Father Stephen Kealy, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1849-1904)

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Born Thomas Kealy on September 22, 1849 in Kyle, Queens County, Ireland, he was the son of John Kealy and Mary McDonald. He was educated in Ireland. This included advanced mathematics. He came to the United States in 1867 and entered the Passionist novitiate in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He professed his vows on August 13, 1870. His religious name was Stephen. Several days later he was sent to St. Mary’s Monastery, Dunkirk, New York. He was ordained a priest on September 22, 1877 by the Archbishop M. A. Corrigan of Newark, New Jersey. He was a professor at St. Michael’s Monastery, West Hoboken, New Jersey and Holy Cross Monastery, Cincinnati, Ohio. But due to problems with his health he could not continue as a teacher and he was sent to St. Mary’s Parish, Dunkirk to work in the parish. In 1881 he was appointed vice-rector of Dunkirk. In 1883 he was appointed rector and re-elected in 1886. In 1889 he was elected vice-rector at Cincinnati. In 1891 he was sent to Buenos Aires, Argentina however, again, due to his health he had to return to the United States. In 1893 Father Frederick Lang, the master of novices died. Father Kealy was appointed to complete the term. In August 1893 he was elected rector of Cincinnati and in 1896 he was elected rector of Dunkirk. In August 1899 he was elected provincial of St. Paul of the Cross Province. In the fall and winter of 1901 he visited Argentina, which was under the jurisdiction of St. Paul of the Cross Province. In 1902 he was re-elected as provincial and died as provincial. Among his accomplishments was a more thorough grading system at St. Mary’s School, Dunkirk, New York. The parish church interior was decorated and he was able to gain funding to buy an organ. At the same time he was able to enlarge the Dunkirk monastery, build a new sacristy and boiler house and stone walk. He was in favor of transforming Columbus Hall into St. Mary’s School. His last official action was to sanction the application to the Regents of the University of New York to have St. Mary’s School gain the rank of high school. In Cincinnati he was helpful in building a new school for Holy Cross Parish on Mt. Adams. He was in charge there when the new brick church was built. During his first term as provincial he controlled the building of the new Holy Cross Monastery. During the two years of his second term Passionists located in Scranton, Pennsylvania and Norwood Park, Chicago, Illinois.

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