Blue collar Catholic faith healer

Blue collar Catholic faith healer

Here’s a profile of a Boston-area Catholic layman with a special healing ministry.

From childhood, Kelly swam in Catholic devotion. One of 12 children whose mother “had every kind of saint in the world around” the house, he grew up to be a daily attendant at Mass. In 1985 he found himself working a job at New England Medical Center when his wrist brushed against exposed wiring, severely shocking him.

When he awoke, he saw the proverbial white light, but Kelly is quick to say that he wasn’t glimpsing the hereafter; it was the white-coated doctors surrounding him. He had always been wobbly at the sight of blood or a needle for a shot, and when he was told he would need an operation to implant a pacemaker, fear washed over him. He prayed to Padre Pio — the Italian priest, stigmatic, and saint-to-be — and says the dead man appeared to him in his room.

“I saw him clear as a bell,” Kelly said. “And he said to me, be at total peace, everything would be fine… . When he came in, there was an aura of peace over me.” Kelly’s fear dissolved — “You could have given me an autopsy” — and the operation went without a hitch.

Life’s vicissitudes ensued. He was diagnosed with painful rheumatoid arthritis. His marriage crumbled. (“I ask that you quote it that I still live the sacrament as though I’m married,” he said.) He and his young son went to live in an apartment together. After the accident, his praying had gone into overdrive, and he continued to ask what God wanted from him after sparing his life.

His answer came one night. “I lit up a cigarette, and I looked to my left,” Kelly said. “Right on my couch was Jesus himself.”

He looked “Jewish with long hair,” in Kelly’s description, resembling the Christ in pictures of the Sacred Heart, a Catholic devotion. “You’ll never smoke again, because this is in answer to your son’s prayer,” he told Kelly, who says he thus learned that his 9-year-old had been praying for him. Jesus also told him, “From now on, I take over,” and walked through the closed door.

I’d be skeptical, but it says that his spiritual adviser is Fr. Ronald Tacelli, SJ, a Boston College professor known for his orthodoxy. He said he was skeptical at first too, but came to believe him. It’s an interesting story.

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  • Frank Kelly comes to Boston College ever year.  I have heard him speak twice.  Last year after the talk, I went up to him like everyone else.  I was a bit skeptical but I believed Fr. Tacelli that there was something going on here.  Frank asked for my name, which I gave to him.  Then I prayed the prayer that he asks everyone to say, “Lord Jesus Christ, come into my heart.” 

    Then there was silence as Frank prayed.  He looked me in the eyes and said, “Donato, do not worry about your parents’ flight tomorrow.  St. Anne is protecting them.”  St. Anne is the patroness of our home parish. 

    How did he know they were flying?  There is something supernatural here, and the fruits are always good.  Frank is orthodox.  I believe God is working through him.

  • One of the things that makes Frank Kelly credible (I have heard him speak) is that he is so obviously an ordinary guy.  No slick here—you can easily imagine him, with his thick Boston accent and working guy clothes, tinkering in your electric box in the basement.  His vocabulary is entirely unremarkable.  Yet what he says—is not.  Go and listen if you get a chance.

  • Frank came to visit us in Syracuse. Due to a scheduling mix up he traveled with very little sleep yet came and gave a great talk.  Someone who suffers for those he does not know is always a good sign. Frank is straight forward as others say and I can confirm.  He is a unifying factor in the church.  He helped many at our church, I continue to prayer to Saint Catherine of Sienna for the church to become stronger.  He as a gift.  Children do not have to take the gifts from their parents who love them, however both parent and child loose when they don’t.  Frank hands out gifts from God.  Thank You Frank

  • I first met Frank about a dozen years ago.  He and I were on a youth retreat team.  I’ve run into him at various Catholic events and conferences over the years.  He is a really wonderful, wise humble and holy man who has had his share of struggles in life and yet radiates joy.  It is encouraging to see that he is humble enough to seek guidance from a spiritual director like Fr. Tacelli.  I believe that he is the real deal.

  • Thanks for the post on Frank Kelly.  The reference to Padre Pio is quite timely.  I coaxed my recent philospohy graduate daughter and resident skeptic to watch Part One of the film, “Padre Pio,” tonight.  I could hear gasps of disbelief in the beginning of the film—which I have seen several times—and then all was quiet on her couch.  I bookmarked Mr. Kelly’s site and will read more there later.

  • I have known Frank Kelly for about twenty years, since shortly after his electrocution.  Frank has told me numerous things over the years that he could not have known other than by some sort of divine gift of “word of knowledge”, and some very remarkable events have happened to me as a result of his praying with me.  I am far from unique.  I am aware of dozens of cases of people who have been touched by his healing/prayer ministry.  Some of these case histories (along with my own) can be read in the book “Short Circuit to God”, which can be ordered by going to Frank Kelly’s website  Although I am the listed author of this book, let me make it crystal clear that I have not made a single cent from the high sales volume of this book, which is in its fourth printing (first published in 2003).  Neither has Frank made any money from the proceeds deriving from sale of this book.  ALL revenues are sent to bona fide mission areas of India and Africa (under the authority of diocesan bishops or seminaries) to help the poor and promote the Catholic Faith.