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Getting to know
Fr. John P. Kelleher

Historical background


FR. JOHN KELLEHER graduated from Malden Catholic High School in 1976,  He was born and raised in Malden MA which is just north of Boston.  Upon completing a degree in Journalism from Suffolk University in Boston in 1980,  his career plans unexpectedly changed.  After a profound spiritual experience while on retreat in 1980, he entered the Franciscan Order in 1981.  He professed religious vows in1984, and was ordained to the Priesthood in 1989 as a Franciscan

He spent his first two years as a Franciscan Priest at a parish in Little Falls, NJ as a Pastoral Assistant and Coordinator of Youth Ministry.  In 1991, he accepted a position on the Campus Ministry Team at St. Bonaventure University where he worked for five years; three years as the Director of Campus Ministry. In September of 1996, he joined the Franciscan in “Ministry of the Word Team” and spent the next five years “on the road” preaching parish missions and giving retreats to clergy, religious and lay people.

In March of 2001, seeking a life more deeply rooted in prayer, he transferred into the Benedictine monastic community at Glastonbury Abbey in Hingham, MA.  There, he became Director of the Retreat Program until 2008.

In February of 2008, he began parish ministry in the Diocese of Fall River, as part of a discernment to leave the Benedictines, and become a diocesan priest.  During a five year trial period he ministered in several parishes and was officially “incardinated” in the diocese on July 1, 2013.

Prior to his assignment as Pastor of St. Joan of Arc, he spent three years as Parochial Vicar at Our Lady of Victory Parish in Centerville, and nearly three years as Administrator at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Seekonk.  He also ministered briefly at St. Michael’s Parish in Fall River and St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in North Falmouth.

Fr. Kelleher has a particular interest and has done some work in the area of male spirituality and men’s issues.

His leisure interests include exercise, sports and rock music, especially Christian Rock.









This page was last updated on July 03, 2014