Bishop Estévez will ordain two new priests for the diocese

Bishop Felipe J. Estévez of the Diocese of St. Augustine will ordain Deacons David Keegan and Philip Timlin to the priesthood Saturday, May 14, at the Cathedral Basilica, 38 Cathedral Place in St. Augustine. The ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. and the public is invited to attend the Mass.


Pictured from left, Deacons Philip Timlin and David Keegan | Photo by Tom Tracy

Deacon David Keegan, 40, grew up in southern Louisiana and attended high school in Birmingham, Ala. He went to college at the University of Montevallo, a small state school in Alabama where he earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology. His life was filled with classes, a job at a restaurant and his girlfriend. They made plans to marry six weeks after graduation and then David was going to graduate school.

On graduation day in 1998, everything changed. David and his fiancée canceled their plans to marry and he got a full time job managing a restaurant in Birmingham. A year later his sister Cathy was diagnosed with cancer. When she died in 2000, David was at her bedside.

It was a difficult time, but looking back David said he can see the hand of God. “I can see now how the Holy Spirit was preparing me for a vocation.”

In 2002, David moved to Jacksonville to be closer to his family who had moved to the city. He had been working in restaurant management for eight years and dating, but something was missing.

In 2006, a priest at St. Joseph Parish in Jacksonville invited David to a Christ Renews his Parish retreat and he said it was from there his faith life really took off.

“I was in a relationship and discerning marriage but as I grew deeper in the faith the thought of the priesthood returned. All those memories and desires came back and it was clear as could be. It was the deepest, realest call. It was what I had to do.”

In 2009 David entered St. John Vianney College Seminary in Miami and after graduating in 2011 he went to St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach to complete his formation and training.

“It’s been an amazing incredible journey. I can’t be more appreciative of the time I’ve been at seminary,” he said. “And I am constantly surprised by the love I receive from the people of the diocese. How open and generous they are. “It’s amazing.”

His first assignment as a priest will be as a parochial vicar at Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish in Ponte Vedra Beach.

Deacon Philip Timlin, 32, grew up in Palm Coast, Fla. and attended St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in a family with two sets of twins. His parents were active in the parish, both serving as lectors. Mom sang in the choir. “Church was a second home to me. Whenever my parents were at church I was there, too,” he said.

The idea of becoming a priest was always in the back of his mind, never more so than when he was an altar server and extraordinary minister of holy Communion. He remembered how much he loved being on the altar with the priest and he would wonder, ‘Am I being called?’”

After high school, Philip began studying elementary education at a community college. He continued to spend a lot of time at church, attending Mass often and working with the youth ministry.

Every week he spent an hour a week in Eucharistic adoration. “I kept hearing, ‘Come, follow me,’” he said. “I heard it a bunch of times and I couldn’t push it away.”

He confided in his parish priest, Father Mark Waters, who talked at length with him about it.

Philip knew he had a decision to make – to pursue a career in teaching or a life as a priest.

He finally realized that while he enjoyed his classes in education, he really loved the idea of being a priest.

“God takes you to a point where you have to say yes or no,” he said. “I decided it was time to say yes and I felt a calming peace.”

He entered St. John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, in 2008 and three years later he continued his studies at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach.

On May 15 he will celebrate his first Mass at the parish he grew up in, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.

“It’s a Mass of Thanksgiving for all the people who have been on the journey with me,” he said. “It’s all about the people who got you there.”

Philip’s first assignment as a priest will be as a parochial vicar at St. Joseph Parish in Jacksonville.