Virginia priest killed by falling tree while trying to clear roadway
Published: January 2, 2009
PURCELLVILLE, Va. (CNS) -- A funeral Mass was set for 11 a.m. Jan. 6 for a 53-year-old Virginia priest who died Dec. 31 when a tree fell on him while he was trying to remove debris from another tree from the roadway. Father Michael C. Kelly, pastor of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Purcellville, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a spokesman for Loudon County Sheriff Stephen O. Simpson. Father Kelly had been attempting to remove debris from Harmony Church Road during the morning hours, when high winds caused another tree to fall on him, according to a published report. Parishioners told WUSA-TV 9 in Washington they were not surprised that Father Kelly was trying to clear debris from the roadway, because he was the kind of man who always offered his help to anyone in need. He had served at the parish since June 2006. In a letter to the resident priests and parishioners of St. Francis de Sales, Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde called Father Kelly "a faithful and zealous priest not only among you, but in all his previous assignments as well."
Copyright (c) Catholic News Service /U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The CNS news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed, including but not limited to such means as framing or any other digital copying or distribution method, in whole or in part without the prior written authority of Catholic News Service .