Father Barnabas Keck, formerly stationed at St. Francis Chapel, dies at 89
KINGSTON, N.Y. – Capuchin Franciscan Father Barnabas Keck, 89, died in Kingston on Aug. 13. Father Keck was well-known by many in the Springfield Diocese when he was stationed at the St. Francis Chapel in downtown Springfield.
Baptized John, he was born in Valley Stream, N.Y. in 1924. He attended St. Mary Seminary, Garrison, N.Y. from 1941-43 and entered the Capuchin Franciscans in 1943. He studied philosophy at Mary Immaculate Friary, Garrison, N.Y. (1944-48) and theology at St. Anthony Friary, Marathon, Wis. (1948-1952). He was ordained to the priesthood at St. John the Baptist Church, New York City on Aug. 25, 1951.
Father’s first assignment was at Sacred Heart Parish, Yonkers, N.Y. (1952-56) where he served as a parochial assistant and teacher at Sacred Heart High School. He would later return to Sacred Heart (1961-1970) and continued his ministry of parochial assistant and fraternity vicar.
He was a dedicated religious formator. He served as the assistant novice master (1956-1959) at St. Lawrence Friary, Milton, Mass., and novice master (1959-1961) at St. Pius X Friary, Middletown, Conn. He returned to St. Pius X in 1985, where he served as a temporary assistant for nine months.
From 1971-78 he ministered at St. Francis Chapel, Springfield as a chapel assistant. He returned to Springfield from 1985 to 1997, when he served as assistant, chapel rector and guardian of the friar community.
Father Keck also ministered at St. John the Baptist Parish, New York City (1978-1984), where he served as a parochial assistant.
From 1997 until his death, he ministered at St. Joseph Parish, New Paltz, N.Y. as a parochial vicar and fraternal vicar of the friar community.
He is survived by three sisters, Jean Keck and Joan Milde of New Hyde Park, N.Y., and Rita Ripley of Floral Park, N.Y.; a brother, Robert Keck, of New York City; and several nieces and nephews.
The wake was scheduled to be held at St. Joseph Church, 34 S. Chestnut St., New Paltz, on Thursday, Aug. 15, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. There will be a wake service at 8:15 p.m. in the church. A Mass of Christian Burial will also be celebrated at St. Joseph Church on Friday, Aug. 16, at 11:30 a.m. A luncheon will follow.
Interment will be at the Province of St. Mary Cemetery on the property of 110 Shonnard Place, Yonkers, with an arrival time of 3 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations will be kindly accepted in support of senior friar care, education and ministries of the Capuchin Franciscans by the Capuchin Office of Development, 210 West 31st Street, New York, NY 10001.