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Seminarian, 22, Dies After Battling Brain Cancer

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The story: 

Wesley Zechariah McKellar, 22, passed away after a heroic two year battle with brain cancer on January 25, 2016, at the Kansas City Hospice House…In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the St. Andrew’s Seminarian Fund.

Wesley was born June 3, 1993 in Abbotsford, B.C., Canada. He is survived by his parents Scott and Wendy McKellar, and his siblings Mark, Clare, Brendan and Anna, his grandmothers Irene McKellar and Barbara McLoughlin, his Uncle Stuart, Auntie Ilse, and cousin Alanna McKellar, and his Aunt Lorna and Uncle Mark Paterson.

After immigrating to Kansas City, MO, in 2006 Wesley graduated from St. Pius X High School and then attended William Jewell College for two years on a debate scholarship. At this point, Wesley discerned a call to the priesthood and began seminary studies at St. Gregory the Great Seminary in Seward, NE. His studies were cut short when he was diagnosed with a serious brain cancer. Wesley chose to offer his sufferings to advance the cause of Charles Untz. Wesley fought his cancer with every treatment possible, and his one life goal remained to be ordained a priest.

The family would like to thank the many priests who supported Wesley, especially Fr. Vince Rogers, Fr. John Fitzpatrick, and Fr. Joshua Barlett from St. Andrew the Apostle Parish, as well as Fr. Stephen Hansen, Fr. Richard Rocha, Fr. Gregory Lockwood and Wesley’s brother seminarians. We would also like to thank our parish family for their amazing love and support. We wish to acknowledge the fraternal support of Wesley’s Phi Gamma Delta brothers. We also extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who came beside us on this painful journey.

Read more about funeral arrangements here. 

And you can read the story of Charles Untz, who died at the age of 18 in 2000, here. 

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him…

Deacon Greg Kandra
Headlines and Homilies
Deacon Greg Kandra is a Roman Catholic deacon in the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York. For nearly three decades, he was a writer and producer for CBS News, where he contributed to a variety of programs and was honored with every major award in broadcasting. Deacon Greg now serves as Multimedia Editor for Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA.) He and his wife live in Forest Hills, New York.
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