Father Russell Gavin, O.Carm.

With deep sadness the Order of Carmelites of the Most Pure Heart of Mary Province reports the loss of Father Russell Gavin, O.Carm., who died at the age of 85 on July 5, 2007 in Edward Hospital in Naperville, Illinois. Father Russell Gavin, O.Carm., lay in state at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Darien, Illinois, on July 9, 2007. A Mass of Christian Burial took place there on July 10, 2007. Father Gavin Quinn, O.Carm., was the homilist; the Very Reverend John Welch, O.Carm., Prior Provincial of the Most Pure Heart of Mary Province, presided. The Most Reverend Joseph L. Imesch, retired bishop of Joliet, and the Most Reverend Roger L. Kaffer, retired auxiliary bishop of Joliet, concelebrated with Father Welch and the many Carmelite priests in attendance. Interment took place at Mount Olivet Cemetery.

Russell Gavin was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of the (late) Joseph, and (late) Susan (Costello) Gavin on April, 26, 1922. He was the third of six children, having three brothers and two sisters. Russell was enrolled in Saint Brendan Grade School in Chicago. Graduating he entered the Carmelite Junior Seminary in Niagara Falls, Ontario. In 1940, he entered the Carmelite Novitiate, in New Baltimore, Pennsylvania, where he made his first profession of vows on August 15, 1941. Continuing his studies at Mount Carmel College in Niagara, he earned his BA Degree in Philosophy in 1944. He made his solemn profession on October 8, 1944, in Washington, DC. He was ordained a priest June 7, 1947, in Chicago, Illinois. After his ordination, Father Russell did graduate work in History at Catholic University of America, Washington, DC. He also attended Niagara University, Niagara Falls, New York, and University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana. He attended Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, for Alcohol studies. As a newly ordained and using his knowledge of History and French, Father Russell began his career as a teacher at Mount Carmel College in Niagara Falls, Ontario, in 1948. Three years later, he moved to Chicago and became a teacher at Mount Carmel High School there. In 1954, he moved into parish work at Saint Cecilia Parish in Englewood, New Jersey. After two years there he was assigned to Saint Joseph Parish in Leavenworth, Kansas. In 1957, Father Russell became a Formator for the Carmelite Junior Seminary in Hamilton, Massachusetts, before moving back to the Chicago area in 1958.

After teaching one additional year at Mount Carmel High School in Chicago, Father Russell went to Joliet, Illinois, where he taught for the next six years at Joliet Catholic High School. Returning to Mount Carmel High School in Chicago, Father Russell continued his teaching career there for an additional 13 years. In 1979 he once again entered parish work at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Darien, Illinois, where he served as pastor for the next nine years, until his retirement in 1988.

Loretto Sister Mary Irene Gavin, Father Russell’s sister spoke about his parish work saying, “he was always open and receptive to the people; and they truly loved him.”

On June 7, 2007, Father Russell celebrated his 60 year diamond jubilee of ordination to the priesthood. According to his sister, (Sister Mary Irene Gavin) in 1947, the year of his ordination, “was a very special year for him.” A few months after ordination, Father Gavin became the celebrant at the Mass where his sister, made her final vows to her religious order. Later that year Father Gavin celebrated the wedding Mass for his brother Joseph, and his bride, Betty Penny.

In 1988 Father Russell began his retirement at Saint Mary’s Parish in Joliet, Illinois. Father Russell also lived in Darien, Illinois, at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Priory, and later Carmelite Carefree Village. At the time of his death he was living at Saint Patrick’s Residence in Naperville, Illinois. Father Gavin Quinn, O.Carm., parochial vicar at Saint Matthews in Glendale Heights, Illinois, described his friend and fellow Carmelite as, ”the smartest priest in North America.” Father Quinn also spoke highly of Father Gavin’s compassion for others and his sense of humor. According to Father Quinn,

Father Gavin always made himself available to people suffering from the effects of alcohol abuse. “He went out of his way to help people out of the dark into the light,” said Father Quinn. Father Gavin was a “good priest” with a “generous heart,” Quinn said. During the homily at Father Russell’s funeral Mass, Father Quinn spoke about how Father Russ followed the words of Edith Stein and John of the Cross. “Father Russ was all about love,” he said. Ending his homily, Father Quinn eloquently remembered Father Russell Gavin saying, “We bury his hands, but not his good work; we bury his heart, but not his love. Thank God for the gift of Father Russ.”

