Kahrs, Reverend Lee J.
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Rev. Lee J. Kahrs, age 73, of Bellevue, Wisconsin, went home to heaven on Sunday, March 17, 2013 at the Jack and Engrid Meng Residence - Unity Hospice in DePere, WI.
Lee Joseph Kahrs was born August 18, 1939, in Two Rivers, Wisconsin, the oldest of four children of the late Roy and Stella (Brin) Kahrs. A true southsider, he finished the grades in 1953 at St. Mark School, Two Rivers. Lee began his studies for the priesthood from 1953-1959 at Sacred Heart Seminary, Oneida, Wisconsin, as a member of the first (Pioneer) class, and completed his studies at St. Francis Major Seminary, St. Francis, Wisconsin from 1959-1965. Father Lee Kahrs was ordained a priest "to the service of the Diocese of Green Bay" on May 29, 1965, by Bishop Stanislaus V. Bona.
In his years of active service, Father was first appointed as assistant at St. Thomas More Parish in 1965. He was then appointed Associate Pastor at Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Kimberly, in 1970, and then Pastor at Holy Family Parish, Elcho with mission at St. Mary's in Pickerel in 1972. In 1975, he became part-time assistant at Annunciation/Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Green Bay, and the Procurator-Advocate of the Diocesan Tribunal. In 1978, he was appointed Defender of the Bond, Diocesan Marriage Tribunal, and in 1981 Pro-Synodal Judge of the Marriage Tribunal. Serving as such, he was a member of the Canon Law Society of America and the Canadian Canon Law Society. In conjunction with his Tribunal work he participated in many seminars in various Vatican offices. He was privileged to concelebrate Mass with Pope John Paul II in his private chapel, and to be saluted by the Swiss Guard.
Fr. Kahrs became the Pastor of St. Isidore Parish, Osman in 1982, Field Advocate for the Tribunal in 1991, and Administrator for St. Casimir Parish in Northheim. Fr. Kahrs was reappointed as Defender of the Bond in 1992. He continued as Defender of the Bond while serving as Administrator of St. Casimir, Northheim and Pastor of St. Isidore, Osman. In 1996, he was appointed Pastor of St. Mary Parish of Glenmore and Stark. Father achieved senior priest status (retired) on September 1, 2009, and in retirement continued to assist in many parishes, principally Maplewood, Lincoln, and Rosiere, as well as continuing to serve the Tribunal.
In the early years of his ministry, Father worked extensively with the Boy Scouts of America as committee member for several troops, Advisor to the Order of the Arrow, and for twenty years National Camp Inspector. Father was honored and pleased to receive the St. George Award from the Catholic Committee on Scouting.
Thanks to Alcoholics Anonymous, with great gratitude Father enjoyed constant sobriety since March, 1995.
Father was proud of his Acadian heritage and enjoyed visiting with distant Acadian/Cajun cousins in Louisiana, North Dakota, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. In 2004, Nova Scotia celebrating 400 years of Acadia, Father met the then governor of Louisiana, Kathleen Babineau Blanco and the then Prime Minister of all Canada, Paul Martin.
Father is survived by his family: Lois (F. Charles) Bonnefoi, Manitowoc, Louis (Marlene) Kahrs, Two Rivers, Leah (late Allen) Wavrunek, rural Two Rivers; thirteen nieces and nephews: Thomas Bonnefoi, Catherine Strandberg, Christine (Jon) Ackley, Caroline (Michael) Ledvina, Corrine Broehm, Timothy (Becky) Bonnefoi, Anthony Bonnefoi, Angela Kahrs, Michael (Lynette) Wavrunek, Lisa Wavrunek, Jodie (Sal) Parma, Julie (Marvin) Schleis, and Randall Wavrunek; and thirteen grand nieces and grand nephews: Cailin Strandberg, Erin O'Leary, Stephanie Ledvina, Ryan and Casey Broehm; Alyssa, Brady, and Tanner Bonnefoi; Miranda and Jacob Wavrunek; Nicholas and Delana Parma; and Taylor Schleis.
Reception of the body by Father Richard Klingeisen, Regional Vicar, will be at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at St. Peter the Fisherman Catholic Church, Two Rivers. Visitation will follow at the church until 8:00 p.m., with a prayer service at 7:30 p.m., led by Sister Pat. Visitation will continue Friday morning at the church from 9:00 until 10:15 a.m.
The Funeral Liturgy, expressing our faith and our hope in the promised glory of the Lord's Resurrection, will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, March 22, 2013 at St. Peter the Fisherman Catholic Church, 3218 Tannery Rd. Two Rivers. Bishop David L. Ricken will officiate at the Mass of Christian Burial, with Bishop Robert F. Morneau and Bishop Robert J. Banks concelebrating, and the Rev. Ted Hendricks, homilist. All priests are invited to concelebrate. Burial will follow in Holy Cross Cemetery, Two Rivers.
Deja & Martin Funeral Chapels, 1506 - 18th St. Two Rivers is assisting the Kahrs family with funeral arrangements.
As a youth, Fr. Kahrs grew up on 13th Street in Two Rivers, in retirement had apartment 13, has 13 nieces and nephews, and 13 grand nieces and nephews. And it pleased God to take Father home to the light in the year twenty-thirteen. But as Mother always said, thirteen is a Frenchman's lucky number!
Published in Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter on Mar. 20, 2013