Jesuit priest taught 46 years at Creighton University
Jesuit Father Richard Hauser, who taught 46 years at Creighton University in Omaha and led retreats on spirituality and prayer at St. Benedict Center in Schuyler and other sites, died April 3. He was 80. Visitation was scheduled from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. April 8 at St. John Church on the university’s campus. The funeral Mass was set for 10 a.m. April 9 at the church. A native of Milwaukee ordained in June 1968, Father Hauser was preparing to celebrate 50 years as a priest, including recognition at an April 10 Mass marking milestone priestly anniversaries held each year by the Archdiocese of Omaha. But he recently was diagnosed with an aggressive form of lung cancer. "The greatest two gifts of my life I received are my faith and my priestly, Jesuit vocation,” Father Hauser said in reflections on the priesthood he offered for the April 10 celebration. “The more you age, the more you realize that faith and doing God’s will are really the cornerstones of life, and the only things that matter.” Jesuit Father Don Doll, a longtime friend and emeritus professor of journalism at Creighton University, said he will remember Father Hauser as always wanting to get at the heart of an issue. ‘“Where is God leading us,’ was his basic question,” Father Doll said. In 1975, Father Hauser founded Creighton University’s Sunday evening, student-run candlelight Mass that continues today. He wrote three books on spirituality and numerous articles, book chapters and book reviews in scholarly journals and periodicals. Father Hauser was chairman of Creighton’s theology department from 1978 to 1990 and 1996 to 1999, and he founded and led the school’s master’s degree programs in ministry and theology from 1990 to 2002. He also was associate director from 1974 to 1993, and director from 1993 until his death, of the school’s master’s program in spirituality. In 1991, Father Hauser received the university’s Distinguished Faculty-Administrator Award, and he was rector of Creighton’s Jesuit community from 2001 to 2007. Before serving at Creighton University, Father Hauser taught one year at Campion Jesuit High School in Prairie du Chien, Wis., and one year at St. Francis Indian Mission in St. Francis, S.D.