Spiritan News

Fr. Girard J. Kohler, C.S.Sp., Enters Eternal Life

Fr. Girard J. Kohler, C.S.Sp., died peacefully December 18, 2018 at Libermann Hall in Bethel Park, Pennsylvania. He was 81 years old.

Fr. Kohler was born September 5, 1937 in St. Paul, Minnesota. On August 22, 1958 he made his first vows at Ridgefield, Connecticut, and was ordained a priest at St. Mary’s Seminary in Norwalk, CT, on September 22, 1963.

Fr. Kohler in 1972.

In 1964 he was assigned to the Spiritan missions in Tanzania, East Africa, where he engaged in the first evangelization of the Maasai and Sonjo peoples in the Diocese of Arusha until 1993. During furloughs in the States he had short appointments as vocation director and as fundraiser for the missions.

Following a sabbatical year in 1993-94 he developed a medical condition which prevented a return overseas. After a tour as administrator of St. Mary Magdalene Parish, Chicago, he was appointed in 1996 as the mission procurator for the Province at the Provincialate in Bethel Park. He officially retired in 2016.

Fr. Kohler at Duquesne University in 2013.

Son of the late Herbert J. and Eloise Girard Kohler, Fr. Kohler was preceded in death by his sister Joan-Louise Meehan and his brother Mark Kohler. He is survived by a sister Kathleen Westmoreland and numerous nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews.

There will be viewing at the Spiritan Center, 6230 Brush Run Road, Bethel Park on Friday, December 21 from 9:00-10:00 am followed immediately by a Mass of the Resurrection at 10:00 am. Burial will be at the Spiritan community cemetery located at Holy Ghost Prep in Bensalem, PA. At a later date, there will be a Memorial Mass at Nativity Church in St. Paul, MN.

May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in God’s eternal peace.

Fr. Kohler in St. Paul, MN, in 2000.