St. Joseph native educated future missionaries

By Theresa Carson
Special to The Catholic Key

Divine Word Father Andrew Biller

Divine Word Father Andrew Biller, 87, a missionary in the Philippines for four decades, died Nov. 2, at Techny, Ill.

Andrew Biller was born in 1932 in St. Joseph, the eldest of Andrew John and Wava Leola (nee Schottel) Biller’s five children. After graduating from Christian Brothers High School in 1949, he entered Divine Word Seminary in East Troy, Wis. and professed religious vows in 1953.

Following ordination to the priesthood in 1961, Fr. Biller was sent to The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., to take graduate courses in guidance and counseling.

In need of instructors for the congregation’s seminaries in the Philippines, his superiors sent him to Christ the King Seminary in Quezon City in 1963. He taught at Christ the King until 1965, when he became dean of Theology at Divine Word College in Laoag, Ilocos, Philippines.

Following a four-year term as dean, Fr. Biller was assigned to Divine Word College in Calapan, Mindoro, where he served as chaplain for five years. He later taught English at St. Augustine Seminary in Calapan, Mindoro, and religious education at Divine Word College in San Joseph, Mindoro. During his tenure as an educator and administrator in the Philippines, he completed his master’s degree in education from The Catholic University of America.

His sights then turned to more pastoral ministry. He served as assistant pastor of Immaculate Conception parish, Cubao, Quezon City, for six years, and as associate pastor and parochial vicar at Sacred Heart parish, Kamuning, Quezon City for an additional 12 years.

He was recognized by the Parish Coordinating Council of Sacred of Heart of Jesus with the Life-giving Achievement Award for “his abundant charity for the poor, wisdom made richer over the decades, boundless generosity with his time for parishioners and his confreres, and for the many other innumerable blessings the Sacred Heart of Jesus has showered upon him and then shared with any and all his life has touched.”

In 2002, Fr. Biller returned to the United States. He continued to stay active. In semi-retirement, he provided pastoral care for the Vietnamese community of St. Thomas of Aquin in St. Louis. Fr. Biller moved to Techny in retirement in 2012.

He is survived by his sisters Ruth Athay, Mary Searcy, Alberta Cooper and Rita Ward.

The Funeral Mass for Fr. Biller was held at the Divine Word residence Chapel, Techny, He was buried in St. Mary Cemetery, Techny.

Memorial donations in Fr. Biller’s name can be made for the retired missionaries and may be sent to The Rector, Divine Word Residence, 1901 Waukegan Road, P.O. Box 6000, Techny, IL 60082-6000.

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December 15, 2019
Newspaper of the Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph