About Kelly Ann Lynch

"The greatest gift I ever received was the gift of my faith."

Kelly Ann Lynch was born, baptized and raised in the Catholic church. It is the place where she received her sacraments and the place she sought peace in times of great sorrow or joy. Kelly was fortunate to have loving parents who were her first teachers of the faith. Inspired by their love and commitment to God, each other, their family and others, Kelly received the founding principles for her own life. "Be grateful for all that you have been given," her parents taught her, "and be aware of the needs of others, seeking Christ in everyone you meet."

The nearness of God's presence became very clear to Kelly as a young child. "God made even the tiniest seahorse in this sea," she told her sister one summer day. At that moment, a live seahorse appeared in the shallow ocean water in front of her. Today, Kelly shares that story with children, teens and adults in an effort to allow them to sense the very real presence of God in their own lives.

Blessed with a Franciscan priest as a family friend, Kelly grew up aware of God's presence and learned to hear His voice in the stirring of her own heart.

After attending her first retreat, entitled AWARE, Kelly became more aware of the gifts she had been given. She then began speaking to other teens on retreats where she assisted the Youth Minister. In talks entitled “Why am I afraid to tell you who I am?” and “Love is a decision,” Kelly opened her heart and soul, offering teens an opportunity to grow, share and unlock the barriers that prevented them from becoming all they were called to be. Her closest friend today is one she met on that first retreat.

Whether she was walking door to door collecting money for baby harp seals, the March of Dimes, or the National Right to Life Foundation, Kelly found her calling in speaking on behalf of the needs of others. And when she learned of a nearby nursing home with residents who rarely received visitors, Kelly began a project to fill stockings for them at Christmas.

As a candy striper at a local hospital, Kelly discovered how a simple smile could change someone's day. A stirring in her heart inspired a "Clown Ministry." As "Kelby the Klown," Kelly visited nursing homes and hospitals offering smiles, balloons, love and cheer.

Kelly's lifelong love for children was evident by a calendar filled with scheduled babysitting dates up to a year in advance! She spent much of her time surrounded by children. When her parish priest allowed her to teach CCD (as the youngest teacher he'd ever had), she was elated. "Jesus loves people through people who care," she taught her first grade students, who decorated cups to collect money for the poor.

Though life took her many places, Kelly was always aware of God's presence. When her own daughter was born and needed a liver transplant to survive, Kelly shared her story with others in an effort to raise awareness for organ donation and the ongoing shortage of organ donors. She appeared on TV shows and spoke at conventions, sharing the difficult story of her daughter's illness and the events that followed. Kelly's husband left her the day after her daughter's surgery, and it was her faith in God that sustained her. After returning home, Kelly's parish priest assisted her with an annulment. She remained a single mother for several years before meeting her new husband. And life took them to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where they still live today, and where Kelly runs a children's rosary group to teach children how important their prayers are to God.

After losing close family friend, Father Mychal Judge, on September 11, 2001, Kelly was inspired to share his story with others. By the grace of God and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Kelly became the author of the best-selling and award-winning book, He Said Yes. Upon the book's release in September 2007, Kelly began speaking to students all over New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Sharing her own personal stories, using puppets, skits, songs and activities, Kelly developed a unique, spirit-driven, biblically-based presentation that today delights students from pre-school through high-school and adults of all denominations.
On October 11, 2009, Kelly was professed into the Secular Franciscan Order where she lives out her Catholic faith and strives to bring life to the gospel and the gospel to life.

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