May he rest in peace.


Father Lukas Schmidt, O.Carm.

The Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary is saddened to report the loss of Father Lukas Schmidt, O.Carm., who died at the age of 69 on August 3, 2007 in Osprey, Florida. Father Lukas, the founding pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Osprey, lay in state in the church August 7, 2007, with a Mass of Christian Burial following the visitation. The Very Reverend John F. Welch, O.Carm., Prior Provincial, of the Province served as principal celebrant at the Mass. Father Leo McCarthy, former Prior Provincial and current pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Osprey, was the homilist.

Lukas Schmidt was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of the (late) Charles, Sr., and (late) Helen (Dieter) Schmidt on December 6, 1938. Lukas Schmidt was enrolled in Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the Shrine of the Little Flower Grade Schools in Baltimore, and graduated in June, of 1953. In September of that year he entered the Carmelite Junior Seminary in Hamilton, Massachusetts. Graduating, he attended Mount Carmel College in Niagara Falls, Ontario. In 1958 he entered the Carmelite Novitiate in New Baltimore, Pennsylvania, where he made first profession of vows on August 15, 1959. Continuing his studies at Saint Bonaventure University in Olean, New York, he earned his BA Degree in Philosophy and History in 1962. He received his solemn profession on February 7, 1963, in Washington, DC. On June 5, 1965, he was ordained a priest at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, also in Washington.

After his ordination, Father Schmidt received a JCB, (Bachelor of Canon Law Degree) from Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, in 1967; a Master’s Degree in German from Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont, in 1968; and a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1988. Father Lukas also completed graduate studies at Notre Dame University, South Bend, Indiana; Georgetown University; the University of Salzburg in Austria, and Saint Xavier College in Chicago, Illinois.

As a newly ordained priest, Father Lucas began his career as a teacher at Mount Carmel College in Niagara Falls, Ontario, where he taught seminary students. In 1969, Father Schmidt joined the teaching staff at Joliet Catholic Academy in Joliet, Illinois, where he taught German and Theology. While serving in Joliet, Father Lukas was chair of the religious department at the school. In 1970, while still at Joliet Catholic, Father Schmidt was appointed Vocation Director. In 1975, Father Lukas moved to Mahwah, New Jersey, where he served as novice master for the province. After two years as novice master, Father Lucas served Saint Therese Chapel in the Bergen Mall Shopping Center in Paramus, New Jersey. In 1978, Father Lukas became formation director for Carmel Hall. He also was elected Commissary Provincial for the Midwest territory of the province. During his tenure, Carmel Hall relocated from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Chicago, Illinois. Additionally, in 1980, while still serving in provincial administration, Father Lucas taught at Carmel High School in Mundelein, Illinois. Father Lucas was also elected a delegate and attended International Carmelite meetings in Italy, Peru, Spain, Portugal and Britain.

Moving into parish work, Father Lucas became pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Newport News, Virginia. He served the parish for six years before taking a sabbatical to study pastoral counseling at Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland.

In 1988, Father Lucas moved to Tenafly, New Jersey, where he became parochial vicar for Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish and Priory there. In 1990, being elected to the position of Western Commissary Provincial, he moved to Tucson, Arizona. In 1999, Father Lucas moved to Florida to serve at Epiphany Cathedral Parish in Venice, where he was parochial vicar. In 2000, Father Lucas became the first pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Osprey, Florida. In March of 2006, as illness set in, Father Lucas relinquished the position of pastor, but remained in residence at the priory there.

Memorial donations in Father Lukas’ name may be made to the Building Fund of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, PO Box 1097, Osprey, Florida 34229.

