Mike Kelly was a man of Faith and Conviction supported by a good sense of humour; a sound, enthusiastic member of the six-member Dominican Preaching Team which presented Mission weeks in many Parishes throughout New Zealand and Queensland for several years.
Mike’s faith was based soundly on Scripture and the reforms of Vatican Two, especially the role and involvement of lay people in all aspects of Catholicism. His preaching was direct, to the point and relevant, with a strong challenge to political and economic justice. He talked about the sacred role of the family, parenting and especially marriage. He dreamed of having “mission sessions” around a barbeque with people sharing and supporting each other in the ups and downs of life and faith. Thus passing on their own lived and practical faith to each other and to youth especially.
We of the Team offer our love and sympathy to Jenny and the family.
Jenny, you were a great support during the Preaching days; taking the phone calls and negotiating the bookings. We were always grateful for that.
Mike, may you be resting in Eternal Peace.
Laying the foundations for the renewed lay Dominican movement in Aotearoa – Tribute from Susan Healy
Mike Kelly had a great love for the Dominican Order, national and international. He believed that lay people could make an important contribution to the Order’s charism and mission.
In 2008, Mike and Jenny hosted at their home in Masterton a small but representative group of laity interested in fostering Dominican life in Aotearoa New Zealand. One outcome was the initial wording of a Vision Statement for lay Dominicans in this country. Another was the setting up of a data base and the start of a newsletter. It was a really fruitful meeting and just as we were leaving, we caught sight of a beautiful rainbow in the sky. It seemed like a sign of blessing on this humble beginning.
Mike put tremendous work into the lay Dominican newsletter over several years – sharing some of his own insights but mainly gathering in contributions from Dominicans across the country. It was inspiring to read how different ones were living out their commitment to prayer, study, community and mission – the four Dominican pillars. Mike also kept us in touch with some of the international news, and especially when this applied to the laity.
Mike and Jenny convened the first very successful, national Gathering of Dominican laity in 2010. It was held at the Sisters of Compassion centre in Wellington and was a truly happy occasion. Mike was always a man of vision and those of us who attended that Gathering remember his desire that we set up a formation programme for those interested in taking on a Dominican commitment. While some effort has been made in this direction, Mike’s dream on this count is yet to be realised.
Mike, along with Jenny, laid the foundations for the renewed lay Dominican movement in this country. We owe so much to him for his dogged determination, his generosity and hard work, and for the encouragement he gave to so many of us.
Moe mai ra, e Mike, e te toa kaha mo te whanau arahi rongo pai.
Note: This photo of the Aotearoa Dominicans on and around our own Dominican Tree was taken at the first national gathering in Wellington in 2010