Edward Keating Courtesy photo
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HYDE PARK -- Parishioners at St. Adalbert’s parish have been told that their parish will close at the end of their current pastor’s term, but this hasn’t stopped Edward Keating from putting his whole heart and soul into making sure his parish runs smoothly.
As the parish sexton for St. Adalbert’s, Keating, 50, helps his pastor, Msgr. Stanislaus T. Sypek in the day-to-day operation of the parish. He also makes sure that the church is well taken care of, both inside and out. In addition, because Msgr. Sypek, at 94, is the oldest active priest in the archdiocese, Keating serves as his caretaker.
“Originally, I’d go over and assist the former caretaker until he left and they handed me the keys and asked if I’d take over. And so I did,” he explained.
When asked about his pastor, Keating is full of admiration.
“He is the consummate priest,” he said. “He really lives the life.”
According to Keating, Msgr. Sypek is always mindful of his flock, often travelling to hospitals or nursing homes to pay a personal visit to those who are ill. He is also an avid traveler, often visiting Poland, Rome and Jerusalem. In addition, he is a benefactor for the Mount of Olives Home of Peace Orphanage in Jerusalem, an orphanage run by the Polish Order of the Sisters of St. Elizabeth.
“He is shepherd to his flock,” underscored Keating.
Msgr. Sypek was also a close friend of Pope John Paul II. Before becoming pontiff, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla visited the parish a few times, Keating said; he noted that he was not yet a parishioner at St. Adalbert’s during that time, but he wishes he had been able to meet the future pontiff.
A parishioner at St. Adalbert’s for 25 years, Keating was born and raised in Hyde Park. As a young child he attended Most Precious Blood parish, where his family played an active role in the parish.
Keating credits his mother for cementing his faith by being a strong role model in his faith life, a life that was further enhanced 22 years ago when he married his wife, Heidi Keating. The Keatings have two children, both of whom are currently college students.
“I’ve been married 22 years and the honeymoon isn’t over yet,” he said with a smile. “She has helped me every inch of the way.”
Keating admits that it is difficult to see that your parish is coming to a close, but acknowledges that the neighborhood has changed drastically.
“The end is in sight for this parish, and this is probably the most difficult thing, but it’s been a fantastic run,” he said, adding that the end will probably not be as difficult for him as for some whose families have been involved at St. Adalbert’s for several generations.
“Some of our parishioners have stories about how their grandparents built this church during the Depression,” he said. “To hear the stories of what the neighborhood was like -- it was entirely Polish and Italian. Now it’s a United Nations here.”
St. Adalbert Parish, Hyde Park
Year established -- 1913
Pastor -- Msgr. Stanislaus T. Sypek
Music Director -- Edward Wysocki