Rev. Gustaaf M. Keppens, SJ, was born in Belgium on August 12, 1929. He attended St. Norbertus High School in Antwerp, Belgium and entered the Novitiate in Drongen, Belgium in 1948. He received degrees in Philosophy and was ordained on August 5, 1961, at St. Michael Church in Brussel, Belgium.
In 1963, Fr. Keppens came to Georgetown University where he earned a Masters in Linguistics. He then traveled to the Congo where he served for two years as a teacher and minister at Mbansa-Mboma College. He stayed for another year to receive a Certificate of African Languages from Lovanium University. He then returned to Georgetown to earn a Ph.D. in Linguistics and taught for a year as an assistant instructor in the School of Languages and Linguistics.
In 1974, Fr. Keppens traveled back to the Congo and served for four years as an associate professor of English at Zaire State University, and as the English Department Chairman for two of those years. In 1978, he returned to the States and spent a year at De Smet Jesuit High School in St. Louis teaching Latin. He then came back to Washington, DC, where he spent the 80’s at Gonzaga College High School, teaching French and serving as pastoral minister. In 1989, Fr. Keppens began what would become a nearly 30-year tenure serving as chaplain for Georgetown University Hospital.
Fr. Keppens moved to the Colombiere Jesuit Community in Baltimore in 2018 as a pastoral minister. He died peacefully on June 29, 2022.