Moses E. Kiley

The Most Reverend

Moses Elias Kiley
Archbishop of Milwaukee
See Milwaukee
Installed January 1, 1940
Term ended April 15, 1953
Predecessor Samuel Stritch
Successor Albert Gregory Meyer
Other posts Bishop of Trenton (1934–40)
Ordination June 10, 1911
Consecration March 17, 1934
Personal details
Born (1876-11-13)November 13, 1876
Margaree Centre, Nova Scotia
Died April 15, 1953(1953-04-15) (aged 76)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Denomination Roman Catholic Church

Moses Elias Kiley (November 13, 1876 – April 15, 1953) was a Canadian-born prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as the bishop of the Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey (1934–40) and the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (1940–53).

Early life and education

Moses Kiley was born in Margaree, on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, to John and Margaret (née McGarry) Kiley.[1] He received his early education at a grade school in Baddeck, and moved to Somerville, Massachusetts, at age 16.[2] He earned money to finance his higher education by working as an errand boy at a carriage shop in Somerville which his older brothers had established.[2] He also worked as a floorwalker at a department store in Boston and as a trolley motorman.[3][4]

In 1903, Kiley enrolled at the College of St. Laurent in Montreal, Quebec.[1] After three years in Montreal, he began his studies for the priesthood at St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1906.[2] The following year he was sent to continue his studies in Rome, where he resided at the Pontifical North American College.[5] He earned a doctorate in philosophy from the University of St. Thomas in 1909, and a doctorate in theology from the Propaganda University in 1911.[1]


Kiley was ordained a priest in Rome on June 10, 1911.[6] Following his return to the United States, he was assigned as a curate at St. Agnes Church in Chicago, Illinois, where he remained for five years.[1] In 1916, he established the Mission of the Holy Cross for homeless men.[2] That same year, he was named the first archdiocesan director of Catholic Charities, a post which he held until 1926.[1]

Kiley was elevated to the rank of Monsignor in 1924.[2] From 1926 to 1934, he served as spiritual director of the Pontifical North American College in Rome.[2]


On February 10, 1934, Kiley was appointed the fifth Bishop of Trenton, New Jersey, by Pope Pius XI.[6] He received his episcopal consecration one month later, on March 17, from Cardinal Raffaele Rossi, with Cardinal Carlo Salotti and Archbishop Thomas Walsh serving as co-consecrators, at the Church of Santa Susanna in Rome.[6] His most notable achievement in Trenton was refinancing $10,000,000 of church obligations.[4] Following the transfer of Archbishop Samuel Stritch to the Archdiocese of Chicago, Kiley was appointed the sixth Archbishop of Milwaukee by Pope Pius XII on January 1, 1940.[6] He was installed at the Church of the Gesu on the following March 28.[2]

During his tenure in Milwaukee, Kiley earned a reputation as a conservative leader and stern administrator.[7] He oversaw an extensive renovation of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, which suffered major damage from a fire in 1935.[8] He rebuilt the St. Aemillian Orphanage, which had also suffered major fire damage in the 1930s.[7] He also renovated St. Francis Seminary, converted Pio Nono High School into a minor seminary, and created a Catholic Family Life Bureau in 1948.[8]

Kiley died at St. Mary's Hospital in Milwaukee, at age 76.[2]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Curtis, Georgina Pell (1961). The American Catholic Who's Who. XIV. Grosse Pointe, Michigan: Walter Romig.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "ARCHBISHOP KILEY OF MILWAUKEE, 76; Roman Catholic Prelate, Who Had Been Chicago Director of Charities, Is Dead". The New York Times. April 16, 1953.
  3. McNamara, Robert Francis (1956). The American College in Rome, 1855–1955.
  4. 1 2 "Religion: Stritch to Chicago". TIME Magazine. January 15, 1940.
  5. "Mgr. Kiley Holds Vatican Post". The New York Times. February 13, 1934.
  6. 1 2 3 4 "Archbishop Moses Elias Kiley".
  7. 1 2 "The Church of the Code: 1903–1945". Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee.
  8. 1 2 "Archbishop Moses Elias Kiley". Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Samuel Stritch
Archbishop of Milwaukee
Succeeded by
Albert Gregory Meyer
Preceded by
John J. McMahon
Bishop of Trenton
Succeeded by
William A. Griffin

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