Msgr. John Unger, former assistant superintendent of schools for religious education in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, died Sept. 10. He was 82.
Born in St. Louis, Msgr. Unger attended St. Louis Preparatory Seminary, Cardinal Glennon College and Kenrick Seminary. He was ordained in 1965 by Cardinal Joseph E. Ritter.
Following ordination, Msgr. Unger was named assistant pas
tor of St. Margaret of Scotland Parish in south St. Louis. He was appointed part-time associate pastor of Holy Family Parish in St. Louis and to teach at Bishop DuBourg High School in 1971. Msgr. Unger served as assistant superintendent of schools for religious education for the archdiocese from 1976-2003 while also serving as chaplain for the motherhouse of the School Sisters of Notre Dame.
In 2003, Msgr. Unger was appointed deputy superintendent for catechesis and evangelization for the archdiocese’s Office of Catholic Education and Formation and part-time associate pastor of Ste. Genevieve du Bois Parish in Warson Woods. He retired in 2017, with residence at St. Genevieve du Bois.
Msgr. Unger received the C. Albert Koob Merit Award from the National Catholic Educational Association in 2003. In addition to his duties in education, he served with the archdiocese’s Respect Life Office and as director of the Paul VI Institute of Catechetical and Pastoral Studies.
Msgr. Unger helped develop “The Evangelizing Catholic School” manual which applied to Catholic education the evangelization thoughts of two popes, St. Paul VI and St. John Paul II. Msgr. Unger said the bottom line for Catholic schools is to foster a community in which “the love of God is experienced by children” who also “feel the love of God through their teachers.”