BY MISSY FECAS FILLION
Fr Kelly was the quintessential priest who everyone loved. Thousands of people across South Carolina mourned his passing last fall.
I will miss the personal touch he had with everyone he knew. He had the ability to make every person feel as if he or she were the most important thing to him at that moment in time. He could immerse himself in your life and make you feel special—a rare quality when it is real.
In the business world something called faked sincerity helps to boost sales and increase morale in the employees. Fr Kelly had the “real deal.”
I will miss hearing him say, “We have visitors from Atlanta,” when he would see us in the pew before Mass. I will miss hearing him say, “There goes Missy,” from the pulpit as I carried a wailing baby out of the small church, and then, “Here she comes again,” as I attempted to return.
Most of all I will miss hearing him say, “The Body of Christ, Missy.”
The personal touch deepens profound moments for me. It was one of those profound moments that became our mission.
In 1996, my husband-to-be and I rode out to the small parish in Folly Beach, S.C., to meet with Fr Kelly so he could give us his marriage talk. He’d gotten good at it. I know there are hundreds just like us who wanted him for weddings and other life events.
I don’t remember everything Fr Kelly said that day. I do remember loving his beach house and how much the picture of him holding an umbrella over Mother Teresa’s head meant to him.
Remembering Fr Kelly's Marriage Talk (Australian Catholic Families)