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Remembering Father Ric

Posted 4/29/2018

The Ursuline Sisters, Associates and Center employees and residents will forever hold fond memories of their beloved chaplain.

Father Ric Saelzler, resident priest, went to be with the Lord on Palm Sunday, March 25, 2018.

Father Ric came to the Ursuline Center on June 28, 2005, after the sudden passing of Father Tom Quinn, chaplain at the time. “I asked if the Ursulines would entertain a blind chaplain,” he often joked. “Otherwise, I was planning to stand on the corner of Secor and Monroe with a sign, ‘Will pray for food.’ Fortunately, Sr. Donna picked me up.

With assistance of many Ursuline Sisters and his talking computer technology, Father Ric celebrated Mass until 2017, when he fell ill. “This has been a joy,” he said with a beaming smile when celebrating his 40 year jubilee.

Sister Mary Kay Garvin said, “I’m thankful for the privilege and honor to assist him in Mass.” Sister Kenwyn Steger added, “I was privileged and happy to help him with Mass on Sundays.” Sister Margaret Anne Carstensen, sacristan, assisted Father Ric with daily liturgies.

Sister Mary Jo Koudelka helped Father Ric for more than 10 years by taking him to appointments, shopping, and other places. Sister Coletta McAllister, who faithfully led Father Ric to the altar for weekday liturgies, spoke of the special bond of humor she and Father shared. “He was one of the funniest people I ever knew. We just clicked.” “I was the seeing-eye nun to him. We share humor and understtod each other. He knew I knew what he needed.”

Father Ric came to know the Ursuline Sisters as family. That was important to him.