Father John Kiesling, SA, Franciscan Friar of the Atonement
(March 1, 1941 – November 23, 2017)
(November 27, 2017—Graymoor, Garrison, NY) Father John Kiesling, SA, a Franciscan Friar of the Atonement, entered eternal life on Thursday, November 23, 2017. A wake service is planned at Graymoor on Friday, December 1 at 7 p.m., and a Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, December 2, 2017 at 10 a.m. Both services will take place at Our Lady of the Atonement Chapel at Graymoor. Interment in the Friars’ cemetery will immediately follow the funeral.
Fr. Kiesling was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY where he graduated from Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School in 1958. In July of 1959, he entered the Community of the Friars of the Atonement and professed his First Vows in 1960. He made his Final Vows in 1963 and was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Joseph Pernicone at Graymoor in 1968. Fr. Kiesling earned a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Theology from St. Pius X Seminary in Garrison, NY in 1964 and his Masters of Theology from Catholic University in Washington, DC in 1968.
From 1968-1971, Fr. Kiesling worked in Pastoral Ministry at the Chapel of Our Savior in Brockton, MA. He served as Associate Pastor at St. Anthony Parish in Hereford, TX from 1971-1973. He was appointed Director of Novices at the Atonement House in Medford, MA from 1973-1976 then returned to Graymoor to minister in the Retreat Department until 1979.
Fr. Kiesling was appointed Treasurer General for the Friars and served in that position from 1979-1995 while also serving on the General Council from 1981-1989. In 1986 he was appointed President of the National Association for Treasurers of Religious Institutes. In 1995 he Directed the Atonement Associates Program. Fr. Kiesling served as Pastor of Holy Cross Parish in Toronto, ON 1996-1998. He then was Pastor of St. Joan of Arc Parish, Toronto from 1998-2009, after which he returned to Graymoor and served in the Development Office and on the Finance Committee. He was appointed to a two-year term as Guardian at St. Christopher’s Inn in 2010 and ministered as a Spiritual Life Counselor for one year. Fr. Kiesling retired from active ministry in 2015 and served as Vicar at St. Paul’s Friary from 2016 until his death.
Fr. Kiesling was the son of the late Frank J. and Theresa L. Edwards Kiesling, both of Brooklyn, NY. He is survived by his sister Louise B. Kiesling of Baldwin, NY and was predeceased by his sister Mary Theresa Gutierrez of Middletown, NY in 2005. He was a resident of the St. Paul Friary at Graymoor in Garrison, NY at the time of his passing.