Bishop Albert H. Ottenweller Obituary
Bishop Albert H. Ottenweller, retired Bishop of Steubenville, Ohio, was welcomed into the eternal love of God, Sunday morning, September 23, 2012 at the Ursuline Center, Toledo, OH. During his short sickness, he was surrounded by family, friends and the loving care of the Center’s community and staff.
Bishop was born April 5, 1916 in Stanford, Montana to his late parents, Charles and Mary (Hake). He is survived by his sisters, Joan Pfahler, (Richard), Phyllis Lowry (Richard, deceased) Rosaline Buescher (Robert, deceased), Jane Brandt (Richard), an adopted sister. He is preceded in death by his sisters, Sister Mary Jogues, SND, Beatrice and brother, Raymond and by his many nieces and nephews of the Buescher, Lowry and Pfahler families.
He attended St. Mary Elementary School of Leipsic, St. Joseph High School and St. Joseph College, both in Renssalaser, IN. He received degrees in Philosophy and Theology from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. in 1943.
He was ordained a priest on June 19, 1943 for the Diocese of Toledo by the late Most Reverend Karl Alter. On April 23, 1974, Pope Paul VI named him the first Auxiliary Bishop of the Toledo Diocese and he was ordained bishop by Bishop John Donovan May 29, 1974. In October, 1977, he became the Second Bishop of the Diocese of Steubenville, Ohio and served there until his retirement in March 1992.
As a young priest associate he served at St. John’s Delphos, Ohio 1943-1959, St. Richard Parish, Swanton, Ohio 1959-61. As pastor he served St. Joseph Parish, Blakeslee, Ohio and Sacred Heart in Montpelier, Ohio 1961-62. At Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Bono, Ohio 1962-68. At St. John’s Delphos, Ohio 1968-76. At. St. Michael’s Findlay, Ohio 1976 to October of 1977 when appointed Bishop of Steubenville.
During these forty-nine years of ministry, Bishop Ottenweller was one who not only served the people but lead them to be fully active in the ministry of the church. He understood that each person had a call to live out their faith for the good of others. This spirit was manifested in many ways as a pastoral leader. He worked among the migrant people of NW Ohio seeking their basic needs and justice in the work place. He supported and encouraged young priests to learn Spanish and called many religious sisters to the work of Pastoral Care and religious education for Migrants and their families. He had special interest in helping pastors to be more collaborative with their parishioners when organized the Alliance of Pastors both in the Toledo and Steubenville Dioceses. This passion for the laity’s roll in the church was recognized on a national level as he served as chairman of the National Conference of Bishop’s Laity Committee and member of the Ad Hoc Committee on Parish Renewal. He used this spirit of lay involvement when he called for a Diocesan Synod in 1983 for the Diocese of Steubenville which included both lay, religious and clergy participation.
These interests did not cease in retirement when he joined with long time friend Sister Nancy Westmeyer in the work of Vision Time and Servant Leadership.