March 23, 2017 — (Washington, DC) —
It was with deep sadness that I learned early this morning of the death of William Cardinal Keeler, Archbishop Emeritus of Baltimore. For more than 18 years, until his retirement in 2007, His Eminence served as shepherd of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Mother Church of the Archdiocese of Washington and all the local Churches in the United States.
It was a privilege to have known Cardinal Keeler for more than three decades. We worked closely together through the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference when he was Bishop of Harrisburg, and again during his time as president of the then-National Conference of Catholic Bishops and United States Catholic Conference. Following my appointment here as Archbishop of Washington, I was delighted to have the opportunity to work on important initiatives through our roles with the Maryland Catholic Conference.
A priest for more than 61 years and special advisor to the Second Vatican Council, Cardinal Keeler was a beloved pastor of souls, exemplary leader, and a respected collaborator in ministry. His episcopal motto, “Do the Work of an Evangelist,” foresaw our efforts now in the New Evangelization and his efforts to build bridges among peoples offered us an example that is much needed in today’s culture.
Personally, and on behalf of the entire Church of Washington, we join with our sisters and brothers in Baltimore in offering up our prayers that God our Father receive him into his heavenly kingdom, there to rejoice in eternal life in the communion of Christ, whom he so nobly served, and all the saints.