About the Staff
Patrick E. Kelly
Patrick E. Kelly is the Executive Director of the Saint John Paul II National Shrine and the Deputy Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus. As Executive Director, Mr. Kelly oversees the daily operations of the Shrine which has become a national place of pilgrimage dedicated to the spirituality, legacy and apostolic work of St. John Paul II.
A member of the Knights of Columbus for more than three decades, Mr. Kelly became the Order's Vice President for Public Policy in 2006 and has been Executive Director of the Shrine since its establishment in 2011.
Mr. Kelly has had a distinguished twenty-five year career in public service. He served as the Senior Advisor to the Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom at the U.S. Department of State where his responsibilities included providing policy guidance on religious freedom questions in Iraq, Iran and Israel. He also acted as the State Department’s principal interlocutor with the Holy See on religious freedom issues worldwide.
Before his work at the State Department, Mr. Kelly served as the Legislative Counsel to the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in the U.S. House of Representatives. Previously, he served as an attorney in the Office of Intelligence, National Security Division at the U.S. Department of Justice.
In 2016, Mr. Kelly retired with the rank of Captain from the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps Reserves after 24 years of distinguished active and reserve service. He specialized in international and operational law and served as the Commanding Officer of the International Law unit at the U.S. Naval War College.
Familiar with the life and legacy of St. John Paul II, Mr. Kelly holds a Master of Theological Studies from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. The John Paul II Institute is a graduate school of theology dedicated to the study of the person and the call to holiness within marriage and family life.
Additionally, Mr. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and a Juris Doctor from Marquette University. A member of the Wisconsin bar, he has been admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Mr. Kelly is Chairman of the Board of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund and is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Knights of Columbus, the National Catholic Bioethics Center, and the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast.
He and his wife reside in Connecticut. They are the parents of three children.
Maxime Nogier oversees the Shrine’s development in cooperation with the Executive Director and coordinates the relations between the Shrine and the New Haven headquarters of the Knights of Columbus. He supervises the ministries of the Shrine’s chaplain in residence, the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, and the Evangelization and Catechesis team.
In addition to his leadership at the Shrine, Mr. Nogier is Special Assistant to the Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson for French Affairs. He plays a key role in the development of the Knights of Columbus in France. Among other projects, he coordinates the Warriors to Lourdes pilgrimage in France, sponsored by the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA and the Knights of Columbus.
From 2009 to 2014, he was the Executive Assistant of His Excellency Jean Laffitte, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Family at the Vatican. During these years, Mr. Nogier supervised the French-speaking affairs of the dicastery, planned the quinquennial visits ad limina apostolorum of diocesan bishops from all around the world, and assisted with the fundraising program launched by the secretary of the council. He also managed the day-to-day operation of the plenary assembly of the dicastery and organized the planning of two international World Meetings of Families presided over by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012 and Pope Francis in 2015.
Previously, Mr. Nogier assisted the Vice President of the Pontifical Academy of Life (2007 – 2008) with the French translation of the proceedings of the academy.
Mr. Nogier graduated with a Doctorate of Bioethics from the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome, Italy. He is fluent in French and Italian. He and his wife reside in Virginia. They are the parents of one daughter.
Reverend José Maria Cortes, F.S.C.B.
Reverend José Maria Cortes, F.S.C.B., serves as the Chaplain of the Saint John Paul II National Shrine. A member of the Priestly Fraternity of the Missionaries of Saint Charles Borromeo, Fr. José was ordained in 1995. Born in Lisbon, Portugal, he has an S.T.B., and an M.A. in Systematic Theology from the Catholic University of Portugal. Father has completed the courses portion for a Doctorate in Systematic Theology at the same university.
Father José considers Saint John Paul II to be “the Pope of my life. I had the grace of seeing him many times. His love for Christ and his missionary courage influenced immensely my faith and the steps of my vocation towards the priesthood. I always saw in him a model to follow in the way of being a shepherd of souls.”
A student of the work of St. John Paul II, the subject of Father’s dissertation is the Christological background of metaphysics of the person as it appears in The Acting Person. “His thought has deepened my understanding of how the mystery of Christ reveals the person in his transcendental dignity.”
The Shrine is fortunate to have as its Chaplain a priest influenced so directly by its patron and one who has had extensive experience as both teacher and pastor. He has been a high school teacher of religious and moral education in Lisbon, the founding pastor of two new churches in that country and served as a chaplain in the Portuguese Air Force for six years. More recently, he was pastor for five years of Christ the King Parish in Silver Spring, Maryland. He has also been a spiritual director of a retreat house for his religious community in Macerata Italy.
A Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus, he was the chaplain of Father Rosensteel Council in Silver Spring, Maryland.