William Henry Keeler

William Henry Keeler

1931 -


Interview Length: 75 minutes

Interview Date: March 23, 2009

Interview Location: Baltimore, MD




William Henry Keeler had always felt a calling for the church. He began seminary when he was fifteen and was ordained in Rome at 24. Keeler came to Harrisburg in the late 1960s as vice chancellor of the Catholic Church. At the time, racial tensions were flaring after the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. To help build a sense of community, he joined the Harrisburg Red Cross board. Through its efforts, Holy Spirit Hospital opened the first kosher hospital kitchen. In 1983, he became the seventh bishop of the Harrisburg Diocese. As bishop of Harrisburg, he took to heart his chosen motto: Opus Fac Evangeliste ("Do the Work of an Evangelist"). Cardinal Keeler continues his dedication to inter-religious harmony as the national Episcopal moderator for Catholic-Jewish relations today.