The Duquesne University community is mourning the loss of the Rev. Sean P. Kealy, C.S.Sp., professor emeritus of theology, who passed away in Dublin, Ireland, on July 11 at age 81.
Kealy, a native of Thurles, Ireland, served as a full-time theology professor from 1995 to 2014 in the McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts.
“Fr. Kealy was a bright light on the Duquesne campus,” said Duquesne President Ken Gormley. “His wit, warmth, storytelling and Gaelic singing skills were unmatched. Laura and I had a chance to visit Fr. Kealy last summer at Kimmage Manor in Dublin and, despite his failing health, he beamed as he spoke of his years at Duquesne. God broke the mold when he gave us Father Kealy. We’ll forever remember him and his many contributions with fondness and deep appreciation.”
During his tenure at Duquesne, Kealy served a stint as theology chair and taught courses on selected New Testament texts, the books of the New Testament, and synoptic Gospels and acts. He was a 2003 recipient of the President’s Faculty Award for Excellence in Scholarship, and he was appointed the inaugural holder of the Nobel J. Dick Endowed Chair in Academic Leadership at the University in 2005. Kealy also was a past a member of the Duquesne University Board of Directors.
A prolific writer and recognized expert on the Gospels and the history of biblical scholarship, Kealy published nearly 20 books as well as several articles and reviews in the United States, England, Africa and Ireland. His most highly regarded works include four multi-volume books on the Gospels of Matthew, John, Luke and Mark, which were followed by his final book in 2009, An Interpretation of the Twelve Minor Prophets of the Hebrew Bible. Kealy’s work has also appeared in Doctrine and Life, the Irish Ecclesiastical Record, the Duquesne Law Review and The Catholic Biblical Quarterly.
Ordained in Kimmage, Ireland, in 1965, Kealy lectured extensively in Africa, the United States and Europe. He taught at Niagara University in Niagara Falls, N.Y., and Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya. Kealy also served as dean of theology at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Nairobi, and was rector of the Holy Ghost Missionary College in Dublin, Ireland. In addition, he was president and professor of Blackrock College, a secondary school founded by the Spiritans in suburban Dublin.
Kealy earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from University College in Dublin; a Bachelor of Divinity and a licentiate in sacred theology from Gregorian University in Rome, Italy; and both a bachelor’s degree and a licentiate in sacred scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome.
The Rev. Sean Hogan, C.S.Sp., president of the Duquesne University Scholarship Association, presided at Kealy’s funeral Mass at Kimmage Manor Church in Dublin.