May he rest in peace.


Father Louis Philip Rogge, O.Carm.

Carmelite Father Louis P. Rogge, O.Carm., died at the age of 77 on August 8, 2007 at the Joliet Illinois Area Community Hospice.

Father Louis was waked at the National Shrine of Saint Therese, Darien, Illinois, on August13. A Mass of Christian Burial followed that evening. The Very Reverend John Welch, O.Carm., Prior Provincial of the Most Pure Heart of Mary Province, was principal celebrant. Interment was at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Chicago.

Louis Rogge was born in Louisville, Kentucky, the son of the (late) Louis H. and (late) Susan (Hamilton) Rogge on February 12, 1930. He was enrolled in and graduated from Holy Name Grade School and Saint Xavier High School in Louisville. He entered the College of Saint Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota. After one year there, he enrolled at Mount Carmel College in Niagara Falls, Ontario. He made his first profession of vows on August 22, 1949, in New Baltimore, Pennsylvania. In 1951, Louis graduated from Mount Carmel College with a B.A. in Philosophy. He professed his solemn vows with the Carmelites on October 15, 1952, in Rome, Italy. He was ordained to the priesthood there on July 4, 1954.

Returning to the United States, Father Louis Rogge continued his post-graduate work at the University of Buffalo, in New York, where he studied German. In 1959, Father Louis enrolled at the University of Colorado, in Boulder, where in August of 1961 he received an M.A. Degree in German. Father Louis also received a M.A. Degree in Religious Studies from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, a Ph.M./Ph.D. in Theology from Union Theological Seminary in New York, New York, and a C.P.E. (Clinical Pastoral Education) certificate from Southwest Memorial Hospital in Houston, Texas.

As a newly ordained priest, in between his post-graduate work, Father Louis Rogge began his ministry career as teacher at the Mount Carmel Junior Seminary in Niagara Falls, Ontario. After two years there, he was assigned to the former Joliet Catholic High School in Joliet, Illinois, where he taught Latin and German.

In 1962, he moved to Lima, Peru, and became the vice-principal of the Carmelite high school there. For the next eight years, Father Louis taught at the school and performed administrative work. He returned to Niagara Falls, Ontario, in 1969, while studying at Canisius College there. During that time Father Louis also completed a two-year apostolate in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Returning to the United States in 1970, Father Louis continued his Apostolate in the Charismatic Renewal Movement in Joliet, Illinois, at Joliet Catholic High School.

In 1971, Father Louis was assigned to Saint John Parish in Leonia, New Jersey. While serving at Saint John’s, Father Louis also completed his postgraduate work at the Union Theological Seminary in New York.

In 1972, Father Louis was assigned to the Mother of God Charismatic Community in Washington, DC. After three years there, he moved from Washington, DC, to Phoenix, Arizona where he continued his work on his doctoral dissertation.

Returning to Illinois, in 1976, Father Louis became the Committee Chairman on Charismatic Workshops at Loyola University in Chicago.

In 1984, Father Rogge returned to Rome, Italy, to work at the Carmelite Institute. Because of his ability to speak four languages and read seven, Father Rogge was assigned a variety of ministries including serving on preparatory commissions, a translator for the General Council and associate editor of CITOC, the Carmelite International publication.

After a one year sabbatical in 1993, Father Louis returned to the United States and resided in Houston, Texas. He then relocated to Joliet, Illinois, where he worked for the next eight years serving the Carmelite missions.

After his sixth year in mission work, Father Louis also became the provincial archivist. In 2003, in addition to his work as archivist, Father Rogge served as editor of The Sword, (a journal of historical, spiritual and contemporary Carmelite issues).

May he rest in peace.


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There are 2 comments
Visitor: Brother Ed Arambaisch, OFM
November 23, 2011 - 19:10

Father Russell taught me at the Hill in 1965 and Father Lukas was the vocation director at the time.

Visitor: Kierra
May 07, 2011 - 13:26

Thanks for sharing. What a pealrsue to read!



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