Use Code BALT69 for a $69 Ticket to One Day University on July 9

William H. Keeler

Cardinal William H. Keeler is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Baltimore from 1989 to 2007. Pope Benedict XVI accepted Keeler's resignation on July 12, 2007, when it was announced that Edwin O'Brien had been appointed to succeed Keeler as Archbishop of Baltimore. Keeler was ordained on July 17, 1955. Raised in Pennsylvania, Keeler spent more than half his career in the Diocese of Harrisburg -- first as a parish priest, then becoming auxiliary bishop in 1979 and bishop in 1983. Keeler became known for his work building interfaith bonds, particularly Catholic-Jewish dialogue. Some observers have said the prelate's relationships with Jewish leaders impressed Pope John Paul II during the pontiff's 1987 visit to the United States, ultimately leading to Keeler's elevation to cardinal in 1994. As Archbishop of Baltimore, Keeler was head of America's oldest see and de facto Primate. In 1992, he initiated the Lenten Appeal, a giving campaign that raised more than $44 million in support of Baltimore's Catholic schools, the needs of the less fortunate and a variety of spiritual development efforts. Keeler also played a key role in the effort to restore Baltimore's Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, America's first cathedral, the cost of which was financed entirely through private donations. In 2005, Keeler was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the papal conclave that chose Pope Benedict XVI. He retains his membership in the College of Cardinals but will not be allowed to vote after he turns 80.