Father Printy remembered for his love and Irish humor

Father Michael Printy was given a great love of God and of people, which was sprinkled with his Irish humor, those who knew him said.

Father Printy, a retired archdiocesan priest, died June 16. He was 93.

“Father Printy was extraordinarily approachable,” said Father Patrick Harrison, who knew him for about 15 years and went to him for confession.

“He was very kind and patient,” Father Harrison said, “and had an Irish type of humor. He could take any situation … and add a little bit of appropriate humor.”

“He was loved by everybody, just a beloved priest,” who genuinely cared about people, he said. People from former parishes, many traveling considerable distances, flocked to Father Printy’s funeral, which was June 23 at St. Cecilia Cathedral, with burial at Calvary Cemetery, both in Omaha.

Father Printy had a heart “of love, compassion, mercy and gentleness,” said Father Gary Ostrander, who delivered the homily at the funeral.

Born in Creighton, Father Printy grew up in St. Ludger Parish and graduated from the parish elementary/high school before serving in the Navy from 1946 to 1948.

He earned a bachelor of science degree in biology from Creighton University in 1952 and entered Conception Seminary in Conception, Missouri, later that year.

Father Printy was ordained in 1957 by Archbishop Gerald T. Bergan and served as an assistant pastor at the former Holy Angels Parish in Omaha from 1957 to 1960 and at St. Bridget in Omaha from 1960-1967.

As a pastor, he served at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Lynch from 1967 to 1970; at St. Anthony in Cedar Rapids from 1970 to 1978; at St. John the Baptist  in Petersburg from 1978 to 1981; at St. Patrick in Battle Creek and the Mission of St. Francis de Sales in Schoolcraft from 1981 to 1986; and at St. Patrick in Jackson and the Mission of St. Mary in Hubbard from 1986 to 1999.

He also taught religion at the former Archbishop Ryan High School in Omaha and Pope John XXIII Central Catholic Junior/Senior High School in Elgin.

Father Printy was a spiritual director for Cursillo weekends from 1970 to 1980, and for Marriage Encounter weekends from 1976 to 1986.

He received the Boys Town Distinguished Service Award and retired in 1999.

“Luckily, I didn’t wait until I felt worthy to become a priest,”  Father Printy wrote in 2007, 50 years after his ordination. “If I had, this day wouldn’t have been realized. Like life, everything is a gift. Our Lord draws straight with crooked lines.”

Memorials are suggested for the Siena Francis House homeless shelter in Omaha.

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