It is with regret that we inform you of the death at 11.30 a.m. on Friday, 12th January 2018, in the Klaraheim, Hall, Austria, aged 84, of
Father Richard Oberhauser
Mill Hill Missionary
May he rest in peace
Richard was born in Luesen in Brixen Diocese, South-Tirol, Italy, on 3 November 1933 and was baptised later that month on the Feast of St Andrew. His father, William, who was a farmer, and Agnes (née Steiger) had fourteen children, five boys and nine girls.
He followed secondary education from 1945 to 1953 in Brixen after which he studied Philosophy there. He then went to Mill Hill, London, where he studied Theology from 1954 to 1958. He took his Perpetual Oath on 5 May 1957 and was ordained priest in Mill Hill, on 13 July 1958, by Archbishop Godfrey.
His first appointment was to study classical languages at Innsbruck University where he obtained a degree. He then taught classical and modern languages at the Franciscan Gymnasium in Hall, where our Mill Hill students attended classes. He was to do so for the next thirty-eight years. In this way Richard made a substantial contribution to the education of innumerable students from the local area, including future Mill Hill Missionaries, diocesan clergy and religious.
Besides his work in the school, Richard was also engaged with parish supplies and other pastoral commitments. His work as teacher and as pastor was generally characterised by zeal and a methodical approach. In 1981, as a mini-sabbatical, he went to East Africa and visited many of our missions there. In his letter to the General Council he reported that he was impressed by the lively faith of the people and the work of his fellow Mill Hill Missionaries.
In 1999, following his retirement as teacher at the Gymnasium, he took up a temporary appointment as pastor to the Catholic population on the island of Tristan da Cunha. In 2001 he received an appointment as Rector of St Josefs Missionshaus, Absam, for six years, and subsequently as Vice-Rector. He continued doing parish supplies, and helping out with administrative tasks in St Josefs Missionshaus for as long as he could.
On 8th November last year, Richard was admitted to hospital with pneumonia. After two weeks, he was transferred to the Klaraheim (care home) of the Tertiary Sisters in Hall, where he passed away yesterday, 12th January 2018. The funeral Mass will take place in the parish church of Absam on Wednesday, 17th January at 11.00 a.m., followed by burial in the plot of the Mill Hill Missionaries at the local cemetery.
‘We believe that, if we died with Christ, then we shall live with him too. We know that Christ has been raised from the dead and will never die again. Death has no power over him anymore.’ Rom. 6: 8.