Reverend J. J. Thomas Keys

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2 entries | 1 photo
  • "to Father Tom's family and friends, We children and..."
  • "Dear Fr Thomas Keys family, I remember him at the CYO..."
    - Shawn Cahill
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Entered into rest peacefully, surrounded by his family in his home town of Derry, Northern Ireland on June 26, 2013. Monsignor Keys had returned to Ireland in March to be with his family for the final days of his earthly journey. Monsignor Keys was educated by the Christian Brothers in Derry, Northern Ireland. He pursued his studies in philosophy at Mungret College, Limerick, Ireland and then entered the Major Seminary of St. Patrick's, Carlow, Ireland in l966 for his studies in Theology. He was ordained to the Priesthood on June 7, 1970 at St. Columba Church, Long Tower, Derry, Northern Ireland for ministry in the Diocese of Santa Rosa. His first assignment in September 1970 was as parochial vicar in St. John the Baptist parish, Napa. From January 1972 to March 1979 he served as secretary to Bishop Mark Hurley and also held the office of vice-chancellor. In April 1979 he was appointed Chancellor of the Diocese of Santa Rosa and also acted as the Director of CYO. In November 1982 he was appointed Vicar General and Diocesan Finance Officer of the Diocese and served in those offices under Bishop Hurley and Bishop Steinbock. When Bishop John Steinbock was transferred to the Diocese of Fresno as Bishop, the Diocesan Consultors elected Msgr. Keys to be Temporary Diocesan Administrator. Monsignor Keys was subsequently appointed Vicar General and Diocesan Finance Officer by Bishop Ziemann and served in those offices until the summer of 1999. He was appointed pastor of Star of the Valley parish, Santa Rosa, in 1999 and served there until June 30, 2010 when he retired from active priestly ministry due to ill health. Monsignor Thomas Keys served the Diocese of Santa Rosa well in the various Diocesan offices he held but he also connected with and touched individual lives of many people by helping them in many and varied ways. His priestly ministry was a gift to the Church and the People of God. May he rest in Peace. Parishoner's and friends are invited to attend a Memorial Mass to be Celebrated at the Cathedral of St. Eugene (Corner of Farmer's Lane & Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa, CA, 95405) on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at l0:00 a.m. The Funeral Mass and burial for Monsignor Keys, coincidentally, will take place on the same day at St. Columba's Church, Derry City, Northern Ireland. Messages and cards of sympathy can be mailed directly to the funeral home for forwarding to his family. Local arrangements entrusted to: LAFFERTY & SMITH COLONIAL CHAPEL, Directors 4321 Sonoma Highway Santa Rosa, CA, 95409 (707)539.2921
Funeral Home
Lafferty Smith Colonial Chapel - Santa Rosa
4321 Sonoma Highway
Santa Rosa, CA 95409
(707) 539-2921
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Published Online in the Press Democrat from July 2 to July 3, 2013