04/20/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:1-10
Gospel:: Lk 24:13-35

Saint of the Day

St. Adalbert of Prague »

Saint
Date
04/21/14
04/20/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 28:8-15

Homily
Date
04/22/14
04/21/14
04/20/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: