In His Own Words

I was born Charles Richard Kelty Jr. in South Boston, Massachusetts in 1915. My parents were Charles Richard Kelty and Mary Jane Watson of Florence, New Jersey, and their offspring were Louis, Marion, Helen, and myself. Our father was an engineer – machines, tool and die. Milton, Massachusetts was the setting for my childhood years and I attended excellent public schools there from 1922-1934. My feeling for poetry was nurtured early on.

After that I went to the seminary of the Society of the Divine Word in Techny, Illinois, and was ordained a priest in 1946.

Service in the missions of Papua New Guinea followed, from 1947 to 1951, and then editorial duties for the Society’s magazine, back at Techny, from 1951 to 1960.

A natural love for monastic life drew me to Gethsemani and fulfilled a lifelong dream. My entry to the community was in February 1960.

Over the past decades I have served in various capacities: master of the brothers, shoe shop, tailor shop, vocations office, and retreat house.

Monastic life is everything I wanted, my happiness. All dreams fulfilled. But the fulfillment came slowly. Following your dreams and not giving up is my best recommendation.

I can write and I can talk and that has been my work world. The Sunday homilies on the next pages have been my proclamation of the good news of the Kingdom.

Fr. Matthew left us for the Kingdom on the 18th of February, 2011, but his memory and his legacy are still with us here below.


Gethsemani Farms

Visit our online store

Lay Cistercians

Learn more