Columban Father Alban Sueper was a missionary, local superior

Columban Father Alban Sueper took the agricultural skills he learned on a family farm near Lindsay and used them to help others nearly 8,000 miles away in the Philippines.

After serving nearly 67 years as a missionary priest there and around the United States, Father Sueper died May 5 in Bristol, Rhode Island. He was 96.

A funeral Mass was livestreamed May 11 from St. Mary Church in Bellevue. Following his wishes to be buried in Nebraska, a burial service was held the following day at St. Bernard Cemetery near Lindsay.

A native of Lindsay, Father Sueper was the youngest of 10 children. He attended the former St. Bernard School and St. Bernard High School in St. Bernard Township and a public high school before graduating from St. Francis High School in Humphrey in 1941.

His siblings included a brother killed during World War II in Leyte, Philippines, and another who became a religious brother with the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

He helped his aging father run the family farm while his brother was serving in the Army. After the war, he joined the Columbans and was ordained in 1953.

Father Sueper studied tropical agriculture in Louisiana before heading to the Philippines in 1954 and studying the Cebuano language.

There, he served at three parishes before returning to the United States in 1971. He promoted the work of the Columbans in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and was vicar and bursar for the Columbans there.

A few months later, Father Sueper was assigned to a Columban formation team at the former College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he served as bursar, did promotion work and became a vice rector.

In 1980 he was assigned as a parish pastor in Westminster, California.

In 1986, he became the local superior for the Columbans in Bellevue and worked in the General Mission Office. In 1992, Father Sueper moved to Los Angeles to serve his order but returned to Bellevue in 1994 to serve first as bursar, then as director of the St. Columban Retreat House.

In 2005, Father Sueper was assigned to a retirement house in Bristol, where he visited and entertained nursing home patients, playing songs on his electronic keyboard, the Columban Fathers said in a written tribute.

His survivors include the Columbans and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

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