Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

9/27/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

As my life has progressed, I have learned that people of living faith die the way they lived.

As my life has progressed, I have learned that people of living faith die the way they lived. That is why I know that Bishop Ottenweller died with a smile on his face and the joy of the Lord in his heart. He genuinely loved the Lord and the Holy Catholic Church which he served so wel

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/27/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Bishop Albert Ottenweller, Fr Michael Scanlan, Fransiscan University of Steubenville, College of Steubenville, Servants of Christ the King, Weirton West Virginia, Charismatic Renewal, households, Holiness, holy bishops, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Covenant communities,


STEUBENVILLE, OH (Catholic Online) - I recently learned of the passing to the Lord of Bishop Albert Ottenweller, the former Bishop of Steubenville, Ohio. He was 96 years old. He was also a wonderful, holy, pastoral and joyful Bishop whose influence on my life during very important and formative years will always be deeply appreciated. I received a belated E mail to offer a comment to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. However, I missed the deadline due to a circuitous forwarding of the correspondence from California.  So, I decided to use Catholic Online to pay tribute to this good Bishop.

As my life has progressed, I have learned that people of living faith die the way they lived. That is why I know that Bishop Ottenweller died with a smile on his face and the joy of the Lord in his heart. He genuinely loved the Lord and the Holy Catholic Church which he served so well. He always had a kind word, a smile, a handshake with that huge right hand - or a hug - for everyone he cared about. He also had time for anyone who sought his pastoral counsel and assistance. No-one was turned away, including a much younger me.

I am a revert to the Catholic Church, having returned to the Catholic faith after my wandering teenage years spent searching for truth. My time in that wonderful City of Steubenville came after I followed another good and holy man, Fr Michael Scanlan, to the then College of Steubenville. I did so to complete my undergraduate degree and become a part of the Steubenville Miracle now known as the Franciscan University of Steubenville. Those were amazing years; filled with miracles, mistakes and so much learning. Through it all, Bishop Ottenweller was there to help, to heal and to guide me, at such very important times.

During those years I married my dear wife of now 36 years, Laurine, and we began to receive and raise the children the Lord gave us as gifts in that great City which became our home as a family. In fact, it still calls us some times - and we wonder if we might ever return. I completed my undergraduate work at the then College of Steubenville, in Philosophy and Theology.  During that time I helped in the amazing transformation the Lord brought to that campus under the leadership of Fr. Michael. I stayed there and completed Law School at the nearby University of Pittsburgh, commuting through Weirton, West Virginia and along Route 22 into Oakland everyday.

All the while, Laurine and I stayed in Steubenville to raise our children because it had become our home - and because we wanted to continue to be a part of the work of the Lord unfolding on that campus. We also loved the City and the good "salt of the earth" people who live there.  We knew the Lord was doing something wonderful there as well as at the College. My early Law Practice began in Steubenville and will I always treasure the memories.

I rolled in and out of several positions at what was by then the "University of Steubenville" and soon "Franciscan University of Steubenville" as a Dean and administrator. I continued to practice law and eventually began the legal work which would lead me to the next chapter of my career and away from the Ohio Valley. I began focusing on Pro-Life constitutional law defending the unborn, standing up for religious freedom, and defending marriage and the family and society founded upon it.  It's quite a story and just maybe, before I join my friend the Bishop, I should write it all down to encourage others that Jesus Christ really is alive and He guides all who trust in Him and walk by faith. 

During those years I spent in Steubenville Bishop Ottenweller became a friend, a mentor and an inspiration. I will always be grateful. He planted the seed of my own later life vocation as a Deacon in my heart by boldly asking me on several occasions if I had ever considered the call. Years later, after I moved to Virginia, I would respond to that call. It would be another Bishop who would impose his hands upon me at my ordination - but I believe that Bishop Ottenweller was deeply involved. 

I am grateful to him for having both the discernment and the courage to ask me to consider the call to Holy Orders. I have served as a Deacon of the Church which he and I both love for sixteen years now. I vividly remember thinking of him on my day of ordination as I received the Book of the Gospels and heard those words, "Receive the Gospel of Christ, whose herald you now are. Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach." Like every Bishop, Bishop Ottenweller had the fullness of Holy Orders. He was a Bishop, a priest - and, yes, he was still a deacon.

With Bishop Albert Ottenweller, that charism of imitating Christ the Servant was still so evident in his example. Prior to the Second Vatican Council, Bishops would still wear the Dalmatic, the vestment of the Deacon, underneath their priestly chasuble, as they prepared to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. That was meant  to symbolize both the special relationship they have with their deacons and their own call to be configured to Christ the Servant. Some Bishops still do, like Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington,DC. Whether Bishop Ottenweller actually did wear the dalmatic when he celebrated Holy Mass I do not know, but I do know that he wore it in his heart.

I am 57 years old now. My wife Laurine and I have raised five children and have six grandchildren. I have had the great joy of knowing and serving with many priests and deacons. I have also had the privilege of meeting and assisting several Bishops. However, few Bishops have extended to me the kind of warmth and friendship that Bishop Albert Ottenweller did. It came at such a critical time in my life's journey as a husband, young father and young man, seeking to follow the Lord and to deal with some extremely important lessons I needed to learn. He was there for me.

