Fr. Seamus O'Kielty Appointed College Chaplain

September 23, 2004

In the 51st year of his priesthood, Fr. Seamus P. O’Kielty was made College Chaplain this past August. No one will say he lacks experience.

He came to Christendom as an Assistant Chaplain in 2002, and, following the recent reassignment of College Chaplain Fr. Robert Ruskamp, assumed the role of Chaplain.

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.

Fr. O’Kielty is aided in the chaplaincy by Fr. Anthony Mastroeni and numerous visiting priests.


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