I was born in England (Brighton, Sussex) in 1946, the youngest of three children, but I tend to deny being English! My father’s ancestors emigrated from the parish of Killoran in Sligo in the winter of 1879-80 to Co Durham, where my father (who died in 1971) was brought up. My mother’s family (my mother died in 1986) came from the Bridgend area of Glamorgan, where they have been forever. So that makes me a curious amalgam of Welsh, Irish and English (my father’s mother was English).
I was brought up in Brighton, studied history at Oxford for six years, where I studied for my doctorate in history and worked for several years in the University of London. I came to Scotland in October 1974 to work as an Assistant of Keeper of Manuscripts in the National Library of Scotland. I published some academic works in this period. I then fell under the influence of the late Fr Jock Dalrymple and Fr Pat Fallon at St Ninian’s in Edinburgh. I studied for the priesthood in Rome (1981-85) and was ordained by the late Cardinal Gray at St Ninian’s in 1985. I then went to Bathgate as assistant priest, 1985-1987 and St Margaret’s, Dunfermline, 1987-92. At Dunfermline I was also chaplain to both the primary and the secondary schools, and extra-mural lecturer in philosophy at Gillis College. In 1992 I was appointed Parish Priest of the combined parishes of St Luke and St Anne, Mayfield, and St Margaret, Gorebridge.
In the year 1998-99, I did further training in spiritual direction at the Institute for Spiritual Leadership in Chicago. On my return the Scottish Bishops appointed me for a five-year term as Director of Studies in the National Seminary at Scotus College, Bearsden, where I taught medieval history, the history of ancient and medieval philosophy, philosophy of religion and homiletics. After I had completed my five year stint I was appointed to St Joseph’s, Bonnybridge as Parish Priest. I continued as an extra-mural lecturer in philosophy of religion at Scotus College. For the past five years I have also been the Director of the Diaconate Programme in our archdiocese and Director of Ongoing Formation of the Clergy.
In June 2009 I was appointed Parish Priest of St Michael’s, Linlithgow. I have been warmly welcomed into the parish here and I am delighted to be in such a young and vibrant parish.
My sister lives in Cornwall. My brother lives in Hubei in China, where he is a Professor of Linguistics at Three Gorges University
Very Rev Canon Paul Kelly M.A., D.Phil.