1827 – 1915 (June 12)
Thomas Phelan, son of Patrick Phelan and Eleanor Eagan, was born in Kilkenny County, Ireland, in 1827. In 1848 he traveled to the United States, where, on February 9, 1849, he was vested at Villanova, and took the name Brother Kieran. Two of his sisters entered the Sisters of St. Joseph at Chestnut Hill.
For many years, Brother Kieran served at Villanova where he was in charge of the farm. In June, 1858, he was transferred to Lansingburg, New York, where he remained until May, 1859. He then returned to Villanova where he professed vows on June 7, 1860. He was known to the college personnel as "the Grand Old Man."
Brother Kieran died at Villanova on June 12, 1915 at the age of 88. He is buried there in the Community Cemetery.