The Reverend James J. Kennelley

The Reverend James J. Kennelley

The Reverend James J. Kennelley, 77, died on Thursday, April 14 at Hamot Hospital in Erie. Father Kennelley was born on September 27, 1944 in Bradford, Pennsylvania, the son of Robert M., Sr. and Lillian (Hopkins) Kennelley. After attending Hobson Place Elementary School, Bradford, and Bradford Area Senior High School, he entered St. Mark Seminary in Erie and attended Gannon College. From 1964 to 1970 he continued his formation for the priesthood at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, while attending classes there as well as at John Hopkins University, Baltimore, and Catholic University of America, Washington, DC. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 7, 1970 in St. Peter Cathedral, Erie, by the Most Reverend Alfred M. Watson. Father Kennelley began his priestly ministry as Parochial Vicar at St. John the Baptist Parish, Erie. A scant three months later, he was assigned to the faculty at Kennedy Catholic High School in Hermitage where he remained for ten years. During that time he served as Weekend Assistant at Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Farrell. In July 1980, Father Kennelley was appointed Headmaster of Elk County Catholic School in St. Marys, a post he held until 1986. In September of the same year he was also assigned to be Weekend Assistant at St. Benedict Parish in Daguscahonda. In 1986, he became Administrator of St. Joseph Parish, DuBois and a year later he became Pastor of the same parish. He remained Pastor of St. Joseph Parish until 1999 when he assumed the pastorate of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Mercer. Father Kennelley was appointed Pastor of St. Lawrence Parish, Albion, as well as chaplain of SCI Albion, in February 2017, ministries he held until his death. Father Kennelley was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Thomas Edward Kennelley, and a nephew, Thomas Michael Kennelley. He is survived by a brother, Robert M. Kennelley Jr. and his wife, Judy, and a niece, Valerie Kennelley, all of Sebring, FL. Visitation will take place on Wednesday, April 20, from 3:00pm – 7:00pm at St. Lawrence Church, 180 East State Street, Albion, PA 16401, and again on Thursday, April 21 beginning at 10:00am, likewise at St. Lawrence Church, followed immediately by the Funeral Mass at 11:00am with Bishop Persico as the main celebrant. Burial will take place on Friday, April 22, at 1:00pm in St. Bernard Cemetery, Bradford. Memorials may be made to the Humane Society, 2407 Zimmerly Road, Erie, PA 16506. The Mattera Funeral Home, 188 East State Street, Albion, is handling the funeral arrangements. To light a memory candle or leave a condolence, please visit


Left by  “Penny” on 04/21/2022

My. thoughts and prayers for the family .Rest in peace Father Jim.

Left by  “Jodi Patterson Kesslar” on 04/20/2022

I worked with Jim at CCC - Hermitage and knew him as Jim and as Father Jim. I know you are at peace, with God and you will be missed. I was so glad you meet your brother and niece as well as your church family. Now you are with God, Bless you Father Jim.

Left by  “Jennifer Holland” on 04/20/2022

May he rest on high

Left by  “Elaine Shearer” on 04/20/2022

Rest In Peace dear and faithful servant! You were a wonderful teacher and friend!

Left by  “Christine Kowal” on 04/20/2022

Rest In Peace my friend…

Left by  “Kathleen Hudson ” on 04/19/2022

May you Rest In Peace Father Jim.

Left by  “Philip and Juanita Kleckner” on 04/19/2022

May the Angels in Heaven meet him at Heavens door and welcome him, Home! Prayers for his Family Bob, Judy, and Valerie. We will miss our friend.

Left by  “George Kauffman ” on 04/19/2022

My deepest sympathy to the family,May He Rest In Peace !

Left by  “Kathleen A Levis” on 04/19/2022

Thanks to Father Jim for all he did for the good of all of us at St. Lawrence. Rejoice in the knowledge that he is now with Our Lord.

Left by  “Bethany Hoy” on 04/19/2022

Rob and I are grateful for your ministry to the inmates of SCI Albion and for holding mass there. May your love for humanity precede you in death. Thanks for your diligent work. Rob and Bethany Hoy

Left by  “Rob Hoy” on 04/19/2022

Rest in Peace

Left by  “Peggy Taylor” on 04/19/2022

May the risen Christ greet him with love for his faithful service on earth.

Left by  “The Rev. John Neff” on 04/19/2022

Fr.Jim was a good priest at St Joseph, DuBois when I was the hospital chaplain. He was a close confident,then, who helped me through some rough times. May he rest in peace

Left by  “Carol Scholl” on 04/19/2022

Jim, as he was known to me, was a dear friend and dynamic coworker in our years together at CCC. May he Rest In Peace and rejoice in being face to face with God.

Left by  “Holly Murphy” on 04/19/2022

My prayers and condolences. Thank you Father Jim for your service to the faith. St. Lawrence will forever miss you. You were a great and funny man.

Left by  “Kristine Copeland” on 04/19/2022

My deepest sympathies and prayers to his family and all St. Lawrence Parish.

Left by  “Jim & Sharon Withers” on 04/18/2022

Fr Jim left St Joseph parish so much better than he found it not only the building but the parish family as well. We tried very hard to keep him with us.

Left by  “Jackie Stankiewicz and Don Marcy” on 04/18/2022

Rest in peace Father Jim. Don and I think you are wonderful.

Left by  “Jackie stankiewicz and Don Mar y” on 04/18/2022

Father Jim., you were wonderful to us.Rest in peace. We .iss you already.

Left by  “Theresa Klan ” on 04/18/2022

Rest in peace Father Jim

Left by  “Rose Mary Gorke” on 04/18/2022

We moved out of the area many years ago, but we would come visit St. Lawrence when we were back in town and Father would always greet us with open arms each time we came to mass !! He was a very special person and he will be missed.

Left by  “[email protected]” on 04/18/2022

You are a fabulous man here on earth and I know Gracie will be missing you more than any of us humans could ever understand I hope in time she finds the peace that Jesus needs to send to her

Left by  “Jim and Nancy Mitchell” on 04/18/2022

May you rest in peace Fr. Jim

Left by  “The Sawins ” on 04/18/2022

Prayers for his family and friends and for our Saint Lawrence Parish family. May he Rest In Peace. What a beautiful week to go Home to our Lord.

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