Emily and I were happy to recently sit down with one of our new deacons, Bill Keown. We were able to learn many new things about him through his captivating stories and I hope you are able to do the same as you read through our interview!
Where did you grow up?
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
What are some hobbies/activities you enjoy in your down time?
I like to read and also scuba-dive…when I was in the Navy I did that every weekend. I also enjoy visiting friends, especially my ones in different missionaries throughout Maryland. Visiting these friends even got me seeing new parts of Maryland that I wouldn’t have otherwise visited.
What is your favorite time of day to pray?
In the morning. Morning prayer allows me to focus and have a better day. I have found that if I don’t pray in the morning before coming into the office, I sometimes don’t get enough time to do so later in the day once things get busy.
How were you involved in the church as a teen/young adult?
I actually grew up as a Southern Baptist and I would attend youth group activities there. We had events every Wednesday night that I always went to. I was pretty active – if there was something going on at church, I went to it.
When did you know you wanted to become ordained in the Catholic Church?
I felt called to the priesthood on Saint Patrick’s Day 2008. I was reading a biography of Saint Patrick and I was touched by it. His story made me look at my own life, and I came to realize that through all of my struggles and inconsistencies in life, the one thing that remained consistent was my prayer life. I realized that I should be looking at religious vocations instead of marriage.
Why did you enter the seminary?
Well, my initial response to my calling into religious life was met with much resistance. I did not want to follow this path, so I actually spent three years praying that I would be dismissed from this calling. To say that I was being reluctant would be an understatement. After I stopped resisting my call, I realized that I was where I was supposed to be.
What are you most excited about ministering at Saint Margaret?
Baptism is my favorite thing, so I am most excited for that. When I practiced baptism in the seminary, I realized that it was pretty awesome. They are the neatest thing because you are bringing this new person – this new life – into the church.
What is your favorite part of Mass?
I like the time after Communion. It is really the only quiet time while saying Mass. I love the time for intimate prayer with God after receiving Him.
Who in your life inspires you the most?
Father Larry Terrien has been a great example of what priesthood is to me. He has done all of these great things while maintaining that priestly humility. I have learned a lot about God’s love through him. Also, Father Matt Buening is an inspiration as he exemplifies the joy of priesthood.
What are some words that you live by?
That would come from my favorite scripture passage Phillippians 2:6-11. It’s a good reminder to maintain priestly humility.
What gets you through the day?
Prayer, of course. It makes a difference in my day to pray in the morning. Having good friends is also very important to me and they can get me through the day. I can talk to them about daily annoyances or troubles and they help me through these things.
What is your favorite place in the world that you have visited?
If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why?
I would have to say a cat because I’m a cat person. I think they’re great animals and they’re pretty dignified. Or maybe a shark…
Let’s hear about some favorites of yours!
Favorite food: Pizza
Favorite beverage: Coffee
Favorite book: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Favorite movie: Oh Brother, Where Art Thou
Favorite genre of music: Rock
Favorite color: Red
Favorite holiday: Christmas
Favorite season: Fall
What is a piece of advice you would like to give the youth of our parish?
Put prayer and discernment in all things. A lot of times we pray for vocations, and normally we take that to mean the priesthood and such. One of the things that I think is important is to pay attention to vocations to the married life as well, and pray for those. We should always ask him for help in all things whether it be the married life, or school, and so on.
Thank you for your time, Deacon Bill!