The Rev. Louis Henry Pabst, pastor of the Roman Catholic Church of the Crucifixion in Glen Burnie and a Little League baseball umpire, died Thursday of a heart attack at North Arundel Hospital. He was 68.
Father Pabst had been pastor of the Glen Burnie church since 1972. Earlier, he had ministered at St. Matthew Roman Catholic Church and the Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. His first assignment as assistant pastor was at St. Luke Roman Catholic church in Sparrows Point in 1956.
"He was a very friendly and kind person who was generous with his time. He was well-known by the funeral directors in the county who would ask him to conduct funerals if a minister couldn't be found and he did this willingly," said Sister Marlene Cunningham, S.N.D., pastoral associate at Father Pabst's north Anne Arundel County parish.
"I enjoyed working with him and he taught me a great deal -- especially how to reach out to people in need," she said.
Father Pabst was active in Scouting and was awarded the Padre Youth Award in 1974 by the archdiocesan youth office. In 1984, he was appointed archdiocesan chaplain for Scouting. In 1989, he was awarded the Medal of Honor by the youth office of the archdiocese.
However, it was for umpiring baseball that many remember Father Pabst. This leisure-time enthusiasm culminated in his membership in the Maryland Umpires Association. He began umpiring games as a soldier in Germany during World War II, and later he umpired seminarians' games while a seminary student.
"It was said that Father Pabst knew umpiring as well as the Bible," Sister Marlene said with a chuckle.
He was recognized for his 20 years of umpiring Little League games when the Marley Little League playing field was renamed the Lou Pabst Field in April.
"He was so proud and excited and said that a person normally had to die before something was named in your honor," recalled his sister, Dorothy Pabst, a Fells Point resident.
"He was so popular with the children in the church that at the end of the Mass they would come out of the pews, hold his hands and walk with him," Miss Pabst said.
"Father Lou Pabst was a very dedicated and faithful priest. He was not only well-loved by his parishioners, but by many organizations that enjoyed his presence and direction," said Monsignor W. Francis Malooly, chancellor of the Baltimore archdiocese.
Born and raised in Fells Point, Father Pabst attended St. Patrick's Parochial School and graduated from Baltimore City College in 1944. During World War II, he served in Germany with the infantry and was discharged at war's end with the rank of sergeant.
He began his religious studies at St. Charles College in Catonsville. He then studied at the old St. Mary's Seminary on Paca Street and at St. Mary's Seminary in Roland Park, where he earned his theological degree in 1956. He was ordained that year at the Basilica of the Assumption by Archbishop Keough.
During his ministry, he was chaplain to many groups, including the Catholic Daughters of America in Dundalk in the early 1960s and later the Woodlawn Court of Catholic Daughters.
He also was active in the Knights of Columbus.
A Mass of Christian burial is to be offered at 10 a.m. today at the Church of the Crucifixion, 100 Scott Ave., Glen Burnie.
In addition to his sister, his survivors are several aunts; an uncle; and several cousins, all of Baltimore.