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Father Robert Kelly, OP, Named
Director of Liturgical Ministries

August 3, Adrian, Michigan Father Robert Kelly, OP, a Dominican Friar of the Central Province, has been named the new priest chaplain for the Adrian Dominican Sisters Motherhouse Campus. In addition, he has been named to a newly created position, Director of Liturgical Ministries. In that capacity, he will supervise the Office of Worship, which plans Masses, prayer services and other liturgical events for the sisters, co-workers and guests on campus. He succeeds Father Roland Calvert, OSFS, who retired July 1 after serving as Motherhouse chaplain for 22 years.

Born and raised in a family of eight brothers and sisters in Fort Collins, Colorado, Father Bob attended the local elementary school, St. Joseph, where he was taught by the Sisters of Loretto. After graduating from Colorado State University, he worked for eight years in the secular world, first at Tehnicare, a Johnson & Johnson company that manufactures diagnostic equipment, and then at Duffens Optical.

He attended St. Thomas Theological Seminary in Denver as a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Denver. After ordination, Father Bob served for three years as an associate pastor, first at Holy Name Parish in Steamboat Springs and then at the Shrine of St. Anne in Arvada. He lived in an apartment and found that, after having grown up in a large family, he did not like living alone. Realizing his need to live in community, Father Bob looked at a number of religious orders – the Jesuits, the Vincentians and the Claretians – and realized that the Dominicans were the best fit for him.   

Just before coming to Adrian, Father Bob served as director of adult faith formation at St. Thomas More Newman Center in Columbia, Missouri. Before that, he ministered as associate pastor at St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico; co-director of pastoral life for the Grand Rapids Dominican Sisters; director of theology at Fenwick High School in Oak Park, Illinois; director of theology at Academy of Holy Angels in Minneapolis, Minnesota; and director of evangelization at Holy Rosary Parish in Minneapolis.

In the month he has been living and serving in Adrian, Father Bob has lived in community with the other members of the Dominican Ashram, Friends of God, located in the Ratisbon House, adjacent to Holy Rosary Chapel. “It’s a contemplative life,” he said, describing a daily schedule that begins at 8 a.m. with half an hour of silent communal meditation, followed by a reflective recitation of the Morning Prayer. The schedule and the silent atmosphere of the house “give you an opportunity fro God to speak in a different way.”

Father Bob has enjoyed his ministry and life in Adrian. “The support is never-ending,” he said. “It’s a community that works together here,” not only in the Office of Worship but throughout campus, such as in the medical care of the sisters at the Dominican Life Center. He also likes the Dominican spirit of the campus, the feeling of being part of the Dominican family.

“I hope I can contribute to the worship and prayer that’s done here and bring to it our Dominican tradition, but also a sense of the bigger church and world,” Father Bob said.