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Honoring His Eminence William Cardinal Keeler

Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger

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Madam Speaker, I rise before you today to honor Cardinal William Henry Keeler, Fourteenth Archbishop of Baltimore.

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 RA. from St. Charles Seminary, Overbrook, Philadelphia, in 1952 and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 1956.

Ordained a priest on July 17, 1955 in the Church of the Holy Apostles in Rome, Italy by Archbishop Luigi Traglia, the young cleric became assistant pastor at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Marysville, Pennsylvania and secretary of the Diocesan Tribunal. In 1965, he was appointed to serve as Vice Chancellor of the Harrisburg Diocese and Chancellor in 1969. He held the position of Vicar General when he was named Auxiliary Bishop of Harrisburg and Titular Bishop of Ulcinium by Pope John Paul II on July 24, 1979.

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. He was appointed Archbishop of Baltimore by Pope John Paul II and was formally installed as 14th Ordinary of the nation's oldest See on May 23, 1989 in ceremonies at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen. 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,

Cardinal Keeler was appointed to the College of Cardinals by Pope John Paul II on November 28, 1994. The Consistory Ceremony took place in the Pope Paul VI Audience Hall in the Vatican City State. As part of his work with the NCCB, Cardinal Keeler 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.

Madam Speaker, I ask that you join with me today to honor William Cardinal Keeler, Fourteenth Archbishop of Baltimore. His lifetime devotion to his faith, the Catholic Church and its mission are unsurpassed. It is with great pride that I congratulate Cardinal Keeler on his stellar and exemplary career in the Roman Catholic Church.