Jesuit Father Michael M. Kelliher died on Nov. 24, 2016 at the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, California. He was 82.
Fr. Kelliher was born in Spokane, June 13, 1934, to Michael and Helen (Hager) Kelliher. He spent all his formative years on Capitol Hill and attended St. Joseph’s Grade School, Seattle Preparatory, and one year at Seattle University before he entered the Society of Jesus at Sheridan, Oregon, in 1953.
Ordained in 1967 at St. Aloysius Church in Spokane, Fr. Kelliher earned his PhD in criminology from the distinguished program at University of California, Berkeley, and was perhaps the only Jesuit in the world trained to administer polygraphs.
He co-founded Seattle University’s pioneering program in criminal justice and was much beloved by his students. Twice he received the “Outstanding Teaching of the Year” for Seattle University. Under his leadership, the department received the “Outstanding Achievement Award” from the Washington State Council on Crime and Delinquency in 1990.
Fr. Kelliher was a strong advocate of restorative justice, rather than punitive justice. During an academic sabbatical year, he explored programs in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Northern Ireland to investigate their approach to reconciliation.
His brother, Pat, preceded him in death. Fr. Kelliher is survived by his brother, Tim, nieces and nephews, and his Jesuit brothers in the Society of Jesus.