Rev. Thomas L. Albers, C.PP.S.

The Rev. Thomas L. Albers, C.PP.S., 78, a member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province, died Sept. 30, 2018 at St. Rita Hospital in Lima, Ohio following a lengthy illness. Fr. Tom was born May 4, 1940 in Minster, Ohio to Leo and Onnolee (Makley) Albers and baptized the next day at St. Augustine Parish in Minster. Following eight years of grade school at Minster Public, he entered the Society of the Precious Blood upon enrollment at Brunnerdale Seminary in Canton, Ohio in Sept. 1954. After two years of study at St. Joseph College in Rensselaer, Ind., from 1958 to 1960, Fr. Tom began his novitiate year at Burkettsville, Ohio, at the end of which he was incorporated into the Society on Aug. 15, 1961. Several weeks later he began six years of philosophy and theology studies at St. Charles Seminary in Carthagena, Ohio. He was definitively incorporated on Aug. 15, 1964 and ordained a priest on June 3, 1967 at St. Charles Seminary by Bishop Edward McCarthy.

In his letter congratulating Fr. Tom on his ordination, then-provincial director Fr. Daniel Schaefer wrote: “May your years sharing Christ’s priesthood bring Him to the little ones of the world; his words to hungry souls; his love to the oppressed; hope to the destitute; mercy to the tried. May you, as you live the life of a priest of God, learn to share Christ’s wisdom, his holiness, his hopes, his loves, and his sorrows.” All those who were touched by Fr. Tom’s service during his 51 years as a priest can attest that those words were brought to life in his various apostolates.

Following ordination, Fr. Tom was the summer assistant at St. Joseph Parish in Amery, Wisconsin. In September, he began several months of service as supply chaplain at St. Bernard Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, and then in December was appointed associate chaplain at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park, Illinois, where he served until July 1969. It was then that he began a year-long intensive Catholic Chaplaincy Training Program at the National Center for Mental Health Service, Training, and Research at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Washington, D.C., a large federal mental hospital with about 4,200 patients, followed by a year of advanced clinical pastoral education at Anna State Hospital in Anna, Illinois. In his letter of recommendation for Fr. Tom to the chaplain at Anna State, his Washington, D.C. supervisor wrote: “Fr. Albers is a warm, gregarious, outgoing person who makes friends easily. His concern for people and their problems is deeply felt and genuine. His attitude of acceptance…clearly gets through to patients with whom he is doing pastoral counseling. It is also evident when he celebrates the liturgy and preaches. He is able to evoke a spirit of active community participation at Mass.” These attributes, among many others, served him well in his many following years of hospital chaplaincy and parish ministry.

Following his year in Anna, Fr. Tom spent the next 13 years in hospital ministry: chaplain at Veterans’ Administration Hospital, Wood, Wisconsin (1971-1973); director of pastoral care, Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park, Illinois (1973-1978); and chaplain, Christ Hospital, Chicago, Illinois (1978-1984). During this time, in 1983, he served a one-year term as president of the National Catholic Hospital Chaplains Association,and was also elected to the Provincial Council in the role of vice-provincial for a four-year term. From 1984 to 1987, he served as director of the College Formation Program for the Province. Then in 1987, Fr. Tom was elected provincial director of the Kansas City Province. (Interestingly, in the final Seminary Faculty Report before his ordination, one person wrote, “He would make a good superior.”)
Following eight years as provincial director, Fr. Tom began 18 years of service as a pastor: St. Patrick Parish, Sedalia, Mo., (1995-2000); Sedalia Catholic Community, Sedalia, Mo., (2000-2006); St. Ann Parish, Warsaw and Sts. Peter and Paul, Cole Camp, Mo., (2006-2007); St. James Parish, Liberty, Mo., (2007-2011); and St. Mary Church, Nevada, Mo., (2011-2013). In 2013, he retired to St. Charles Center in Carthagena, Ohio, where he resided until his death.

Fr. Tom is survived by his sister, Janet Huelskamp of Georgetown, Texas; three nieces, Kay (Randy) Overholser, Chris (John) Rainbolt, and Susan Longley; and a large family of Precious Blood Missionaries and Companions. He was preceded in death by his parents.

The Mass of Christian Burial was held Oct. 4 at St. Charles Center, Rev. Joseph Nassal, C.PP.S, presiding.

“Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy” (Matthew 25:21).

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Monday
November 19, 2018
Newspaper of the Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph