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Monsignor Robert J. Kelly papers

Identifier: A-03-1042

Scope and Contents

This collection contains personal and professional papers of Monsignor Robert Kelly, a priest for the Diocese of Charleston. Personal papers include biographical material; correspondence with friends and former baseball colleagues; newspaper clippings and resumes of Kelly’s relatives, the Keane and Dunn families; and a scrapbook comprised of articles relating to Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, archbishop of Chicago, compiled by Bernardin’s sister, Elaine Addison. The professional papers include correspondence and articles related to Kelly’s career as a priest in the Diocese of Charleston, including letters to and from diocesan bishops; Ernest Unterkoefler, David Thompson, and Robert Baker; homilies and other writings by Kelly; articles and publications related to parishes in which Kelly served as pastor; and articles and correspondence concerning other priests of the diocese.


  • Created: 1951-2003, undated
  • Other: Date acquired: 07/27/2005


Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Diocese of Charleston makes no representation that it is the owner of any copyright or other literary property in the materials contained in its archives. In providing access to or permitting the reproduction of any such materials, the Diocese of Charleston does not assume any responsibility for determining the nature of any rights, ownership or interest therein; nor for obtaining the appropriate permissions to publish or use; nor for determining the nature of any liabilities (for defamation and invasion of privacy) that may arise from any publication or use. This rests entirely with the researcher.

Biographical or Historical Information

Robert Justin Kelly, a Roman Catholic priest, was born in Hartford, Connecticut, to Eugene Kelly and Anna Dunn in 1927. Kelly attended Stephen Mix Mitchell School in Wethersfield, Connecticut, St. Thomas Seminary High School in Bloomfield, Connecticut, St. Bonaventure University in Olean, New York, and Fairfield University, in Fairfield, Connecticut. Prior to his ordination, Kelly played minor league baseball for the Hartford Chiefs, a Boston Braves’ affiliate in the Class A Eastern League from 1945-1952. In 1953, Archbishop Henry J. O'Brien ordained Kelly a priest of the Diocese of Bridgeport in Connecticut. Pope John Paul II elevated Kelly to an honorary prelate in 1991. As a priest with the Diocese of Bridgeport, Kelly held the following assignments: Assistant pastor, St. Ambrose parish, Bridgeport, 1953-1954; and assistant pastor, Assumption parish, Westport, 1955-1958. In 1959, following a temporary assignment at Blessed Sacrament parish in Charleston, South Carolina, Kelly incardinated to the Diocese of Charleston. Assignments with the Diocese of Charleston included the following: Associate, Blessed Sacrament parish, Charleston, 1958-1963; chaplain, St. Francis Hospital, Charleston, 1958; Newman chaplain, College of Charleston, 1958; faculty member, Bishop England High School, Charleston, 1959-1990; Vice-rector, Bishop England High School, Charleston, 1963-1964; associate pastor, Cathedral of St. John the Baptist parish, Charleston, 1964-1971; rector, Bishop England High School, Charleston, 1964-1990; chaplain, Our Lady of Mercy motherhouse, Charleston, 1970-1971; pastor, Christ Our King parish, Mt. Pleasant, 1972-1977; acting superintendent of schools, 1974-1976; pastor, St. Mary Our Lady of Ransom parish, Georgetown, 1977-1978; administrator, St. Cyprian parish, Georgetown, 1978; superintendent of schools, 1978-1990; pastor, Church of the Nativity parish, Charleston, 1979-1985; pastor, Blessed Sacrament parish, Charleston, 1985-1990; director of religious education, 1986-1990; pastor, St. Andrew parish, Myrtle Beach, 1990-1994; pastor, St. Mary parish, Greenville, 1994-1996; pastor, Our Lady of Good Counsel parish, Folly Beach, 1996-2004; chaplain, Bishop England High School, Charleston, circa 1996-2004. Monsignor Kelly retired in 2003. He died in 2004.

Note written by


1.25 Linear Feet (3 document boxes)

Language of Materials



Correspondence, newspaper clippings, a scrapbook, sermons and other writings of Monsignor Robert Kelly.

Arrangement Note

1. Personal papers 2. Professional papers

Source of Acquisition

Received from Kitty Alphonse in July 2005.

Method of Acquisition


Processing Information

Processed by Brian P. Fahey in 2005; and Melissa Bronheim, December 2014.

Inventory of the Monsignor Robert J. Kelly papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Catholic Diocese of Charleston Archives Repository

114 Broad Street
Carriage House
Charleston SC 29401 US