Abbot Timothy Kelly, OSB, ninth abbot of Saint John’s Abbey, died this evening after an extended illness. He was abbot of St. John’s from 1993 until 2000, and was abbot president of the American Cassinese congregation of U.S. Benedictine abbeys until his illness recently forced him to step down. He was 76.
For now I will share just one memory. In 1994 he called me in to his office to ask what I thought of studying Gregorian chant during my coming graduate studies in Europe. I said I was not interested. I was anxious about learning a foreign language and completing my studies and did not want an added burden. He said, “But I’m asking you to do this. Fr. Bartholomew is not getting any younger, and we need a young monk to know chant. It’s important that this tradition be kept alive in our house.” I agreed to his request. I’m now most grateful for his encouragement.
May he rest in peace.