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Posted on Mar 8, 2015 |

Funeral Mass for Dr. John Willke

Funeral Mass for Dr. John Willke

Family, friends, coworkers, and fellow members of the Order of Malta filled the pews at St. Clare Church in College Hill (Cincinnati) for the funeral of Dr. John Willke.

Family, friends, coworkers, and fellow members of the Order of Malta filled the pews at St. Clare Church in College Hill (Cincinnati) for the funeral of Dr. John Willke.

Dr. John Willke was buried from St. Clare Church (College Hill/Cincinnati) Feb. 26. Fr. Don McCarthy celebrated the Mass, with Frs. Geoge Jacquemin (pastor of St. Clare) and James Bramlage concelebrating. Archbishop Dennis Schnurr and Fr. Steve Angi, the Archdiocese’s chancellor, were in choir.

 

Fr. McCarthy quoted 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith” — more generally translated as a variation on “I have fought the good fight.”

 

“The battle for the value of life is a true battle,” he said. “God is pro-life, and the Devil is pro-death.” The Willkes, he said, stood for “the luminou moment of love that is the pro-life cause, a light in our sinful world.”

 

Archbishop Schnurr extended the sympathies of Archdiocese and the bishops of the United States, and thanked the family for sharing him with the world. “I would like to extend sympathy, but also gratitude to their friends and family,” he said. “Just as he gave generously to the pro-life cause in America, you gave generously of him.”

 

Tim Willke, the couple’s youngest son, spoke for the family after Mass. In addition to family, friends, and area pro-life leaders including Brad Mattes, who co-founded Life Issues Institute with Dr. Willke, and Paula Westwood, Executive Director of Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati (founded by Dr. Willke); the funeral was attended by members of the Order of Malta. Dr. Willke was a longtime member of the international order, which is dedicated to serving the sick and poor, and to the Catholic faith.

 

Photos by The Catholic Beat.

For a photo slideshow tribute by Life Issues Institute, click here. 

 

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Priests process to the altar with the casket, draped with a pall decorated with the emblem of the Order of Malta. Members of the Willke family followed; and members of the Order finished the procession.

Priests process to the altar with the casket, draped with a pall decorated with the emblem of the Order of Malta. Many members of the Willke family followed; and members of the Order finished the procession.