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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More U.S.

American flag compared to Confederate flag and burned during protest against racism Watch

Image of

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Protesters in Tampa have burned down an American flag because of their belief that, like the Confederate flag, it signifies and uphold in the slavery and genocide from the country throughout history. Organizers of the protest denied they planned on burning the flag, ... continue reading


Is your state the laziest state in the country? The results may surprise you Watch

Image of Large portions of some states are inactive.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Mississippi has the greatest number of people not participating in healthy, physical activities than any other state in the country, according to research. Using the data collected from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about American's exercises, ... continue reading


Battle Lines for Religious Liberty and Same Sex 'Marriage' Set

Image of Ken Blackwell is the Senior Fellow for Family Empowerment at the Family Research Council.

By Ken Blackwell

This is Ground Zero for the war on religious liberty. The political left-including gay-marriage activists-are saying that your First Amendment rights concerning same sex 'marriage' are limited to what you say in church or in your private home. You can't live it ... continue reading


Two Differing Catholic Priestly Views on the SCOTUS Gay 'Marriage' Ruling Watch

Image of

By Matt C. Abbott

There have been numerous statements and articles written about the very disappointing (but not surprising) gay "marriage" ruling handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court. Most notable was the excellent statement issued by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, ... continue reading


Heat brews as New Black Panther Party affiliate and KKK affliate plan protests on same day in South Carolina's capital Watch

Image of The New Black Panther Party plans to protest in South Carolina about one month after the Charleston Church shooting.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A New Black Panther Party affiliate group is planning to stir up a rally in the state of capitol of South Carolina on July 18. On that same day, a protest is also planned by a KKK white power group. Heat is brewing as a possible face-off is developing in Columbia, SC. ... continue reading


Statue of Blessed Father Junipero Serra safe - for now at U.S. capitol Watch

Image of State legislatures have the authority to decide which two statues will represent their state at the U.S. Capitol.

By CNA/EWTN News

An effort to remove the statue of Bl. Junipero Serra from the U.S. Capitol has been set aside for the time being. Los Angeles (CNA/EWTN News) - A statue of Franciscan missionary and saint-to-be Father Junipero Serra has stood in the U.S. Capitol since 1931. However, a ... continue reading


On this Fourth of July, We Need a Declaration of Dependence Watch

Image of The real promise of the Declaration of the Declaration of Independence now cries out for those who believe in its promise to stand up for its true meaning and work to restore the unique experiment in ordered liberty which it offers for future generations.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Declaration of Independence was the birth certificate of the United States of America, a Nation often called the American Experiment because of the very fact that it was founded upon principles. The words are still memorized by schoolchildren and can bring a ... continue reading


Learning from the Wonderful Witness of 'Doubting' Thomas Watch

Image of Thomas the doubter became the Thomas the model believer, an example for each one of us. He is a great beacon of light for all of us as we cry out with him, MY LORD AND MY GOD!

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

What conclusion, dear brethren, do you come to? Surely it was not by chance that this chosen disciple, was missing in the first place? Or that on his return he heard, that hearing he doubted, that doubting he touched, and that touching he believed? It was by ... continue reading


Catholic Church in U.S. has weathered adversity before - and will emerge triumphant, historian says Watch

Image of As bishops warn of current threats to religious liberty in the United States, Catholics can take heart that such challenges have faced them before, and they have persevered, one Church historian says.

By Matt Hadro, CNA/EWTN News

As bishops warn of current threats to religious liberty in the United States, Catholics can take heart that such challenges have faced them before, and they have persevered, one Church historian says. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - "It's okay to realize that ... continue reading


After same-sex unions legalized, polygamous Montana trio demands same Watch

Image of The 46-year-old Nathan Collier owns a refrigeration business in Billings. He married 40-year-old Victoria in 2000. His second wife, Christine, was wed in a religious wedding ceremony in 2007 without a marriage license in order to avoid bigamy charges.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It was bound to happen. After the Supreme Court ruled same-sex unions legal in all 50 states, other proponents of non-traditional arrangements are clamoring for equality under the law. Nathan Collier, along with his wives Victoria and Christine have applied at ... 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, Genesis 32:23-33
23 That same night he got up and, taking his two ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 17:1, 2-3, 6-7, 8, 15
1 [Prayer Of David] Listen, Yahweh, to an upright ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 9:32-38
32 They had only just left when suddenly a man was ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 7th, 2015 Image

Bl. Ralph Milner
July 7: English martyr. He was born at Stocksteads, Hampshire, and was a ... 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