Keegan, Robert Fulton

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Administrator; b. Nashua, NH, May 3, 1888; d. New York City, Nov. 4, 1947. He was educated in New York City at Cathedral College and St. Joseph's Seminary; he was ordained on Sept. 18, 1915. After receiving (1916) his M.A. in sociology at The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., he was appointed (1919) by Abp. Patrick J. Hayes to be the first executive director of New York's Catholic Charities. Under Keegan's direction, Catholic Charities became the largest voluntary charitable organization in the United States. He unified its diverse and overlapping welfare agencies, broadened their base of financial support, expanded their technical and professional services, and improved their standards of operation. The social agencies of the Archdiocese of New York became recognized leaders in the field of welfare, and there was a nationwide awakening of diocesan responsibility in the field of charity. Keegan also obtained the cooperation of public and nonsectarian agencies, many of which elected him as their president. In 1933 he was named pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church, New York City. He subsequently became a papal chamberlain (1929), domestic prelate (1937), and prothonotary apostolic (1940).

Bibliography: e. r. moore, Roman Collar (New York 1950).

[g. a kelly]