Rev. J.F. Kresslein


A Mass of the Resurrection for the Rev. John F. Kresslein, C.S.S.R., a Redemptorist priest for 47 years that included 27 in the Caribbean, will be held at 11 a.m. today at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Church, 4795 Ilchester Road, Ilchester, where he had been on the staff since 1990.

Father Kresslein, 75, died Saturday at the University of Maryland Medical Center of complications from cancer.

Born in Highlandtown, he was ordained in 1945. He spent the next 27 years as a missionary in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Although based in various parishes there, his work included ministering to the poor in rural areas where priests were rarely present. Part of his work was to assist such people by setting up community self-help programs.

He returned to Maryland in 1972 as associate pastor at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Annapolis and began more than a decade of service in parishes in the Annapolis-Baltimore area.

In 1974, he was appointed pastor of St. Joseph's in Odenton and helped the parish build a new church. He spent seven years there before being assigned in 1982 as associate pastor of St. Michael's on South Wolfe Street in East Baltimore.

From there, the priesthood took him to Pennsylvania Dutch country in south-central Pennsylvania. He was assigned first to St. Clement's in Ephrata, Pa., and in 1984 to St. James in Lititz, Pa., which he served for six years.

He studied for the priesthood at St. Mary's Redemptorist Seminary in North East, Pa., and Mount St. Alphonsus Seminary in Esopus, N.Y.

Father Kresslein is survived by two sisters, Catherine Linch of Baltimore and Phyllis Insley of New Smyrna Beach, Fla.; and two brothers, Charles Kresslein of Towson and Frank Kresslein of Fallston.

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