OBITUARY: Funeral held May 27 for Fr. Wendelin Rolheiser, OMI

Fr. Wendelin Rolheiser, OMI

Fr. Wendelin Rolheiser, OMI, 1935-2024: Saskatoon Funeral Home LINK

Fr. Wendelin Rolheiser, OMI died May 22, 2024 at St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon at the age of 89 years.

Born on July 24, 1935, in Cactus Lake SK, Wendelin was the third of 16 children of Mathilda (Gartner) and George Rolheiser. They were part of a close-knit community of Germans who immigrated from Russia, farming near the Alberta border.

He entered the novitiate of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate at St. Norbert, MB, professing his First Vows Sept. 8, 1955. After his formation at St. Charles Scholasticate in Battleford, SK, Fr. Wendelin was ordained to the priesthood on Dec. 21, 1961. In addition to his theological studies, he obtained a Bachelor of Education degree.

He served in parish communities in southern and northern Saskatchewan and Alberta. He also served his Oblate community, working with the Missionary Association, and in district leadership. He served the educational community on the teaching staff at St. Thomas College, in North Battleford, primarily teaching Christian Ethics, and leading the students in celebration and song.  He served the wider community working in Worldwide Marriage Encounter for many years. As an elder, Fr. Wendelin ministered to his brothers in chaplaincy, and in prayer. Throughout all his ministries, he forged many long-lasting relationships because of his warmth, joyful demeanor and his ever-enduring sense of dry humor and wit, which he kept until his last days.

He will be remembered for his commitment to physical fitness, running, biking and hiking well into his elder years. He loved participating in his large family events. Fr. Wendelin spoke only the best of people, was non-judgemental and inclusive, gentle and never unkind.

Fr. Wendelin is survived by his brother Oblates and associates of OMI Lacombe Canada, Saskatchewan District community, and by his family: brothers Ken (Linda) Rolheiser, Fr. Ron Rolheiser, OMI, and Pius (Patty) Rolheiser; his sisters, Maureen, Bea (Cliff), Patti, Luci (Che); sister-in-law, Anne; and brothers-in-law, Mark Stang (Rita), and Angus Ouchterlony.  He is also survived by 54 nephews, nieces and their families, and countless friends. Fr. Wendelin was predeceased by his parents, George and Mathilda; his sisters, Leona (David) Sieben, Isabel Stang, Sr. Helen Rolheiser OSU, and Agnes Rolheiser; his brothers, Edwin, Fred, Denis (Elizabeth) and George Rolheiser; in-laws, Mick Hertz and Arthur Stang; nephew, David Sieben Jr; niece, Audrey Sieben, and great nephew, Dylan Beyak.

A Vigil of Prayer was held May 26, 2024 and the Funeral Liturgy was Monday, May 27, 2024, with both services held at St. Philip Neri Parish in Saskatoon. Itnerment was at the Oblate cemetery in Battleford, SK.