Obituaries » Msgr. Franz Graef, STD
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December 6, 1930 - June 17, 2016
Burial Date June 29, 2016
Church St. John Berchmans Cathedral
SHREVEPORT, LA – Msgr. Franz Graef, STD, a priest of both the Alexandria and Shreveport dioceses, died at his home in Heidelberg, Germany on June 17, 2016. Bishop Michael G. Duca will celebrate a Memorial Mass for Father Graef on Wednesday, June 29, 2016, at the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans, 939 Jordan Street in Shreveport, Louisiana, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Father Graef’s Funeral Mass and Burial were held on Friday, June 24, at the Jesuitenkirche in Heidelberg. Born December 6, 1930, to Aloys and Maria Graef, Fr. Graef entered the Collegium Canisianum as a seminarian for the Diocese of Alexandria and enrolled in the University of Innsbruck, Austria, earning the Licentiate in Sacred Theology (STL). He was ordained in Innsbruck to the priesthood on April 6, 1957.
Following his immigration to the United States, Fr. Graef served the Alexandria Parishes of Our Lady of Prompt Succor and St. Rita before becoming a professor at Maryhill Seminary in Pineville, LA during the early 1960s. After earning his Doctorate in Sacred Theology, Fr. Graef returned to teaching at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, LA.
Subsequent assignments included Director of Religious Education and Adult Education for the Diocese of Alexandria-Shreveport, Director of Continuing Clergy Education, Professor in the Diocese of Shreveport’s Greco Institute, and Pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Monroe. He returned to Notre Dame Seminary as Professor and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters Degree at the end of his tenure. There are a host of priests, bishops and one archbishop who will readily attest that Fr. Graef was the most influential professor of their seminary training.
Father Graef was named as Pastor of Holy Trinity Church in Shreveport in 1999, where he served for seven years. He retired in 2006 to Jonesboro, LA, where he assisted as Sacramental Minister at St. Lucy Church in Hodge, LA until his death. Additional responsibilities he accepted at various times for the diocese were Dean of the Monroe Deanery, Chair of the Presbyteral Council, Judge in the Diocesan Tribunal, Censor for the Diocese and for the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Church Vocations Board and the Diocesan College of Consultors. Named an Honorary Prelate of the Holy Father with the title of Reverend Monsignor in 1989, most knew that he vastly preferred the title, “Father Graef” throughout his years of faithful service to the people of God.
Fr. Graef is survived by his sisters, Hildegard Hufendiek, Monika Jutt, Mechthilde Daub; and his brother, Klaus Graef. He leaves ten nieces and nephews and eighteen great-nieces and great-nephews to cherish his memory.
Fr. Graef suggested that those wishing to make memorial contributions in his honor please consider the following, Catholic Charities of North Louisiana, 331 E. 71st St., Shreveport, LA 71106, His Hands Ministry, 500 South Cooper Ave., Jonesboro, LA 71251, or the charity of the donor’s choice.