Fr. Paul Casper, SCJ, died December 9. He was 89.
Originally from St. Paul, MN, Fr. Paul, did his seminary studies at Sacred Heart Monastery and was ordained in 1957. As did many of the newly ordained, he spent his first years teaching in the minor seminary. He focused on Latin and religion, and also served as dean of students.
Leaving academics, he moved to South Dakota, where he served in a number of small towns. In 1979, he enjoyed a sabbatical in the Holy Land.
In 1987 he made his way to Wisconsin, where he was associate pastor of Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Parish (now, St. Martin of Tours). He was also a “relief pitcher” of sorts, stepping in for other priests when they took vacations, retreats or study breaks.
In the Milwaukee area, Fr. Paul was active in ministry to incarcerated youth. Before entering full-time retirement, Fr. Paul also spent several years doing parish ministry in Mississippi, including service at Holy Spirit parish in Hernando and St. Joseph’s in Holly Springs.
At the time of his death he was a member of the Sacred Heart Community at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake in Franklin, WI.
“A kind and gentle soul,” is how Fr. Paul Casper’s niece described her uncle at his funeral on December 14. Hers was the first of many remembrances shared. “He saw the good in people that others missed,” said another.
“He knew how to ‘waste’ time with people, to simply be present,” remembered an SCJ. “He was truly a pastor; he changed people’s lives by being a pastor to them,” said a friend. “He put himself wholeheartedly into everything he did,” added another.
“Joy, Fr. Paul embodied joy,” said an SCJ, echoing the thoughts expressed by many.
The vigil and funeral for Fr. Paul was at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake, followed by interment in the community mausoleum.
Click here to view photos from the funeral.
Click here to access a PDF of Fr. Ed Kilianski’s homily.