Fr. Clarence Wiederholt enters eternal rest

We announce the peaceful death at Conception Abbey, Conception, Missouri, on the 27th day of October 2023, at the age of 93 of

Retired Priest of the Diocese of Jefferson City
Last of the Founding Fathers of the Diocese

Father Clarence E. Wiederholt was born on January 5, 1930, in Conception, Missouri, the son of the late Valentine G. and Mary B. (Bliley) Wiederholt. He had eleven siblings. Eight siblings preceded him in death: Gerald Wiederholt, Raymond Wiederholt, Alphonse Wiederholt, Donald Wiederholt, Marvin Wiederholt, Rosalie Wiederholt, Lucille Wiederholt, Dorothy Wiederholt, Sister Marie Frances Wiederholt, CPPS and Vincent Wiederholt. He is survived a brother, Robert Wiederholt, along with many nieces and nephews. He received the Sacraments of Baptism, First Confession, First Holy Communion and Confirmation at the Abbey Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Conception, Missouri.

Father Wiederholt attended Immaculate Conception School in Conception from 1936-1940, St. Patrick School in Maryville from 1940-1944 when his parents moved to Maryville, and Immaculate Conception Seminary High School in Conception in 1944-1948. He then attended Immaculate Conception College Seminary from 1948-1952, receiving a Bachelor’s with a major in Philosophy and a minor in Education in 1952. Father Wiederholt continued his studies at Immaculate Conception Theology Seminary in Conception from 1952-1955.

He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of St. Joseph on December 21, 1955 at St. Patrick Church, Maryville, Missouri, by the Most Reverend John P. Cody, Bishop of St. Joseph.

Bishop Cody appointed him in January 16, 1956 as assistant pastor at the newly formed St. Pius X Church, Moberly. This parish was created from the former St. Mary Church for the Irish and Immaculate Conception Church for the Germans. After six months in his first

assignment, the Diocese of Jefferson City was created in July 1956, and Father Wiederholt became the youngest of its founding fathers as well as the last founder to pass away.

Father Wiederholt’s other pastoral assignments:

-Assistant Pastor, St. Lawrence Church, St. Elizabeth, February-September 1957

-Assistant Pastor, St. Patrick Church, Rolla, September 1957-1959

-Entered the US Air Force for chaplain training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, June 3, 1959.

-Served through 1968 as chaplain at Air Force bases in Kansas City in Missouri, remote sites in Anchorage and Fairbanks in Alaska, Denver in Colorado, Greenville in Mississippi, Darmstadt in Germany and Mount Clements in Michigan; achieved the rank of Major; received the Honors of Good Conduct; and the Commendations of Military Merit and Good Public Relations while stationed in Germany.

-Pastor, St. Joseph, Rhineland/St. Martin Church, Starkenburg, 1968-1971

-Pastor, St. Patrick Church, Gravois Mills/St. Philip Benizi Church, Versailles, 19711976

-Pastor, St. Mary of the Angels Church, Wien/Mission of Immaculate Conception, Hamden, 1976-1986

-Temp Administrator, Immaculate Conception Church, Brookfield, June-September 1979

-Pastor, St. Clement Church, St. Clement, 1987-1989

-Pastor, St. Joseph Church, Edina/St. Aloysius Church, Baring, 1989-1993

-Pastor, St. Anthony Church, St. Anthony, 1993-1999

-Temp Administrator, Our Lady of the Snows Church, Mary’s Home, March-June 1999

-Pastor, Our Lady of the Snows Church, Mary’s Home, 1999-2008

-Administrator, St. Bernadette Church, Hermitage/Mission of Our Lady of the Snows, Climax Springs, September-November, 2000

-Administrator, Sacred Heart Church, Eldon, February-June, 2004

Father Wiederholt retired on July 1, 2008 and at the same time was appointed volunteer chaplain to the Carmelite Sisters and as sacramental minister of St. Michael Church in Russellville, until July 2009.

Father Wiederholt served as Dean of the Brookfield Deanery from 1979-1982. He also served two terms as Dean of the Lake Ozark Deanery from 1998-2004. He was elected Senator, Lake Ozark Deanery from 2001-2003. He was appointed a Consultor of the Diocese of Jefferson City from 2003-2008. He was a Volunteer Chaplain, Carmelite Sisters in 2008 and a Sacramental Minister, St. Michael, Russellville from 2008-2009.

Father Wiederholt celebrated his 25th Anniversary of Holy Priesthood on December 21, 1980 at St. Mary of the Angels Church, Wien. He then celebrated his 50th Priestly Anniversary on October 16, 2005 with relatives and friends back home in northern Missouri and then again on January 29, 2006 at Our Lady of the Snows Church in Mary’s Home. To commemorate his 65th year of Holy Priesthood he set up a small display in his apartment titled “Then and Now” that included pictures of himself as a newly ordained priest in 1956 and a photo of him at age 89 along with a statue of the Holy Family as the anchor. On June 6, 2023, Father Clarence moved from Jefferson City to the infirmary at Conception Abbey, where he resided until his passing.

On November 3, 2023, Visitation prior to the funeral Mass will be at 10:30 am at Conception Abbey; the concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Basilica of the Immaculate Conception at Conception Abbey at 11:30 am with Abbot Benedict Neenan, OSB, as the celebrant and Reverend Mark A. Porterfield as the homilist. Seminarians will serve as pallbearers. Burial will be immediately after the funeral in the Abbey Cemetery, where members of Fr. Wiederholt’s family are buried. Lunch will follow immediately after the burial; all are invited.

Please remember Father Wiederholt in your prayers and also invite the prayers of your people for him. We pray that the Lord looks with mercy upon him and give him the reward of his priestly labors, the fullness of life promised to those who preach the Gospel.

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