Pope honors two diocesan priests with title of “Monsignor”

November 2, 2017 — (Wilmington, DE) — The Most Reverend W. Francis Malooly, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington announced today that His Holiness, Pope Francis has honored two priests of the diocese as “Chaplains to His Holiness” with the title “Monsignor.” The priests are Reverend Monsignor David F. Kelley, VC, Pastor of Saint Joseph Church in Middletown, Delaware and Diocesan Vicar for Clergy; and Reverend Monsignor Stanley J. Russell, VF, Pastor of Saint Helena’s Parish in Wilmington, Delaware and Dean of the Brandywine Hundred Deanery. The designation of “Chaplain to His Holiness” and the resulting honorary title of “Monsignor are honors given to priests by the Pope in recognition of outstanding service or administrative status in a diocese.

Bishop Malooly (R) presents the papal announcement to Msgr. Russell (L)

Bishop Malooly (R) presents the papal announcement to Msgr. Russell (L)

Msgr. Kelley (C), with Msgr. Steven Hurley, Diocesan Vicar General (L) and Bishop Malooly (R)

Msgr. Kelley (C), with Msgr. Steven Hurley, Diocesan Vicar General (L) and Bishop Malooly (R)

“These papal honors are a way of acknowledging those priests who have served the people of the diocese so well over the years,” said Bishop Malooly. “Monsignor Russell and Monsignor Kelley, through their exemplary leadership over time, are excellent examples of priestly dedication and joyful service. I join with the Catholic community of our diocese in offering them our heartfelt congratulations.”

Reverend Monsignor David F. Kelley, VC, is a native of Boston, Massachusetts. He attended college at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York and MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts. He studied for the priesthood at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland and was ordained in 1988.

He served as Associate Pastor at St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Hockessin, Delaware; Holy Family Parish in Newark, Delaware; and St. Francis de Sales Parish in Salisbury, Maryland. He served as temporary administrator of St. Joseph on the Brandywine Parish in Greenville, Delaware before being appointed as Pastor of St. Benedict Parish in Ridgely, Maryland; St. Ann Parish in Bethany Beach, Delaware; and St. Joseph Parish in Middletown, Delaware. Monsignor Kelley was also Diocesan Director of Vocations before being appointed by Bishop Malooly as Vicar for Clergy.

Reverend Monsignor Stanley J. Russell, VF, was born in Brooklyn, New York. He attended St. John’s University in Brooklyn and Jamaica, New York and studied for the priesthood at St. John’s Seminary in Collegeville, Minnesota and Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1961.

He served as Associate Pastor at St. Edmond’s Church, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware; St. Ann’s, and Immaculate Heart of Mary Parishes in Wilmington. Monsignor Russell served as Pastor of Holy Rosary in Claymont, Delaware; Our Lady of Fatima, New Castle, Delaware; and St. Helena’s Parish in Wilmington. Additionally, he served on numerous diocesan committees and councils in his 56 years as a priest.

The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington was established in 1868 and comprises 56 parishes, 18 missions and 36 schools serving the State of Delaware and the nine counties of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The diocese will observe its 150th anniversary with a year-long celebration beginning March 3, 2018. Information is available at www.cdow.org.

# # #

Contact: Bob Krebs
302-573-3116
[email protected]