Walter P. Kellenberg

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Walter Philip Kellenberg
Bishop of Rockville Centre
DioceseRockville Centre
In officeApril 16, 1957 – May 3, 1976
SuccessorJohn R. McGann
OrdinationJune 2, 1928
ConsecrationOctober 5, 1953
by James Francis McIntyre
Personal details
BornJune 3, 1901
The Bronx, New York
DiedJanuary 11, 1986
Rockville Centre, New York
DenominationRoman Catholic
Previous postBishop of Ogdensburg (1954–1957)
Auxiliary Bishop of New York (1953–1954)

Walter Philip Kellenberg (June 3, 1901 – January 11, 1986) was an American clergyman of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Ogdensburg (1954–1957) and Bishop of Rockville Centre (1957–1976).


Walter Kellenberg was born in the Bronx, New York, to Conrad and Elizabeth (née Kern) Kellenberg. He received his early education at the parochial school of St. Anthony of Padua Church, and attended Fordham Preparatory School and Cathedral College. He made his theological studies at St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers.[1] He also took special courses in real estate, insurance, and business administration at Columbia University.[2]

He was ordained to the priesthood on June 2, 1928.[3] His first assignment was as a curate at St. Mary's Church in the Rosebank neighborhood of Staten Island, where he remained for six years. In 1934, he was transferred to St. Paul's Church in Manhattan and appointed to the archdiocesan curia. Within a year he became a curate at St. Patrick's Cathedral, and was named assistant chancellor and secretary of the Archdiocesan Commission for Real Estate and Insurance in 1939.[2]

He was temporary administrator of St. John the Baptist Church in Staten Island and St. Nicholas Church in Manhattan, and became vice-chancellor in 1942.[2] He was named a papal chamberlain in 1943, and served as secretary to Cardinal Francis Spellman from 1947 to 1950.[1] He was later made chancellor (1947), domestic prelate (1948), and moderator of the coordinating committee of the Archdiocesan Catholic Lay Organization (1951).[1]

On August 25, 1953, Kellenberg was appointed auxiliary bishop of New York and titular bishop of Ioannina by Pope Pius XII. He received his episcopal consecration on the following October 5 from Cardinal James Francis McIntyre, with Bishops William Scully and Joseph Francis Flannelly serving as co-consecrators.[4]


Following the transfer of Bishop Bryan Joseph McEntegart to the Catholic University of America, he was named the sixth Bishop of Ogdensburg on January 19, 1954.[5] That same year, he received an honorary degree from Fordham. He expanded the diocese’s Departments of Education and Catechetics and increased the number of parochial schools.[6]

Rockville Centre[edit]

He remained in Ogdensburg for three years, when he was appointed the first Bishop of the newly erected Diocese of Rockville Centre on April 16, 1957.[6] He founded the diocese's Catholic Charities office that same year.[7]

On April 12, 1959, at Mitchel Air Force Base, Kellenberg dedicated the medal of Our Lady of Loreto. In 1920 Pope Benedict XV declared the Madonna of Loreto patron saint of air travelers and pilots.

From 1962 to 1965, he attended all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council. Three colleges, eighteen high schools and a number of parish schools were established during his tenure. Shortly before reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75, he resigned as bishop on May 3, 1976.[4] Kellenberg died from a heart attack at Mercy Hospital in Rockville Centre, aged 84.

Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale is named in his honor. A stained glass window in St. Boniface Church in Elmont, New York depicts St. John XXIII welcoming Bishop Kellenberg to the Council. His coat of arms in depicted stained glass window in the windows of the formal lounge in Queen’s Court on Fordham's Rose Hill Campus.[3] The Hicksville Knights of Columbus Council 728 is named in honor of Bishop Kellenberg.[8]


  1. ^ a b c Curtis, Georgina Pell (1977). The American Catholic Who's Who. XXI. Grosse Pointe, Michigan: Walter Romig.
  2. ^ a b c "Business-Trained Bishop; Walter Philip Kellenberg". The New York Times. 1957-05-28.
  3. ^ a b "Most Rev. Walter P. Kellenberg, Class of 1919", Fordham Preparatory School
  4. ^ a b "Bishop Walter Philip Kellenberg".
  5. ^ "Bishop Walter Philip Kellenberg, D.D.", Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg
  6. ^ a b Taylor S.S.J., Mary Christine. "Diocese of Ogdensburg", June 7, 2010
  7. ^ "Celebrating 60 Years" Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Rockville Centre
  8. ^ Knights of Columbus, Nassau Chapter
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Bishop of Rockville Centre
Succeeded by
John R. McGann
Preceded by
Bryan Joseph McEntegart
Bishop of Ogdensburg
Succeeded by
James Johnston Navagh
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of New York
Succeeded by