Sister Attracta Kelly, OP,Prioress of the Adrian Dominican Sisters since July 2010, was born in Castlerea, County Roscommon, Ireland, to a Catholic family. Growing up, she was greatly influenced by her parents, who stood for the rights of oppressed people. Not long after arriving in the United States at the age of 18 to visit her cousin, a Dominican sister, Sister Attracta entered the Adrian Dominican Congregation.

She was elected to the General Council of the Adrian Dominican Sisters in 1986 and served the Congregation in that capacity until 1992. She enrolled in the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America in 1993 and during that time served as an intern with the Catholic Legal Immigration Network.

From 1997 to 1999, she worked for Jesuit Refugee Services in Ireland and returned to the United States to begin an 11-year ministry as the director and a staff attorney of the Immigrants Legal Assistance Project of the North Carolina Center for Justice.

Because of her dedication to immigration law and her mentoring of numerous attorneys, the Carolina Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association established a scholarship to their national convention in her name.