Fr. John Behen, C.PP.S.

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“Fr. "Jack" as we called him, was one of the most humble and pleasant people we have had the pleasure of having as our pastor here at St John. We...Read More »
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Fr. John Behen, C.PP.S., 93, died at 8:30 p.m. Monday, June 30, 2014, in the infirmary of St. Charles Center, Carthagena, Ohio. He had been in failing health.

He was born on September 4, 1920, to Edward and Leona (Kelly) Behen in Balboa, in the Canal Zone. He entered the Congregation in 1934 and was ordained on February 2, 1946.

Fr. Behen was a pastor and teacher during his years as a priest, and also served in the leadership of the Congregation. After his ordination, Fr. Behen served at Christ the King Cathedral in Superior, Wisc., and was a hospital chaplain in Fond du Lac, Wisc. He spent a year as an instructor at Brunnerdale, the Congregation's high school seminary in Canton, Ohio, before he was appointed in 1953 as secretary general of the worldwide congregation. He lived in Rome until 1959, when he was appointed chaplain at St. Rita Hospital, Lima, Ohio.

Fr. Behen became the novice master at the congregation's St. Mary Novitiate in Burkettsville, Ohio, in 1960. He returned to parish ministry at St. Patrick Church in Lexington, Va., in 1970. In 1977 he was appointed pastor of Precious Blood Church in Dayton, Ohio. During that time he also served in the leadership of his Congregation.

Fr. Behen was appointed pastor of St. John the Baptist Church in Maria Stein, Ohio, in 1983, where he served until 1995, when he was named pastor of St. Patrick Church in Sedalia, Mo.

In 2003, Fr. Behen retired from active ministry and since that time lived at St. Charles Center.

Survivors include his sister, Mary Donahue, of Gardner, Kan.; a sister-in-law, Mary Lou Behen, Sedalia, Kan.; and numerous nieces and nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

He was preceded in death by his brothers, Francis, Robert, William and Richard; brother-in-law, Joseph Donahue; and sisters-in-law Jane, Norine and Carolyn Behen.

Fr. Behen was a gentle, humble man who reached out as a pastor to whoever needed him. He was a compassionate listener with a sharp intellect who always made people feel that what they had to tell him was of great value to him.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Thursday, July 3, 2014, at 2 p.m. with Fr. Larry Hemmelgarn, C.PP.S., presiding. Burial will follow in the Community cemetery.

Calling hours will be held at St. Charles Center on Wednesday, July 2, from 1-5 and 7-9 p.m., with a prayer service at 7 p.m.

Memorial donations may be made to the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Cincinnati Province.