Father Richard McCaslin dies at age 79
June 13, 2014
As a retreat master and spiritual director during his 48 years as a priest – including about four years of service in the Archdiocese of Omaha – Jesuit Father Richard "Dick" F. McCaslin impacted the lives of countless people.
And from Jesuit priests to lay people, many expressed how much Father McCaslin – who died May 13 – meant to them in comments made to his brother, Father R. Patrick McCaslin, a retired archdiocesan priest, after he presided at the May 15 funeral Mass in Wauwatosa, Wis., and after the May 16 burial at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Milwaukee.
"They dearly loved him," Father Patrick McCaslin said.
His brother, an Omaha native who served in the archdiocese as superior of the Creighton Preparatory Jesuit Community from 2001 to 2004, died at age 79 at the St. Camillus Jesuit Community in Wauwatosa.
A wake service was held May 20 and a memorial service May 21, both at St. Pius X Church in Omaha.
Calling him "a great Jesuit," Father Patrick McCaslin said his brother lived every aspect of his vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. He never shied from difficult jobs and he had a great trust in God, he said.
One of five priests and one religious sister in his family and the 12th of 13 children born to the late George and Elizabeth McCaslin, Father McCaslin attended the former Holy Angels Grade School and Creighton Preparatory School, both in Omaha, before entering the Society of Jesus as a novitiate in 1952.
Ordained in June 1965, Father McCaslin taught theology for 20 years at Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea, and pronounced his final vows there in August 1973. Learning the Korean language, he served as a retreat master for thousands of nuns during that time, his brother said.
After returning to the United States, Father McCaslin served in Milwaukee as assistant to the provincial from 1986 to 1989 and director of the Jesuit Retreat House in Oshkosh, Wis., from 1989 to 2001.
Father McCaslin also worked in South Dakota from 2004 to 2010, living at the Sioux Spiritual Center in Howes, S.D., and with the Jesuit Community at Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, while helping direct the permanent diaconate and lay ministry programs of the Diocese of Rapid City, S.D.
Due to declining health, Father McCaslin was assigned in 2010 to the St. Camillus Jesuit Community.
Father McCaslin was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Msgr. Edward, William, Thomas, Columban Father James and George; and sisters, Betty Burke and Rosemary McCaslin.
In addition to Father Patrick, survivors include his sisters Peg Dineen and Sinsinawa Dominican Sister Claire; brothers and sister-in-law Father John, also a retired priest of the archdiocese, and Dr. Joseph and Theresa, all of Omaha; nephews; nieces; great-nephews and great-nieces.