A Memorial Mass will be celebrated Oct. 6 at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph Church, New Orleans, for Vincentian Father Louis J. Franz, a New Orleans native who died July 11 at Apostle of Charity Residence, Perryville, Missouri. He was 86.
Father Franz, the son of Hilda (Tregre) and Valentine Franz Jr., was a parishioner at St. Stephen Church, staffed by the Vincentians, and the parish elementary school, staffed by the Daughters of Charity. He entered the novitiate in 1948 and made vows in 1950. He completed his philosophy and theology studies at St. Mary’s of the Barrens, Perryville, and was ordained on June 2, 1957.
Father Franz was a long-time seminary professor and rector in Arizona, California, Missouri and Texas. He received his master’s degree in English literature from St. Louis University in 1959 and his Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles in 1966.
In 1975, he became provincial of the then-Southern Province of the Vincentians.
Father Franz later worked in parishes and in prison ministry in the Diocese of Little Rock. He also served in the Diocese of Gallup, New Mexico, for 18 years. In 2011, he returned to New Orleans to live at De Paul House.
One of his last ventures in New Orleans was to propose and assist his fellow Vincentian priests in establishing a scholarship fund at Xavier University to support students in need who are interested in promoting justice to overcome poverty in the New Orleans area.
After being diagnosed with cancer, he moved to the Barrens in the spring. His funeral Mass was celebrated July 16 at Mary Mother of God Chapel at St. Mary’s of the Barrens.