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 nephews Richard Pfahler (dec.), William Pfahler (Lorene), Thomas Pfahler (Mary), Christopher Pfahler (Amy) Richard Lowry (Jody), Michael Lowry (Connie), Steven Lowry, William Buescher, (Dreama), John Buescher (Ann), Robert Buescher (Patti). Nieces; Sister Diane Pfahler SND, Sister Mary Dean SND, Rose Christy (Kenneth), Mary George (Jack), Patricia Maman (Terry deceased), Mary Kay Lowry, Marie Recker (Dennis), Jane Hartley (Steve deceased), Margaret Nadolny (Christopher). In addition the Bishop has many great nephews and nieces. Also the Bishop treasured his friendship with his Aunts and Uncles, Edwin and Edith Ottenweller (deceased) Fran and Rosa Ottenweller (deceased) and cousins in Ft. Wayne.
Because of his welcoming personality, the Bishop has friends and created family in every place he served, lived or traveled. He is also survived by dear friends, Fr. John Blaser, Fr. Bill Parker, Fr. Tom Wehinger and Sr. Nancy Westmeyer.
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.
As a young pastor he encouraged parishioners' involvement. In Mount Carmel, Bono, he involved people in the building of Church to facilitate their full and active participation in the spirit of Vatican II renewal of the liturgy. 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. Both of these efforts resulted in countless classes, retreats and workshops both here in Toledo Diocese and other dioceses, parishes and associations.
Their goal was to help people live out their call to be disciples of Jesus as one who came to serve and not be served.
Reception of the Body will take place at 4 pm Tuesday Sept 25th in St. Martin de Porres Church, Toledo followed by a wake service at 6: 30 p.m. The body will lie in state for visitation at Rosary Cathedral, 2535 Collingwood Blvd., Wednesday from 3 p.m. until a Mass at 6:30 p.m. A Vespers Service will take place Thursday at 7 p.m. in Holy Name Cathedral, Steubenville, and the funeral liturgy will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Friday, September 28th.
Interment will be Saturday, September 29th at 11 a.m. in St. Mary's Cemetery Leipsic, Ohio. It is Bishop's desire that any contributions be given in his memory to the continuation of the Servant Leadership, 1618 Sylvania Ave., Toledo, OH 43612 Please view and sign the “on-line” guest registry at CoyleFuneralhome.com