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Click here to read a homily by Fr. Tim Shillcox, O. Praem.
Obituary for Rev. Conrad Jerry Kratz, O. Praem.
Fr. Conrad Jerry Kratz, O. Praem., age 66, passed into God’s eternal kingdom on October 4, 2013.
Fr. Kratz was born on November 7, 1946, in Green Bay to Milton and Kathryn (Hershman) Kratz. His home parish was St. John the Evangelist, Green Bay.
In 1964 he graduated from Prémontré High School, Green Bay. He entered the Norbertine Order in August of 1964. In May of 1970, he graduated from St. Norbert College, De Pere. After completing theological studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Fr. Kratz was ordained to the priesthood on August 11, 1973, by Auxiliary Bishop, John Grellinger. He received his Masters degree from Loyola University in Chicago. He was a faculty member of Prémontré High School (now Notre Dame Academy) and was chosen the superior for St. Michael Priory, the faculty house at the high school. In 1982 he became Pastor at Old Saint Joseph Church and Director of Campus Ministry at St. Norbert College. In 1993 he became administrator of New Saint Joseph Church in De Pere. Fr. Kratz was instrumental in the consolidation of De Pere’s west side parishes, New St. Joseph Parish and St. Boniface Parish, and in 1996 was named the founding pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes in De Pere. During his pastorate at Our Lady of Lourdes, the new church was built.
In addition to serving in external apostolates of the Norbertine Order, Fr. Kratz also served the Community in internal ministries, including Associate Director of Formation and House Superior at Holy Spirit House of Studies in Chicago; Prior of St. Norbert Abbey; House Superior of St. Joseph Priory; and member of the Abbot’s Council. In September of 2005, Fr. Kratz was appointed Director of the Norbertine Center for Spirituality.
Survivors include the Norbertine Community; two brothers, Buck (Betty), St. Louis, MO, and David (Jan), Green Bay; three sisters, Rosemary (Claude) Koch, Two Rivers, WI, Barbara, Green Bay, Bonnie (Ted) Phernetton, Jr., Green Bay; nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
The Reception of the Body will take place at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in De Pere at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, October 8, 2013, with Very Rev. James T. Baraniak, O. Praem. presiding. Visitation will continue at the Church throughout the day. Vespers of the Dead will be held at Our Lady of Lourdes, on Tuesday, October 8, 2013, at 7 p.m. Visitation will continue at St. Norbert Abbey on Wednesday, October 9, 2013, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held in the Abbey Church on Wednesday, October 9, 2013, at 4:30 p.m. Rt. Rev. Gary J. Neville, O. Praem., Abbot of St. Norbert Abbey, will preside at the funeral liturgy. The homilist will be the Rt. Rev. Richard J. Antonucci, O. Praem., Abbot of Our Lady of Daylesford Abbey, Paoli, PA.
Burial will be in the St. Norbert Abbey Cemetery.
Ryan Funeral Home, De Pere, is in charge of the arrangements.
Fr. Kratz and the Norbertine Community would like to thank Dr. John Gray and the Abbey nursing staff, as well as Dr. Parag J. Patel and his staff at Froedtert Hospital of Milwaukee, WI, for their professional and pastoral care.