Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014
Fr. John Behen
Fr. John Behen, C.PP.S., 93, died at 8:30 p.m. June 30, 2014, in the infirmary of St. Charles Center, Carthagena. He had been in failing health.
He was born Sept. 4, 1920, to Edward and Leona Kelly Behen in Balboa, in the Canal Zone. He entered the Precious Blood Congregation in 1934 and was ordained on Feb. 2, 1946.
Surviving are a sister, Mary Donahue, Gardner, Kansas; a sister-in-law, Mary Lou Behen, Sedalia, Kansas; and numerous nieces and nephews; and great-nieces and great-nephews.
Deceased are four brothers, Francis, Robert, William and Richard; a brother-in-law, Joseph Donahue; and three sisters-in-law Jane, Norine and Carolyn Behen.
He was a pastor and teacher during his years as a priest and also served in the leadership of the congregation. After his ordination, he served at Christ the King Cathedral in Superior, Wisc., and was a hospital chaplain in Fond du Lac, Wisc. He spent a year as an instructor at Brunnerdale, the congregation's high school seminary in Canton, before he was appointed in 1953 as secretary general of the worldwide congregation. He lived in Rome until 1959, when he was appointed chaplain at St. Rita's Hospital, Lima.
He became the novice master in 1960 at the congregation's St. Mary Novitiate, Burkettsville. He returned to parish ministry in 1970 at St. Patrick Church in Lexington, Va. In 1977, he was appointed pastor of Precious Blood Church in Dayton. During that time he also served in the leadership of his congregation.
He was appointed pastor of St. John the Baptist Church in 1983 in Maria Stein, where he served until 1995. He was then named pastor of St. Patrick Church in Sedalia, Mo.
In 2003, he retired from active ministry and since that time lived at St. Charles Center.
He was a gentle, humble man who reached out as a pastor to whoever needed him. He was a compassionate listener with a sharp intellect who always made people feel that what they had to tell him was of great value.
A Mass of Christian burial is 2 p.m. Thursday, the Rev. Larry Hemmelgarn, C.PP.S., officiating. Burial will follow in the community cemetery.
Calling is 1-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. today at St. Charles Center with a prayer service at 7 p.m. Arrangements are being handled by Hogenkamp Funeral Home, Coldwater.
Memorials may be made to the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Cincinnati Province.