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Creighton Honors Local Priest with Service Award

Creighton Honors Local Priest with Service Award

The Rev. James E. Keiter, pastor, Assumption Parish; president, Assumption-Guadalupe Grade School; and president, Saint Peter Claver Cristo Rey High School; will receive Creighton University’s Archbishop Daniel E. Sheehan award on Feb. 3, 2010, during Creighton's Priests and Brothers Annual Dinner and Basketball Game. Attendees come from dioceses in Nebraska and Iowa.

Fr. Keiter serves as the first president of Saint Peter Claver (SPC), which opened for the fall term in 2008. The school, part of the Cristo Rey network, is a Jesuit-operated nationwide network of inner-city schools. He was responsible for identifying and securing a facility, faculty, employment opportunities and start-up funds for the new endeavor. He accomplished this while serving as pastor of Assumption Parish and serving as chief administrator for Assumption-Guadalupe Grade School. SPC Cristo Rey has about 185 students attending the college preparatory school.

Known as a tireless advocate for educational opportunities for low-income families, he is also acknowledged for his positive attitude and business acumen. He serves as an active member of the Archdiocese CORE School Board, an advisory board to Archbishop George Lucas on inner-city issues and is pursuing his third graduate degree at Creighton University. Fr. Keiter also served as associate pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Norfolk, Neb., and the director of campus ministry at Norfolk Catholic Schools.

He grew up in Hartington, Neb., and was ordained a priest in 2001. He studied biology and chemistry at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and Wayne State College and intended to become a physician. He holds a bachelor of science degree in biology from Wayne State College and a master of divinity and a master of arts in theology from Mount St. Mary’s.

The Archbishop Sheehan award recognizes a priest or a brother from the Archdiocese of Omaha who has distinguished himself for service to society, to the Church and to Catholic education, all of which were hallmarks of Archbishop Sheehan's career. Creighton established the award to honor Archbishop Sheehan, who died in October 2000.