Jesuit Father Robert E. Brodzeller died on Oct. 24, 2018, at St. Camillus Jesuit Community, in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. He was eighty-eight years old, a Jesuit for sixty-eight years, and a priest for fifty-five years.
Born in Lomira, Wisconsin on June 6, 1930, Fr. Brodzeller attended grade school in Lomira and Campion High School in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. After two years at Marquette University, he entered the Society at St. Stanislaus Seminary, in Florissant, Missouri, on August 17, 1950. He completed the usual Jesuit course of studies at St. Stanislaus, Saint Louis University, and Saint Mary’s College. He did regency at Red Cloud Indian School in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. He was ordained at Gesu Church in Milwaukee on June 11, 1963. He made tertianship in Austria and pronounced his final vows on Sept. 13, 1980, at Saints Peter and Paul Church in Mankato, Minnesota.
He taught French at Campion High School from 1965 to 1972. Apart from one year as a retreat director at Emmaus in Des Moines, Iowa, for the next thirty-five years he ministered as a hospital chaplain and a parish priest in either Omaha or Mankato. In 2006, declining health, especially impaired hearing, led to his assignment to the St. Camillus Jesuit Community, where he functioned as an unusually active member of the community until his death.
Fr. Brodzeller was a pastor in any setting in which he found himself. He ministered well to people in need in both hospitals and parishes. He also ministered well to the Jesuits with whom he lived. And his ministry was often of a hands-on, practical nature—stocking the fridge, setting up in the chapel, supplying vine-ripened tomatoes from his St. Camillus garden.