+Fr. Jeffrey (Francis) Keefe, OFM Conv. was born to the late +Francis M. and +Maria (Kulas) Keefe, in Syracuse, NY, on June 11, 1926. Friar Jeffrey passed away on May 11, 2016 after a long illness and is survived by his Franciscan family and his nephews.
Entering the Novitiate of the Franciscan Friars Conventual in August of 1945, he professed his vows on March 17, 1946 and was ordained to the priesthood in Albany, NY, on June 7, 1952. Friar Jeffrey received an S.T.L in 1952 and an M.A (Ed) in 1955, from The Catholic University of America, in Washington DC and pursued an M.A in Psychology from Fordham University, receiving an A.A., in 1962 and his PhD in clinical psychology, in 1965.
Fr. Jeffrey served for four years (1952-1956) as a teacher at Trenton Catholic Boys High School and in 1956, was assigned to St. Francis Preparatory Academy on Staten Island, NY, as Teacher and Spiritual Director. His work in Clinical Psychology greatly enhanced his experience. He taught at St. Anthony-on-Hudson Seminary for many years and was greatly sought after for his reviews and vocation evaluations and vocation assessment, for not only our Order, but for a dozen or more other religious communities and dioceses. Fr. Jeffrey was published as a contributor on several works and in several Catholic periodicals; The Priest, Catechist, for example. He was part of the training staff for the Onondaga Pastoral Counseling Center from 1974-1984, while working in the Tribunal of the Diocese of Syracuse from 1971-1984. He became the Director of the Personal Resource Center under Catholic Charities in Syracuse, in 1989. Fr. Jeffrey became well-known for his work in the group, COURAGE, founded by Rev. John Harvey. COURAGE is a spiritual support group for Catholic men and women who are striving to live chaste lives in accordance with the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality. Fr. Jeffrey was also a contributor to some of their conferences.
Visitation will take place on Sunday, May 15, 2016 from 5-7:00 p.m., followed by a Franciscan Wake Service, at 7:00 p.m. On Monday, May 16, 2016, a Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m., preceded by 9-10:45 a.m. visitation, at The Franciscan Church of the Assumption, 812 N Salina St., Syracuse, NY 13208. Interment will be in the Friars’ Plot, of the Assumption Cemetery, immediately following the Memorial Mass. Memorial Donations may be made to the Franciscan Education Burse, 12300 Folly Quarter Rd., Ellicott City, MD 21042.
Funeral arrangements are by Keegan-Osbelt-Knight Funeral Home in Syracuse and Kozikowski Funeral Home in Chicopee, MA.