|Francis Clement Kelley|
|Bishop of Oklahoma|
|In office||June 25, 1924—February 1, 1948|
|Successor||Eugene J. McGuinness|
|Ordination||August 23, 1893|
October 23, 1870|
Vernon River, Prince Edward Island
|Previous post||Priest of Detroit|
Francis Clement Kelley was born in Vernon River, Prince Edward Island, Canada. His early education and seminary training were in Canada and Belgium, and he was ordained a priest for the diocese of Detroit, Michigan, in 1893. In 1905, he founded the Catholic Church Extension Society of the United States and was elected its first president. The Extension Society continues to do great work in promoting the mission of the Catholic Church in rural and mission areas of the United States. Kelley also founded and edited the quarterly Extension Magazine, which had more than 3 million subscribers during his administration. In addition to his editorial duties, he authored numerous books
Father Kelley was active in war and diplomacy during his day, and he served as a military chaplain during the Spanish-American War. As a diplomat, Kelley represented the bishops of Mexico during the World War I Peace Conference in Paris. He also initiated unofficial negotiations between the Vatican and the Italian government for a settlement of the Roman Question. Two years after the war, Kelley was sent to England by the Vatican to settle postwar differences over German and American missions. As president of the Extension Society, Kelley also represented the Mexican bishops during the Carranza Revolution. He established a seminary in Texas for exiled Mexican seminarians and clergy.
His sister was the poetess Lucy Gertrude Clarkin.
|Reference style||The Most Reverend|
|Spoken style||Your Excellency|
Kelley was consecrated Bishop of Oklahoma in 1924. During his years as Bishop, he successfully resisted the agitation of the KKK and continued his work as the "Extension Bishop." Like other missionary dioceses in the country, Oklahoma received funds from the Extension Society to build and to furnish churches. In 1931 Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church became the new cathedral for the diocese. Under his care the infant diocese grew to maturity. Bishop Kelley died in Oklahoma City.
In 1932 Bishop Kelley succeeded Bishop Joseph H. Conroy of Ogdensburg as Chairman of the Bishops Catholic Committee on Scouting. Under his leadership the Catholic Committee expanded to include 22 Archbishops and Bishops, one from each Ecclesiastical Province in the United States.
In 1934 the American hierarchy approved a "Plan of Cooperation" recognizing Scouting as serving the church's interest in the spiritual welfare of Catholic youth, and approving it as an approved youth program in the Church. Bishop Kelly was recognized by the Boy Scouts of America with the Silver Buffalo Award in 1939, the first member of the catholic clergy to be so recognized.
Books Written by Francis Kelley
- The Last Battle of the Gods (1907)
- The City and the World (1913) - Short Stories
- Letters to Jack (1917)
- Charred Wood, a novel published under the name of Myles Murdach
- Dominus Vobiscus (1922)
- Story of Extension (1922)
- When the Veil is Rent (1929)
- The Forgotten God (1932)
- Blood Drenched Altars (1933)
- Problem Island (1937)
- The Bishop Jots it Down (1939)
- Sacerdos et Pontifex (1940)
- Pack Rat (1942)
- Tales From the Rectory (1943)
- Bishop Kelley School (disambiguation) for schools named after Francis Kelley
- Saint Benedict Center for a short biography.
Bishop Francis Clement Kelley (Catholic-Hierarchy) at www.catholic-hierarchy.org
- "Our History". Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Retrieved 2011-09-01.
- Homepage of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma
- Homepage of The Sooner Catholic Online.
- Saint Benedict Center.
- Fact Sheet
- Works by Francis Clement Kelley at Project Gutenberg
|Bishop of Oklahoma City-Tulsa
Eugene J. McGuinness
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