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Father Hall was an Air Force chaplain and associate pastor


Father Hall

Father Douglas Hall, a retired priest of the archdiocese and U.S. Air Force chaplain, died Nov. 25. He was 68.

A funeral Mass was held Dec. 1 at St. Cecilia Cathedral, with interment at Calvary Cemetery, both in Omaha.

Father Hall was born in Lincoln where he grew up in St. Teresa Parish and later in St. Joan of Arc and St. Robert Bellarmine parishes in Omaha.

While serving in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, he was inspired by the work of chaplains there and entered the seminary when his tour of duty ended.

He was ordained in 1979 by the late Archbishop Daniel E. Sheehan at St. Cecilia Cathedral. 

“He cared so much for others … and was committed to serving God’s people,” said Father David Reeson, pastor of St. Columbkille Parish in Papillion and retired Air Force chaplain.

Even despite health challenges in retirement, Father Hall heard confessions at the Cloisters on the Platte Retreat Center and helped parishes with Masses when he could, Father Reeson said.

And he held a special place in his heart for people serving in the military.

During his 28 years as a military chaplain, he served in the Middle East in 1992 during Operation Desert Storm. He also was head chaplain for Air Force basic training in San Antonio, head chaplain for Air Force F-22 fighter pilots in training, and chaplain to the U.S. military intelligence community in Alaska and Washington, D.C. 

Father Hall also was assistant pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Norfolk from 1979 to 1982. He served in Omaha as associate pastor of Christ the King Parish from 2011 to 2014 and St. Stephen the Martyr Parish from 2014 until his retirement in 2017.

He received doctorates in religious studies and theology from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium. He also had master’s degrees in psychology and educational administration, a bachelor’s in sacred theology and a bachelor of arts degree with a double major in philosophy and psychology.

Father Daniel Kampschneider, pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Omaha and homilist at Father Hall’s funeral, shared time with him while both were seminary students and while studying in Europe. The two were ordained together in 1979.

“You don’t find someone like him very often,” Father Kampschneider said. “He was extraordinary. He had a great intellect, was extremely well read and had a strong interest in music. He could also connect well with people and had a great sense of humor.” 

Father Hall was preceded in death by his parents, H. Douglas Hall and Mary Hall Hildebrand, and a brother, Richard M. Hall. He is survived by sisters, Marilyn Hall and Catherine Raneri (Sebastian); nieces and nephews; stepbrothers and stepsisters: Chuck Hildebrand (Mary-Francis), Richard Hildebrand (Ronda), and Virginia Morrison (Richard). 

Memorials suggested to St. Joan of Arc Church in Omaha.

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