Jesuit Father Osterle dies at 91 in Opelousas

Jesuit Father Paul Osterle, a pastoral minister for five decades, died June 14 at the age of 91 in Opelousas, Louisiana.

He was a Jesuit for almost 73 years and a priest for 60 years.

Father Osterle’s Funeral Mass was celebrated June 20 at St. Charles College Chapel in Grand Coteau. He was buried in the Jesuit Cemetery at St. Charles College.

Father Osterle was born in Union Town, Pennsylvania, on April 5, 1928, to William H. and Margaret Fletcher Osterle. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, J. Fletcher Osterle. He is survived by his sister-in-law, Jean Osterle of Pittsburgh.

Father Osterle entered the Society of Jesus on Aug. 14, 1946, in Wernersville, Pennsylvania.

He was ordained a priest at Woodstock College in Maryland on June 21, 1959. He pronounced final vows on Aug. 15, 1962, at St. Joseph’s Prep in Philadelphia.

Father Osterle taught from 1953-65 at the University of Scranton, St. Joseph’s Prep, Bishop’s Latin School in Pittsburgh and at Scranton Prep.

From 1965-68, he was assistant to the master of novices at Wernersville and was a chaplain for the Berks County prison and hospital.

He spent a year at Incarnate Word University in San Antonio, Texas, earning an M.S. in pastoral studies, and for the rest of his life, he ministered as a pastor, assistant pastor or chaplain.

Father Osterle served in diocesan parishes in Austin, Texas, and Ft. Stockton, Texas, and in Jesuit parishes in Miami, Houston, Albuquerque, New Orleans (Immaculate Conception, 2005-11) and Tampa. He also was chaplain at University Medical Center in Lafayette.

His active ministry ended in 2012 when he moved to a community for senior Jesuits in New Orleans. He moved with the community to the St. Alphonsus Rodriguez Pavilion at St. Charles College in Grand Coteau the following year.

Memorial gifts may be made to the USA Central and Southern Province of the Society of Jesus at 4511 West Pine Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63108 or online at

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