Friar Kieran Kay, OFM Conv., was in love with words. Whether as an English teacher, with the words on the page, or in his contemplative spirit, in love with the Word of God, he inspired others to deepen their knowledge of God’s love, and the beauty of God’s creation.
Fr. Kieran died December 12, 2013, at St. Francis Home in Tiffin, OH. He was born Sylvester Peter Kay in 1929 in Detroit, MI, to Sylvester and Aurelia (Melloh) Kay. He entered the Conventual Franciscan Novitiate in 1946, and professed first vows in 1947. He professed solemn vows in 1950, and was ordained a priest in 1955. He was predeceased by his parents and a sister, Lois Anne Kay Schroll, and survived by his sister Jacqueline Theresa Kay Bass.
In his ministries as teacher, chaplain, and spiritual director, he served at Mount St. Francis, IN, Carey, OH, Lansing, MI, Auburn, IN, Prior Lake, MN, Chicago Heights, IL, Sylvania, OH, and Canton, OH.
In Canton, he served as a spiritual director to many local people, but especially enjoyed working with the cloistered Poor Clare nuns who live there. His time with them intensified the contemplative side of his Franciscan vocation. Following the example of Francis himself, he embraced God in the quiet of his life and the depths of his heart.
He wrote or edited three books, and contributed many articles on the spiritual life. One of the books was titled Afire with God, a fitting summary of his approach to his ministry and his life.
In Sylvania, he helped crate a house of prayer, and while at other locations he served in parish pastoral ministry. A great correspondent, he frequently wrote letters to the National Catholic Reporter, which in turn created ongoing correspondence with people who appreciated his words. In his last years at St. Francis Home, he provided sacramental ministry to the lay people and Sisters who reside there.
Fr. Kieran was buried in the Friars’ Cemetery at Mount St. Francis on Wednesday, December 18.
Memorial gifts may be made to The Province of Our Lady of Consolation, 101 St. Anthony Drive, Mount St. Francis, IN 47146 or by clicking here.