Diocese names new director of campus ministry

YOUNGSTOWN — Bishop David J. Bonnar of the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown has appointed the Rev. Norbert Keliher as director of campus ministry at Youngstown State University Newman Center.

Keliher is a Dominican friar of the Province of St. Joseph, which serves the eastern part of the US. He lives with the Dominican community at St. Dominic Church, where the Dominicans have been present for a century. The friars have served at various diocesan ministries in the past, so Keliher said he is excited to be part of this new partnership between the Dominicans and the YSU Newman Center.

Originally from a beachside town in the Seattle area called Indianola, Keliher went to Harvard for college and studied classical languages. While there, he was a student leader in the campus ministry and a member of the college Knights of Columbus, through whom he met the Dominicans at a vocation event.

After graduation, he spent a year teaching in New York City and a year studying at Notre Dame, and then entered the novitiate in Cincinnati in 2012. After making simple vows in 2013 he moved to Washington, D.C. to begin preparation for the priesthood.

Among the highlights of his formation was helping with the campus ministry at the University of Maryland for a year. He made his solemn vows in 2017, was ordained a deacon in 2018 and then in 2019 was ordained a priest by Bishop Robert Barron at the National Shrine in D.C.

Following ordination, Keliher spent a year finishing his theological studies in D.C. His first assignment was St. Patrick Church in Columbus for a year, and then this May he was assigned to St. Dominic in Youngstown. Learning languages, studying Scripture, listening to classical music and enjoying the outdoors are among his interests, along with watching a good football game.

Bonnar expressed his gratitude to Joseph Frangos, who is leaving as director of campus ministry at YSU Newman Center to begin a teaching position at St. Thomas Aquinas High School and Middle School, Louisville.


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