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BALTIMORE (CNS) -- Mourners from near and far, and all walks of life and various creeds, filled the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Homeland March 28 for the funeral Mass of Cardinal William H. Keeler, 14th archbishop of Baltimore.
Thirty prelates, including six cardinals, and dozens of priests and deacons mourned Cardinal Keeler, who died March 23 at 86, and commended his soul to God.
Dignitaries and officials came to pay their respects, including Maryland Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr., Baltimore County Executive Kevin B. Kamenetz, retired U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski and State Sen. James "Ed" DeGrange Sr.
In his closing remarks, Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori ranked Cardinal Keeler among the most illustrious of his predecessors, including Archbishop John Carroll, the nation's first archbishop, Cardinal James Gibbons (1877-1921) and Cardinal Lawrence Shehan (1961-1974).
While he was a churchman of the highest stature, to be sure many came to Cardinal Keeler's funeral to remember a man who had simply never forgotten them.
"He always remembered who I was and what church I came from," said Jo Anne Harris, mother of Father Raymond Harris, who was ordained by Cardinal Keeler and now is pastor of Holy Family Parish in Randallstown. "You would always get a smile and a handshake, and you knew it wasn't phony. It was from the heart."