Fr. Seamus O’Kielty first came to Christendom in 2002 and has served the college as an official chaplain and as a visiting priest over the years.
Born in County Mayo, Ireland, the eighth child of 10, Fr. O’Kielty studied in seminaries in England, Belgium, Germany, and Scotland and was ordained a priest in 1954. He spent the next 11 years as a bush missionary in Tanganyika/Burundi. In 1965 he came to the US and taught high school in the Paterson, NJ, Diocese.
In 1966 he served in the missions in Bolivia where he became temporary chaplain to the Bolivian army during the Che Guevara emergency. Fr. O’Kielty later attended Farleigh Dickinson University in NJ where he earned a master’s degree in education and then a Master’s in linguistics at New York University.
In 1974 he returned to Burundi and became a parish pastor, replacing Hutu priests who had been massacred. In 1979 he was inducted into the Navy as a chaplain where he was deployed to Libya, Lebanon, Turkey, and Morocco. Following his retirement in 1995, he then served as adjunct professor at Farleigh Dickenson University’s School of Education, spent three months at the Knock Shrine in Ireland, and returned to the Paterson diocese where he assisted at local parishes.