Patrick E. Kelly

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Patrick E. Kelly
14th Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus
ChurchCatholic Church
AppointedJune 11, 2021 (2021-06-11)
PredecessorCarl A. Anderson
Personal details
DenominationRoman Catholic

Patrick E. Kelly is the fourteenth and current supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus. He was the founding executive director of the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C. In February 2021, he was elected by the Board of Directors to succeed Carl A. Anderson as the Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus starting June 11, 2021.

Personal life[edit]

Kelly and his wife, Vanessa, are the parents of three daughters.[1] He received a bachelor's degree in economics from Marquette University, a master's in theology from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at The Catholic University of America, and a law degree from Marquette University Law School in 1993.[1][2] Kelly grew up as one of seven siblings in Michigan.[3]

Knights of Columbus[edit]

Kelly is a Past State Deputy of the District of Columbia and was elected to the board of directors in 2013.[1][4] He became Deputy Supreme Knight on January 1, 2017.[1] In 2006 he became the Order's Vice President for Public Policy, and served as the executive director of the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C., which is owned and operated by the Knights, from 2011-2020.[1][4][5] He has been a Knight since 1983.[5]

Prior career[edit]

Kelly was a Captain in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps Reserve where he specialized in international and operational law, and he retired in 2016 after 24 years of service.[4][1] He also served as the Commanding Officer of the international law unit at the United States Naval War College.[1] As of 2018, he serves on the Council of Advisers at the Center for the Study of Statesmanship at Catholic University.[4]

In other roles, Kelly worked as Legislative Counsel to the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Department of Justice.[1][4] He was also the Senior Advisor to the Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom at the State Department.[1][4] In this position, he was the State Department's primary contact with the Holy See and other nations on matters of religious freedom.[1][4]

As of 2012, he was the chairman of the March for Life Education & Defense Fund.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Patrick E. Kelly". Knights of Columbus. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  2. ^ "Class Notes" (PDF). Marquette University Law School. Summer 2017. p. 62. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  3. ^ "WOMEN PROUD OF KNIGHT BROTHER". The Catholic Voice. January 4, 2017. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "About Patrick Kelly". The Catholic University of America. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "NEW DEPUTY SUPREME KNIGHT APPOINTED". December 16, 2016. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  6. ^ "March for Life directors elect successor to late Nellie Gray". Catholic News Service. November 21, 2012. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
Religious titles
Preceded by Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus