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Joseph Kelly was born at Doncaster on 21st August 1918 and the only child of William and Mary Kelly, nee Ferguson.

Joseph entered Corpus Christi Seminary in 1937 and ordained a priest in 1946 in Melbourne.

After the war Joseph served as a Chaplain at the Caulfield Repatriation Hospital and also at the Women’s Hospital.

In 1947 Joseph went to Geelong West at a time when large migrant settlements were springing up and he was given a roving commission to care for them. He possessed from childhood a remarkable flair for languages and became fluent in Polish, German and Italian.

Joseph, in 1953 was honoured with a decoration, the “Stella della Solidarieta Italiana” and made him a Knight of the Italian Republic. He continued his pastoral work among the migrants at Bell Park until abt 1956, when he moved to Carlton. 1961 he went to Healesville and then to Footscray. Joseph retired due to ill health in 1979. He lived in semi retirement at Heidelberg, helping in parish work. He passed away 18 Jan 1989 at Heidelberg and is interred with his grandparents at Eganstown, Victoria.

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