On Friday, May 11, after 55 years of service as a priest, the Lord called Fr. Thomas J. Keller, MSC to his eternal home.
After his ordination to the priesthood on September 17, 1955, Fr. Thomas studied Canon Law in preparation for his assignment to the Territory of Papua, New Guinea. He received his Licentiate Degree in Canon Law in 1958, and began his assignment as priest-in-charge at St. Mary's Catholic Mission Station in Karu, Island of New Ireland, Papua New Guinea in 1959. During the next 16 years, Fr. Tom served the Church and the people of Papua New Guinea in several ways including as the pastor to a couple different parishes, as the Judicial Vicar of the newly established Diocese of Kavieng and as a Professor of Moral Theology and Canon Law at De Boismenu College and Seminary.
Upon returning to the United States in 1975, Fr. Tom became the Director of Planned Giving at the MSC USA headquarters in Aurora, IL. He later served as pastor of Holy Cross Parish in Batavia, IL, in MSC retreat ministry in California, and as a member of the Marriage Tribunal in the Diocese of Orange, before retiring to Sacred Heart Villa in Center Valley, PA for health reasons in March 2011.
We are grateful for Fr. Tom's many years of dedication and loving service to both the local and global Church and we will deeply miss his presence in our community.
Viewing will take place at Sacred Heart Villa, 3300 Station Avenue on Wednesday, May 16, 2012, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., beginning with a Wake Service at 7 p.m. in the Villa Chapel. Father E. Michael Camilli, MSC, Superior and Rector, will preside. A Funeral Mass will be concelebrated on Thursday, May 17, 2012, at 10 a.m. in the same Chapel. Father Raymond Diesbourg, MSC, Provincial Superior of the United States Province of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart will preside.
If you knew Fr. Thomas and would like to make a donation in his memory, we invite you to do so online using the button below or by mailing your donation to the Father Thomas J. Keller, MSC, Memorial Fund, Sacred Heart Villa, 3300 Station Avenue, Center Valley, PA 18034-9563.