Archbishop Kelly laid to rest

Archbishop Thomas C. Kelly buried
at Calvary Cemetery Feb. 14.

Archbishop Thomas C. Kelly, who died Dec. 14 at age 80, was buried at Calvary Cemetery on Tuesday, Feb. 14. He would have celebrated the 30th anniversary of his installation as Archbishop of Louisville this Saturday, Feb. 18.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz prayed during the Rite of Committal burial service for Archbishop Thomas C. Kelly on Feb. 14 at Calvary Cemetery. Standing next to him are Bob Kelly, cousin of the late archbishop, and Norma Merrick, vice-chancellor of the Archdiocese of Louisville. (Record Photos by Jessica Able).

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz conducted the Rite of Committal. He was joined at the graveside by members of the priests’ council, a cousin of Archbishop Kelly’s, a member of his Dominican Order, some archdiocesan staff and Catholic Cemeteries staff.

The late archbishop was laid to rest in the priest section of the cemetery alongside the deceased priests of the Archdiocese of Louisville and every deceased bishop who served the archdiocese in the last 100 years. His grave lies next to that of Bishop Charles G. Maloney and Archbishop Thomas J. McDonough.

“Archbishop Kelly had a special relationship with our priests, and it is fitting that he also rest there” with them, a press release from the chancery said.

It noted that Archbishop Kurtz decided to have the burial at Calvary for several reasons after considering interment in the crypt at the Cathedral of the Assumption.

“Several years ago, Archbishop Kelly had expressed some interest in the crypt at the Cathedral for his burial site,” the release said. “In 2009, he left written instructions for Archbishop Kurtz and also discussed with Archbishop Kurtz his conclusion that burial at the Cathedral was not a major priority for him. In his written burial instructions, he left the final decision with Archbishop Kurtz.

“After investigating options and hearing from experts as well as those closest to Archbishop Kelly, Archbishop Kurtz decided to locate Archbishop Kelly’s burial site at Calvary Cemetery,” it said.

Priests of the Archdiocese of Louisville joined in the graveside service.

The Cathedral’s crypt was investigated by the staff of Catholic Cemeteries. They identified construction and ventilation problems that would make the construction of a crypt to meet modern codes problematic, the release noted.

Archbishop Kurtz has “affirmed the presence” of a large oil painting of Archbishop Kelly at the Cathedral between the sanctuary and the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, the release added. It is intended to provide “a visible presence” of the late archbishop.

(The Record 2.16.12)

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