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|Cardinal W H Keeler|
Archbishop of Baltimore
His Eminence William Cardinal Keeler was elected to the College of Cardinals by Pope John Paul II on November 26, 1994. The Consistory ceremony took place in the Pope Paul VI Audience Hall, Vatican City State where he received the red hat and the title of St. Mary of the Angels and of the Martyrs. The Cardinal currently serves on the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.
Cardinal William H Keeler was appointed Archbishop of Baltimore by Pope John Paul II on April 11, 1989 and was formally installed as 14th Archbishop of the nation's oldest See on May 23 in ceremonies at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen. Prior to his assignment in Baltimore, he was Bishop of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania from 1983 - 1989 and had served in the Harrisburg diocese since 1956.
Church Leadership Roles
An influential participant in a wide range of national and international issues Keeler was elected President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) and the United States Catholic Conference in November, 1992. He had been elected as the organizations' Vice President in November, 1989, when he hosted Baltimore's bicentennial celebration of the founding of America's first Roman Catholic diocese. He is also Chairman of the Maryland Catholic Conference, Chair of the Board and Chancellor of St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore, as well as Mount St. Mary's Seminary, Emmitsburg.
As part of his work with the NCCB, Cardinal Keeler has developed a reputation for effectively building interfaith bonds. He is particularly noted for his work in fostering an effective Catholic-Jewish dialogue and is the Episcopal Moderator, Catholic-Jewish Relations of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. As chairman of the NCCB's Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs from 1984 to November, 1987 he helped arrange the Pope's meetings with Jewish leaders in Miami and with Protestant leaders in Columbia S.C., during the 1987 papal visit. The Archbishop was appointed to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in the summer of 1994, and to the Congregation for the Oriental Churches in November, 1994.
Initiatives in the Archdiocese of Baltimore
Since coming to Baltimore one of Cardinal Keeler's priorities as leader of the oldest Catholic See in the United States has been the strengthening of the Catholic school system. He also has been a vigilant leader of the pro-life movement and an outspoken advocate for expanded evangelization throughout the parish community. Several years ago the Cardinal initiated the Lenten Appeal, a giving campaign that to date has raised nearly $29 million in support of area Catholic schools, the needs of the less fortunate, and a variety of spiritual development efforts.
Early Years and Advancement to Priesthood
William Henry Keeler was born March 4, 1931 in San Antonio, Texas, the son of Thomas L. Keeler and Margaret T. (Conway) Keeler. He was raised in Lebanon Pennsylvania, where he attended St. Mary School and Lebanon Catholic High School. He received a B.A. from St. Charles Seminary, Overbrook, Philadelphia, in 1952 and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 1956.
Ministry in the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Ordained a priest on July 17, 1955 in the Church of the Holy Apostles Rome by Archbishop and future Cardinale Luigi Traglia, the young cleric became assistant pastor at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, Marysville, and secretary of the diocesan Tribunal (1956-1958). He was then assigned to study Canon Law at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. In 1961, he received his doctorate in Canon Law and was reappointed by Bishop George L. Leech as assistant pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church and defender of the bond of the diocesan Tribunal. In 1964, be was named pastor of the Marysville parish.
As secretary to Bishop Leech during the Second Vatican Council meetings in Rome (1962-1965), he was appointed peritus or "special advisor" to the Council by Pope John XXIII. During the Council, he also served on the staff of the Council Digest, a daily communication service sponsored by the United States Bishops.
In 1965, he was appointed to serve as Vice Chancellor of the Harrisburg Diocese and, in time, Chancellor (l969) and later Vicar General. He held the latter position when he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Harrisburg and Titular Bishop of Ulcinium (Dulcigno) by Pope John Paul II on July 24, 1979. His episcopal ordination occurred on September 21, 1979, at St Patrick Cathedral, Harrisburg.
On September 3, 1983, he was elected Administrator of the Diocese of Harrisburg by the College of Consultors. Pope John Paul II appointed him Bishop of Harrisburg on November 10, 1983, and he was installed as Bishop on January 4, 1984, by His Eminence John Cardinal Krol, Archbishop of Philadelphia.
Memberships and Affiliations
He is the Vice President of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, and a member of the Black and Native American Missions Board. He serves on the Boards of The Catholic University of America; the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington; and Mount St. Mary's College.
He is Chairman of the Board of Catholic Charities, the largest non-governmental agency providing assistance to the needy in Maryland. He is president of the Cathedral Foundation and publisher of The Baltimore Catholic Review.
Mount Saint Mary's College and Seminary-Emmitsburg, Maryland; Lebanon Valley College-Annville, Pennsylvania; Gettysburg College-Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; Susquehanna University-Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania; Gannon University, Erie, Pennsylvania; Loyola College, Baltimore, Maryland; Shippensburg State University-Shippensburg, Pennsylvania; Saint Mary's University of Minnesota-Winona, Minnesota; Elizabethtown College-Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania; Saint Vincent Seminary-Latrobe, Pennsylvania; Western Maryland College-Westminster, Maryland; College of Notre Dame of Maryland- Baltimore, Maryland; University of Notre Dame-Notre Dame, Indiana; Ateneo de Manila University-Quezon City, Philippines; Sacred Heart University-Fairfield, Connecticut; Catholic University-Lublin, Poland; Franciscan University-Steubenville, Ohio.
Honored by the dedication of the "Cardinal Keeler Center," a new
conference facility adjacent to the Diocese of Harrisburg's Diocesan Center,
February 2001 Henry A. Rosenberg, Sr. Distinguished Citizen Award, December
1999 Elizabeth Ann Seton Award - National Catholic Educational Association,
October 1999 Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem Lifetime Achievement Award,
February 1999 Silver St. George Medal - National Catholic Committee on Scouting,
November 1998 Pennsylvania Dutch Council Boy Scouts of America Distinguished
Citizen Award, May 1998 Nostra Aetate Award - Institute for Christian - Jewish
Understanding, 1997 Shaw Award-Rotary International, 1995 Others Award of the
Salvation Army, 1995 Mahmound Abu Saud Excellence Award - American Muslim Council,
1995 Marylander of the Year - The Baltimore Sun, 1994 Media Person of the Year
- Maryland Press Association, 1994 Distinguished Eagle Society - National Boy
Scouts of America Award, 1990 DeTocqueville Society Award - Tri-County Pennsylvania
United Way, 1988 Marylander of the Year - The Maryland Colonial Society, 1986
Americanism Award - Anti-Defamation League Harrisburg Society of Fellows, 1985
John Baum Humanitarian Award - Dauphin County Pennsylvania Unit American Cancer
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