First and last meetings

Cardinal Keeler was a warm, gentle and unassuming man. I first met him in early summer 1991, two years after he had been appointed Archbishop of Baltimore. He was visiting my childhood parish and was greeting parishioners as they entered the church. When he noticed I was expecting, he immediately came to me and blessed both me and the baby. Paul was born on July 17th, the anniversary of the then Archbishop’s ordination to the priesthood. The last time I met him was only a few summers ago at the Basilica when he celebrated Mass in Latin. (My brother Tom commented that someone should mention to him that not everyone speaks Latin as fluently as he does and should ask him to slow down during prayers 🙂 ) After Mass, we spoke and he was thrilled to hear I was living in Europe, since it gave him the opportunity to speak French. Even though we did not meet often, each time we did was very special and marked me. May he rest in peace.

– Cheryl Kouba