Our thoughts and prayers go out for the repose of the soul of Brother James Kelly, C.F.X. an Xaverian Brother and President of Mount Saint Joseph High School in Baltimore.   The followin is his final message to the School community.

My Dear Alumni, Present and Past Parents, Students and Friends of Mount Saint Joseph: 

For the past five and a half years, the Mount Saint Joseph Community has “prayed me through” my journey with cancer. I have known since I was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic prostate cancer three years ago, that what I have is treatable but not curable. I have given cancer a very good fight, but as I always knew, it is a fight I am not going to win. I can say with Saint Paul, “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the course. I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4) I love Saint Jerome’s Latin for this passage, “Bonum certamen certavi. Cursum consumavi et fidem servavi.” The Latin noun certamen and the Latin verb certavi suggest not just a fight but a wrestling match. And I have certainly wrestled with the “big boys” of chemotherapy: 5FU, Oxaliplatin, Taxotere and Cabazitaxel for a total of 25 infusions in 3 different cycles. 

At their meeting in October, I informed the Board of Directors that they need to begin a search for my successor. If I am still alive at the beginning of the next school year (and I pray that I am not), I will be so debilitated as to be not at all capable of running a school. There comes a point in cancer when you know that you have just had enough. Three weeks before she died, Miss Kraft and I had a conversation in which she said to me, “I am just so tired. I don’t want to continue treatment.” I knew exactly what she was talking about, and I knew I would come to that point as well. I have had every drug and therapy they can find at Johns Hopkins. If they find anything else new, I will not take it. I am at peace and ready for the journey to end. 

When I say that I hope I am dead by the end of this school year, it is because I have a foolish wish to die as the President of Mount Saint Joseph like three of my confreres before me: Brother Joseph Sullivan (1903), Brother James Gerrity (1922) and Brother Antoninus Jaquay (1925). It’s just one of my Xaverian quirks! I believe quite firmly that suffering is redemptive, and on my best days, I realize that it is a privilege to share in Christ’s passion. As Saint Paul also writes, “I make up in my body what is lacking in the suffering of Christ.” Somehow my illness fits into God’s plan, a plan that will only be revealed to me when I see God face to face.


Brother James M. Kelly, C.F.X. President 


03/24/2012 8:26am

I found this through google. Brother James was an amazing man and had a huge impact on my life and many, many others. My he rest in peace.


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