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Celebrating a Milestone Jubilee

August 31, 2016

Fr. Michael Keliher, CSV, returned to his roots last year when he attended his 50th reunion

Fr. Daniel Belanger, CSV, currently serving in Campus Ministry at Bishop Mac, joins with his confrere, Fr. Michael Keliher, CSV, during his 50th reunion

Fr. Daniel Belanger, CSV, currently serving in Campus Ministry at Bishop Mac, joins with his confrere, Fr. Michael Keliher, CSV, during his 50th reunion

at Bishop McNamara High School. One year later, he celebrates 50 years of religious life.

The two anniversaries go hand in hand, since it was immediately following his graduation that he entered the Viatorian novitiate and one year later took his first vows.

Parishioners at St. Thomas More Catholic Community in Henderson, NV, where Fr. Mike has served as an associate pastor for nearly 20 years, plan to celebrate his commitment to religious life at receptions after each of the Masses on Sunday.

“His 50 years as a Viatorian have been

Fr. Michael Keliher as a young novice, in 1965

Fr. Michael Keliher as a young novice, in 1965

marked by dedicated ministry,” says Fr. Mick Egan, CSV, pastor, “and a genuine care for the people he served in his many assignments.”

Like most Viatorians, it was the relationships he made that influenced him to join the community. His confreres point to Fr. Mike’s early years at St. Patrick Church in Kankakee, when Fr. Francis T. Williams, CSV, was pastor, as well as at the high school, where Fr. Norbert Bibeault, CSV, and Fr. Gene Lutz, CSV, both served as mentors.

Fr. Michael Keliher accepting a gift from Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, at a celebration last summer for all the Viatorian jubilarians

Fr. Michael Keliher accepting a gift from Fr. Thomas von Behren, CSV, at a celebration last summer for all the Viatorian jubilarians

Over his nearly 50 years of religious life, he has served as a biology teacher as well as golf and wrestling coach at Saint Viator High School, while also serving at St. Viator Parish in Chicago, Maternity BVM in Bourbonnais, St. Viator Catholic Community in Las Vegas and at his home parish, St. Patrick Church in Kankakee.

He currently directs the Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIA) at St. Thomas More, while helping with many of the pastoral duties of the large parish, which serves more than 6,000 families. Mostly, Fr. Mike has a strong commitment to welcoming and introducing others to the Catholic faith.