Monday, July 24th, 2017
Rev. Paul Desch
Fr. Paul Desch, OFM, is remembered by fellow Franciscan Friars as a favorite teacher. Fr. Desch died July 18 at the age of 88 following surgery in Cincinnati.
A powerful preacher, he also served in parish work, at a retreat center, and in the friars' formation program.
Born in Fresno, Calif., he was one of four children of Girard and Henrietta (Albers). He spent his youth in Coldwater, Ohio, distinguished himself as an athlete, scholar and leader at St. Francis Seminary in Cincinnati, made first vows as a friar in 1948 and solemn vows in 1951. After theology studies at Holy Family Theologate in Oldenburg, Ind., he was ordained June 8, 1956.
He furthered his education at the University of Louvain in Belgium, earning an M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy in 1961. His ability to connect with students served him well in 15 years as a teacher at Duns Scotus College in Southfield, Mich., and nine years as Campus Minister at the University of Cincinnati.
Fr. Desch moved into parish ministry in 1986 as Co-Pastor at Corpus Christi in Cincinnati, and became Director of Novices at St. Anthony Friary Novitiate in 1990. He was next stationed in Over-the-Rhine, first as Coordinator of St. Francis Seraph Ministries, later as pastor of St. Francis Seraph Parish, and served on the friars' Provincial Council from 1993-'96. In 1997 he was called to Houma, La., as pastor of Holy Rosary Parish, returning to Cincinnati as a member of the Friarhurst Retreat House team in 2002. Semi-retired in 2005, he was Parochial Administrator of Holy Name Parish until 2014.
Fr. Desch is survived by brothers Don and Joe Desch, sister Mary Sower, 15 nieces and nephews and their families.
Friars will receive his body at noon on Tuesday, July 25, at St. Clement Church in St. Bernard. A Mass of Christian Burial follows at 1 p.m. Interment will take place immediately after Mass at St. Mary Cemetery in St. Bernard.
Memorials may be made to the Franciscan Friars c/o FriarWorks, 1615 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH 45202.