Cardinal William Keeler, Former Bishop of Harrisburg, Dies

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HARRISBURG — A former bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, who served most recently as cardinal in the Baltimore diocese, has died at age 86. Cardinal William Keeler was the seventh bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, serving from 1984 to 1989.

He served in Baltimore, first as archbishop, and was then elevated to cardinal 1994 by Pope John Paul II in a mass at St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.

When he retired in 2007, he had 51 years of active ministry, including 33 years in the Harrisburg diocese and 18 years in Baltimore.

Cardinal Keeler was raised in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, where he attended St. Mary School and Lebanon Catholic High School. He received a B.A. from St. Charles Seminary, Overbrook, Philadelphia, in 1952 and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 1956.

The Diocese of Harrisburg issued a statement on the death of the cardinal.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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