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Obituary | Fr. Wilfred Lowery, CSSR

Fr. Lowery
A funeral Mass for Redemptorist Father Wilfred (Wil) Lowery was celebrated at St. Clement’s chapel at St. Clement Redemptorist Missionary Community in Liguori Nov. 16. Father Lowery was a missionary in Thailand and continued to minister to Thai and Laotian immigrants throughout the United States well into his 90s.

Father Lowery died Nov. 10 in Liguori at age 97. He was the eldest member of the Denver Province when he died.

Born in St. Louis, he made his first profession of vows in 1944. He professed perpetual vows in 1947 and was ordained to the priesthood at Immaculate Conception Seminary in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, in 1949.

He was missioned to serve the poor and abandoned in Thailand in 1951. After studying the Thai language for six months, he was appointed pastor of a parish in Xang-Ming, where he served for five years. The Redemptorists in Thailand had been asked to evangelize a new territory — the remote and primitive Prefecture of Udon Thani — in 1953. Father Lowery was appointed pastor of a parish and superior of the community in Viengkhuk, one of the first in the new Udon Thani Prefecture, in 1957. Father Lowery was appointed a parish pastor and local superior in Nongkhai in 1958. Noted for his work ethic and leadership skills, he was appointed bursar in Bangkok in 1962. He served in that capacity until 1964, when he was named vice provincial superior of Thailand for the 1964-69 term. He was serving as vicar general of the Udon Thani Diocese in 1976 when health issues prompted his return to the United States.

Father Lowery ministered to immigrant Laotian Catholic communities throughout the country. He directed retreats and worked for the Mission Office while in Glenview, Illinois, was rector of a parish community in Wichita, Kansas, and served as an itinerant preacher with outreach to Laotian immigrants at a parish in Chicago before returning to the parish in Wichita.

He served briefly as assistant director of St. Clement Health Care Center in Liguori before he moved to the mission house for a two-year stint as a missionary preacher in 1994. He was appointed director of the Foreign Mission Office in Chicago in 1996, and retained that position when he moved back to Glenville to serve as local superior a year later. He joined a multi-cultural parish in Minneapolis in 2000, immersed in parish ministry to Laotian immigrants until his official retirement in 2009, when he was 86 years old. He moved to St. Clement’s in Liguori in 2012.

Burial was in the Liguori Cemetery.

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Obituary Fr Wilfred Lowery CSSR 7096

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