Moses Elias Kiley
Archbishop of Milwaukee
SeeArchdiocese of Milwaukee
InstalledJanuary 1, 1940
Term endedApril 15, 1953
PredecessorSamuel Stritch
SuccessorAlbert Gregory Meyer
Other post(s)Bishop of Trenton (1934–1940)
OrdinationJune 10, 1911
ConsecrationMarch 17, 1934
Personal details
Born(1876-11-13)November 13, 1876
DiedApril 15, 1953(1953-04-15) (aged 76)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US
DenominationRoman Catholic Church
EducationCollege of St. Laurent
St. Mary's Seminary
Pontificial University of St. Thomas
Pontifical Urban University

Moses Elias Kiley (November 13, 1876 – April 15, 1953) was an American prelate of the Catholic Church. He served as the bishop of the Diocese of Trenton in New Jersey (1934–1940) and the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in Wisconsin (1940–1953).


Early life

Moses Kiley was born on November 13, 1876, 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, Nova Scotia. When Kiley was 16, the family immigrated to the United States, moving Somerville, Massachusetts.[2] He financed his higher education by working as an errand boy at a carriage shop in Somerville established by his older brothers.[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, Kiley was sent to Rome, where he resided at the Pontifical North American College.[5] While in Rome, he earned a doctorate in philosophy from the Pontificial University of St. Thomas in 1909, and a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Urban University in 1911.[1]


Kiley was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago in Rome on June 10, 1911.[6] Following his return to the United States, he was assigned as a curate at St. Agnes Parish 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]

Bishop of Trenton

On February 10, 1934, Kiley was appointed the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Trenton by Pope Pius XI.[6] He received his episcopal consecration on March 17, 1934, 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]

Archbishop of Milwaukee

Following the transfer of Archbishop Samuel Stritch to the Archdiocese of Chicago, Kiley was appointed the sixth archbishop of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee by Pope Pius XII on January 1, 1940.[6] Kiley was installed at the Church of the Gesu in Milwaukee on March 28, 1940.[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 in Milwaukee, which suffered major damage from a fire in 1935.[8] He rebuilt the St. Aemillian Orphanage in Milwaukee, which had also suffered major fire damage in the 1930s.[7] Kiley also renovated St. Francis Seminary in St. Francis, Wisconsin, converted Pio Nono High School into a minor seminary, and created a Catholic Family Life Bureau in 1948.[8]

Moses Kiley died on April 15, 1953, at St. Mary's Hospital in Milwaukee, at age 76.[2]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Curtis, Georgina Pell (1961). The American Catholic Who's Who. Vol. XIV. Grosse Pointe, Michigan: Walter Romig.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "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. ^ a b "Religion: Stritch to Chicago". TIME Magazine. January 15, 1940. Archived from the original on October 14, 2010.
  5. ^ "Mgr. Kiley Holds Vatican Post". The New York Times. February 13, 1934.
  6. ^ a b c d "Archbishop Moses Elias Kiley".[self-published source]
  7. ^ a b "The Church of the Code: 1903–1945". Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee.
  8. ^ a b "Archbishop Moses Elias Kiley". Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee.