December 21, 1931March 20, 2020

John Paul Kelly, 88, of Waelder, Texas passed away on Friday, March 20, 2020 at Gonzales Memorial Hospital in Gonzales, Texas.

Funeral Mass is under the direction of Buffington Funeral Home in Gonzales, Texas. Funeral Mass and Interment are private.

John was born on December 21, 1931 in Galesburg, Illinois. He was the son of Paul Anthony and Louise V. (McDermott) Kelly. He attended Notre Dame University and the University of Michigan, and obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature. He joined the US Army in 1953 and served in communications until his discharge in 1961. He worked as a Photographer until his retirement. He liked to read and write. John was a people person and enjoyed visiting with anyone. He was a Monk with the Lay Catholic Monastic Community of Saint Benedicts Farm for 60 years.

John is survived by one brother; Garth Kelly and his wife, Stephany of Houston, Texas, and many Religious Brothers and Sisters. He was preceded in death by his parents; Paul Anthony and Louise V. Kelly, two Religious Brothers; George Gannon and Henry Studer.

Memorials are requested for: Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church / 417 N College St. / Gonzales, TX 78629

To join the Brothers and Sisters of Saint Benedicts Farm in celebrating John’s life and to offer words of comfort, please go to:


  • Saint Patricks Catholic Church



have a memory or condolence to add?

Faron Quintero

March 29, 2020

John Kelly served as a mentor to me when I (a greenhorn kid from Waelder) first began serving as lector. His guidance was invaluable then. He as well as all of St. Benedict's have been constant, integral fixtures in our community for as long as I can remember.
Thank you, John for your service. You will be missed..!!

"It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail" (John 6:63)

Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB

March 24, 2020

We have lost a fine man, a dedicated monk, a faithful parishioner, and a good friend. He visited our monastery in idaho several times. We were blessed with his presence. We have the books he wrote about St. Benedict's Farm in our library. We will pray for him and for all who mourn his passing. May the angels lead him into paradise.

Monty Lynn

March 23, 2020

John was a spiritual father and counselor with a ready laugh. He lived a simple yet abundantly rich life of Christian discipleship--each day listening to God and praying, welcoming others, working, serving his parish and community, and extending peace to all, regardless of faith. A skilled journalist, photographer, and historian who regularly placed the spotlight on others, John recorded the most important milestones in the lives of many--from quinceaneras and weddings to St. Benedict's Farm. John's posterity is a shining beacon of what an authentic life in service to God looks like--a life that quietly bore innumerable good deeds and spiritual children and blessed the lives of many. John not only endured to the end but through the long middle as well, satisfied with serving God and others. Thank you, John, for blessing our lives.

Alice Rincon

March 23, 2020

I remember when John George andLaclaire would take the youth on day trips. Swimming and a picnic. We always had a great time with them . Did so much for our youth. RIP John 🙏🏼

Virginia Rincon

March 23, 2020

I remember John being a kind and compassionate man. Thank you John for your service to the Waelder community. you will be sorely. Eternal Rest

Louise Kelly Craver

March 23, 2020

Uncle John meant so much to me. He made me feel special during a time when I needed that so badly. We kept in touch thru the years and I had a visit to the farm scheduled for May. He was such a good man; so many, many memories.

Lisa Page

March 23, 2020

I miss my Uncle John! So many great memories at the farm as a kid and Thanksgiving gatherings.