Father Seamus Kuebler
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Sacred Heart Cemetery
Davis Street
Scranton, Florida, United States
570-343-3664

Obituary of Father Seamus Conniff Kuebler

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Rev. A. Seamus of Jesus Conniff Kuebler, O.S.A. Prim. entered eternal life on April 9, 2019. Born Charles Anthony Kuebler in Wilkes-Barre, PA on July 1, 1948, he graduated from Sacred Heart High School in Plains, PA in 1966, but not before becoming the youngest person-at the age of 15-to graduate and receive a guide dog from the Seeing Eye in Morristown, NJ. He earned his undergraduate degree in theology from King’s College in Wilkes-Barre in 1970 and continued his graduate studies at Catholic University of America in Washington, D. C. before transferring to the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN, as a seminarian at Moreau Seminary.  

Father Seamus was called to religious life before losing his sight at a young age. His spiritual vision far surpassed any physical limitation, and his determination to serve God helped him inspire and guide others, including Pope Paul VI who granted special permission for Father Seamus to be ordained to the priesthood on September 27, 1975 in Washington, D. C. by the archbishop, the late William Cardinal Baum, S.T.D..  Father Seamus served in the Archdiocese of Washington and in the Diocese of Scranton, PA. While in Scranton, he served as a parish minister and a Chaplain at St. Joseph’s Center in Scranton-at the time a home for unwed mothers, an adoption agency, and a home for the neurologically impaired. During these formative years of his professed service to God, Father Seamus, through his inspired storytelling and energetic personality, found unique ways to bring people closer to Jesus and make all feel welcome. His devotion to justice and mercy inspired many young people around him and in turn brought to the Lord many spiritual sons and daughters.

In 1988, Father Seamus reaffirmed his calling to God and entered the International Augustinian Novitiate and prepared for the foundation of the Mother of the Good Shepherd Monastery. On October 13, 1989, Father Seamus professed his first vows as an Augustinian Monk of the Primitive Observance, and on August 17, 1996 professed solemn vows. His Monastery was established to live the Augustinian monastic life as established by the community’s Holy Father St. Augustine of Hippo, and to pray for the priests.

As abbot, Father Seamus devoted his life to the Monastery and its vocations to give oneself to God through monastic life by being one in mind and heart with his fellow monks. Father Seamus’s life’s work will endure, as the monks under his care and guidance continue to fulfill the Monastery’s mission, including his steadfast and much beloved brother in prayer for 26 years, Brother Nicholas of the Immaculate Heart, as well as Brothers Augustine and Jósef.

Father Seamus was a man of great playfulness and humor who enjoyed putting on accents and inventing characters as part of a rich storytelling tradition. A practical joker, he could be seen riding a bicycle or driving a car (to the astonishment of passersby), teaching his guide dog to bow before the altar or growl when asked to dance. Father also had a great love of music, often writing his own pieces. He was well versed on the piano, organ, guitar, and loved lifting his voice in song. He found great joy in dancing, being by the ocean, and of course, storytelling.

In fact, it is because of his rich life, the ways in which he reached people, and made connections everywhere he went that makes it so difficult to capture his essence and the impact he’s had on so many of us in a few short paragraphs. In truth, many of his family and friends have worked collectively to provide this brief glimpse into a life only he could describe best, with his tremendous capacity to recall not only dates, but the moments that made those dates so special. Father Seamus was truly larger than life, and his playfulness, infectious laughter, and deep devotion to others will be carried on by all around him.

Father Seamus was a shepherd of people and animals alike, who were  never far from his embrace. As a child, he would baptize his birds, and he developed  loving companionships with many seeing eye dogs over the years. Father Seamus leaves behind his playful and faithful guide dog, a beautiful yellow lab, Fiona; a pack of pugs-Agnes, Martha, Maggie, Peter, and Tommy; a distinguished German Shepard, Katie Rose; and the monastery’s newest addition, a chihuahua, Aloysius. When times were tough, how often he would say, “But thank God for the dogs!” Along with his beloved dogs, Father will also be missed by the Monastery’s many farm animals and birds.

In addition to his monastic family, Father Seamus  is survived by his nieces, Susanna Rose Kuebler and husband Oscar Galindo (Arlington, VA) and Caryn Elizabeth Kuebler (Hyattsville, MD); sisters-in-law, Yvonne “Bonnie” Kuebler (Colgary) and Sue Ellen Coleman; step-niece, Heather Klees (William) and their four children, Avery, Natalie, Emma, and Alan; several beloved cousins; and a strong church community. Father Seamus now rejoins his parents-Elizabeth Frances Conniff and Edward Alfred Kuebler-and his brother, Edward James Kuebler.

In the spirit of faith and prayer and to honor Father Seamus’s devoted mission, we ask that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Mother of the Good Shepherd Monastery or a service organization of your choice. The family also kindly asks that you consider making a donation of blood to your local blood bank in Father Seamus’s memory.

A visitation will be held at the Monastery on Sunday, April 14, 2019 from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. with a Prayer service at 5:00 p.m.  Funeral Mass will be held at St. Peter Catholic Church on Monday, April 15, 2019 at 11:00 a.m.

 

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