The Catholic University of America

Rev. J. Cletus Kiley

IPR Visiting Fellow
Email: ckiley[at]
Curriculum Vitae: Click here to view.

Rev. Clete Kiley is a priest of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago. In his 39 years as a priest he has served in many capacities including work as a pastor of a large immigrant parish in Chicago, and as a staff member at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

On July 1, 2010 he assumed responsibility as the Director for Immigration Policy for UNITE HERE. In this capacity he works on immigration reform strategies with the union’s national leadership and its local members throughout the U.S. He works with a variety of allies of the union in this role. Fr. Kiley is no stranger to UNITE HERE. He worked on O’Hare Airport and College and University Food Service organizing campaigns for a number of years in the late 1990’s.

Fr. Kiley also serves as a Trustee of UNITE HERE Health, the health plan for the union. In addition, he is a member of the Board of Directors of CPWR- the Center for Research for the Building Trades. Fr. Kiley has been guiding a project to train a new generation of Catholic Labor priests.

Fr. Kiley comes to UNITE HERE from The Faith & Politics Institute where he served as President and CEO since June 2006. While at the Institute, Fr. Kiley worked closely with members of Congress from both political parties. Of particular note was his work with Congressman John Lewis bringing members of Congress on the Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage to Alabama to reflect on the values and lessons of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement for our contemporary national life. He hosted an annual program for members of Congress and members of the Labor and Business communities to reflect on the lives and issues of importance to America’s working people. He oversaw the development of a dialogue group for over 35 Senate chiefs of staff and conducted weekly reflection groups for members of Congress.

Prior to joining the Institute, Rev. Kiley was Executive Director, Secretariat for Priestly Life and Ministry for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. While there, Rev. Kiley was also a member of the crisis management team assisting in the church's response to the sexual abuse crisis. He participated in the formulation of a national policy, helped to create the National Review Board and Office for Child and Youth protection, and served as consultant to the board. He also developed and coordinated training workshops for the bishops and key staff in the implementation of the policy. He represented the USCCB at conferences convened by the Holy See in Rome, at training meetings for seminary formators in Lithuania and Poland, as well as at meetings of the Comision del Clero de CELAM in Bogota, Panama City and Mexico City.

Before joining the Conference of Bishops, Rev. Kiley was pastor of St. Agnes of Bohemia parish in Chicago and president of St. Joseph College Seminary. St. Agnes was one of the largest parishes in Chicago serving over 5,000 immigrant families. At St. Joseph, he developed and implemented a new strategic plan that led to the relocation of the school on to the main campus of Loyola University. Prior assignments included service as a member of Cardinal Bernardin’s cabinet and Director for Personnel Services for the Archdiocese of Chicago. He also served as a member of the College of Consultors for the Archdiocese. In addition he served as Acting Vicar for Religious, Chairman of the Comision del Plan Pastoral Hispano and as Asesor for El Movimiento del  Encuentro Conyugal Arquidiocesano, and as Associate Dean of Formation at Mundelein Seminary.

Rev. Kiley has also served on the board of directors for a number of non-profit organizations including the S.O.S Children's Villages in Chicago, the National Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice, and as a member of the Board of Visitors for the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. Fr. Kiley is a past-president of the National Association of Church Personnel Administrators, and a past member of the Executive Committee of the National Association of College Seminaries.

A native Chicago Southsider and White Sox fan, Rev. Kiley graduated from Loyola University/Chicago in 1970 and received a Bachelor in Sacred Theology and a Master in Divinity degree from the University of St. Mary of the Lake in 1974, a Masters degree in Applied Spirituality (Ignatian)  from the University of San Francisco in 1980, and a doctorate in ministry from the University of St. Mary of the Lake in 1980. He is fluent in Spanish and Italian.