Cardinal Keeler, master of the one-liner

I met Cardinal Keeler once (and no, that’s not me in the photo with him – that’s the author of the story I’m about to share). The Cardinal is an elderly man of course, but as this story shows, still very sharp:

During a March 2 testimonial at a special celebration of Cardinal William H. Keeler’s upcoming 80th birthday, Richard Berndt told a story that demonstrated why friends know the retired archbishop as a master of the one-liner.

Speaking at the Center Club in Baltimore, Berndt recalled how he and the cardinal were walking back to the Catholic Center after a meeting with The Baltimore Sun in the late 1990s. Berndt, who was an attorney for the archdiocese, was discussing some difficult personnel matters with the cardinal as the two strolled by the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Cardinal Keeler looked up and pointed to a sign on a small office building at the southeast corner of Mulberry and Cathedral streets.

“Psychic Reader Advisor – The Mystical Tarot,” the sign proclaimed.

The cardinal told Berndt that the psychic advisor herself had come up to him on the street a few days earlier and introduced herself as a neighbor and a professional competitor. She told the leader of the Premier See that both of them were “in the same business.”

Standing in front of the grand basilica, the cardinal looked at the psychic and deadpanned: “I think you have a lot less overhead.”

[Source: The Catholic Review]



  • Lisa

    I think it would be fun to find out if the “competitor” is still in business today. :)

  • MikeM

    I’ve met Cardinal Keeler a few times. He is a nice and funny man.

  • Rob

    I met Cardinal Keeler outside our hotel in Paris during World Youth Day 97. He is delightful and personable as well as a very holy man.



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