All these years later, after theological degrees at the graduate level and while still trying to complete a PhD dissertation in Moral Theology for the Catholic University of America - I often think of Bishop Albert Ottenweller. He was living theology, the kind you need to see before you can understand why the books and the classes are so important. I have placed a "You Tube Video" with this story. That young man is certainly not this writer, I am pushing 60 now! I do not even know him. However, it brings such joy to my heart to know that the story is repeating itself and both the Church and the world into which she is being sent is the beneficiary. Bishop Albert Ottenweller was an unsung hero in that story. 

Jesus told the disciples they were no longer servants but "friends" (John 15:15). Wow!  Friends with God. What a wonderful gift! Holy Bishops embody that gift in their carriage and their ministry of pastoral care, in imitation of Jesus the good Shepherd. Bishop Albert Ottenweller was one of them. He lived as a friend of Jesus and helped me to understand that I was a friend of Jesus too. May you rest in peace dear friend of the Lord, and my friend- I look forward to our eternal reunion in the joy of heaven where your smile will shine in the radiance of unending joy.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More U.S.

The Pope, the Pets, the Paparazzi and the Propaganda Media

Image of Pope Francis pets a dog

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The passing on of this complete fabrication, as well as the embellishment which accompanied it, were not simply a matter of the secular press failing to comprehend this Pope. In fact, religious news sources, both Catholic and Protestant, jumped in. This all ... continue reading


A journey to the land of the free: Part One -- Beaten and scared young children flee violence and turn to the United States for hope Watch

Image of Many young immigrants have no more fight in them when they decide to cross the border, they're only trying to survive.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Blistered feet and filthy, blood-stained skin is the forlorn image of immigrants preparing to cross the border. With hopeful hearts and anxious minds, immigrants, of all ages, assemble to make the leap into their promise land. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Most ... continue reading


Pope Francis, the real architect behind the U.S.-Cuban thaw Watch

Image of With personal appeals, letters, and hosted meetings, the Vatican and Pope Francis can accurately be called the masterminds behind the recent thaw between the U.S. and Cuba.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The thaw in relations between the U.S. and Cuba took the world by surprise, but perhaps one man was not as shocked as the rest. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A senior official with the White House reported that Pope Francis made personal appeals to both President ... continue reading


Looking forward to your tax refund this year? Don't hold your breath. The IRS suffers after extreme budget cuts. Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Heavily stricken with budget cuts and new tax-related laws, the IRS considers implementing its own temporary shutdown. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Congress has recently cut the IRS budget by $346 million. The IRS' budget has been cut a total of $1 billion since ... continue reading


OBAMACARE DOES NOT WORK! Vermont gives up free healthcare plan as too expensive Watch

Image of Vermont's governor announced that a planned universal healthcare program for the state has been cancelled because the massive tax hikes would devastate the state's economy.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Peter Shumlin, the governor of Vermont, announced that he was canceling his longtime dream to create a single-payer health care system for his state. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The announcement came on December 17, citing problems with paying for the Green ... continue reading


The disgusting new fact of American life: More than 46 million Americans on food stamps for 37 straight month Watch

Image of Obama has been in office for about 70 months, and 37 of those months have seen the most amount of Americans on food stamps, ever!

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It is self-evident that President Obama continues to undermine the abilities of the lower class, enforcing government-reliance on those who can least afford it. The number of Americans on food stamps under Obama has continued along its record breaking path, as, ... continue reading


Faith in the United States' race relations hits a strikingly low point after no indictment verdicts Watch

Image of 57 percent of American's say race relations in the United States are bad, according to the latest NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Those are the words of Martin Luther King, Jr, a man who fought long and hard for a better today. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A land where discrimination no longer prevails is a reality that seems no ... continue reading


Why is he so upset? Because of the secret Republican time bomb in the government funding bill Watch

Image of The federal government has funding through the 2015 fiscal year, but Republicans will have many opportunities to fight the president's programs in that time.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Senate has approved a $1.1 trillion spending bill, aimed to fund nearly the whole of the federal government through the 2015 fiscal year, ending weeks of drama in Congress and relieving doubts that the government might be shut down again while Democrats and ... continue reading


You know about the 'Bishop of Bling' but do American clergy have the same problem too? Watch

Image of The Bishop of Bling was sacked after he spent $43 million renovating his home.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has called for "a Church which is poor and for the poor." However, not every member of the clergy may have read the memo. A number of high-ranking Church officials in the United States live in lavish homes, sometimes bordering on the scandalous. LOS ... continue reading


Water leak leads to discovery of 1795 time capsule - left by Paul Revere! Watch

Image of A worker holds the time capsule left by the revolutionaries.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Paul Revere, the fearless revolutionary who mounted his horse to declare that "The British are coming! The British are coming!" has left an enduring national legacy - in both deed and actions. Excitement is mounting with the discovery of a time capsule left by Revere ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 7:10-14
10 Yahweh spoke to Ahaz again and said:11 ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm Of David] To Yahweh belong the earth and all ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 1:26-38
26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 20th, 2014 Image

St. Dominic of Silos
December 20: Benedictine abbot and defender of the faith. Born in Canas, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter