In a 2010 video
celebrating Fr. Keon’s birthday, St. Thomas students honor Fr. Keon as "the coolest priest ever," "a storyteller," "a bright spirit," and someone who takes "a genuine interest in getting to know you."
Video creators Cimela Kidonakis '09 and Darnell Miller '10, a Master in Liberal Arts program student, also created a shorter video tribute
for the Catholic Company’s Incredible Priests, Incredible Stories essay/video contest. The video was a finalist
and garnered more than 2,000 views.
Fr. Keon is not only known for his fun-loving nature and vivid imagination. He also has a knack for revealing his Godly and charming spirit to the St. Thomas community in a way that people, young and old, can relate to.
"He creates an environment where people can laugh, talk and share, and experience the goodness that is in all of us," said the Rev. Mike Buentello
, chaplain and director of Campus Ministry.
Born in 1925 in Ontario, Canada, Fr. Keon frequently engages people with a flurry of historical events. Often creating fictitious stories of war, accomplishment and travel, Fr. Keon connects students and staff with his imaginative tales of heroism, which allows them to take a journey through time with him.
"Fr. Keon is a good model of one who is very happy in his priesthood," Fr. Buentello said in the video. "He celebrates the Mass with great reverence. For me, it's like a spiritual retreat every time."
The humor that Fr. Keon is able to weave throughout his thoughtful homilies still rings true with students who continue to retell his stories.
His dedication to spending time at lunch with students in Crooker Café was the catalyst for the University to create Father Keon Days in recent years. On the first Wednesday of every month, this time of fellowship promoted student and faculty/staff interaction while enjoying a meal together.
Fr. Keon will be remembered at St. Thomas for funny anecdotes, interesting lectures and an incredible memory. The farewell party is sponsored by the Office of Alumni Relations and fans of Fr. Keon: Cimela Kidonakis , Melissa Kidonakis ’12 and Frances Escriva ’78, ’00. Stop by the Crooker Café on Wednesday evening to wish him well on his next journey.