John Richard Keating

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John Richard Keating (July 20, 1934 – March 22, 1998) was an American clergyman of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Arlington from 1983 until his death in 1998.


John Keating was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Robert and Gertrude Keating.[1] He was educated at Queen of All Saints School and Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary in Chicago, and at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein.[1] He continued his studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, from where he obtained a Licentiate of Sacred Theology in 1959.[1] While in Rome, he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Martin John O'Connor on December 20, 1958.[2]

Following his return to Chicago, Keating served as associate pastor at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church until 1960, when Cardinal Albert Gregory Meyer sent him back to Rome to study canon law.[1] He later earned a doctorate in canon law from the Gregorian University in 1963.[1] Keating, returning to Chicago, then served as assistant chancellor of the Archdiocese of Chicago and associate pastor at Immaculate Conception Church.[1] He was also associate pastor at St. Germaine Church in Oak Lawn (1968–1969), St. Mary Church in Riverside (1969–1970), St. Clement Church in Chicago (1970–1975), and St. Louise de Marillac Church in La Grange Park (1975–1983).[1] He was co-chancellor for priest personnel (1971–1979), and a member (1971–1982) and chairman (1977–1982) of the clergy personnel board. From 1979 to 1983, he was vicar general and chancellor of the Archdiocese.[1] He served as Apostolic Administrator of Chicago between the death of Cardinal John Cody and the appointment of Archbishop Joseph Bernardin.[1]

On June 7, 1983, Keating was appointed the second Bishop of Arlington, Virginia, by Pope John Paul II.[2] He received his episcopal consecration on the following August 4 from Archbishop Pio Laghi, with Bishops Thomas Joseph Murphy and Thomas Jerome Welsh serving as co-consecrators.[2] At the beginning of his tenure, the diocese had 188,000 Catholics and 57 parishes; at the time of his death, there were over 336,000 Catholics, 65 parishes, and 5 missions.[1] He issued six pastoral letters and ordained 84 priests.[1] In 1994, he and Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz made national headlines when they insisted on maintaining exclusively male altar servers.[1]

At age 63, Keating died from a heart attack in Rome, while making his ad limina visit to Pope John Paul II.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Arlington's Second Bishop — John R. Keating". Arlington Catholic Herald. 2008-11-20.
  2. ^ a b c "Bishop John Richard Keating".
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Thomas Jerome Welsh
Bishop of Arlington
Succeeded by
Paul Loverde