GoodBye Dave

Rest in Peace: Msgr. David A. Ratermann

Our dear friend, Msgr. David A. Ratermann, passed away November 10, 2014 at Regina Cleri in St. Louis. Msgr. Ratermann was a founder of our Latin America Apostolate in Bolivia in 1956. He served as a missionary priest in Bolivia for 50 years. He was a great inspiration and friend to many. May he rest in peace!

Msgr. David A. Ratermann

About Msgr. David A. Ratermann …

Msgr. David A. Ratermann was born in Saint Louis, Missouri. He grew up in Saint Liborius Parish and later taught biology at Mercy High School. He was ordained a priest on June 1, 1951 and his first parish assignment was Most Blessed Sacrament Parish (1951-1956).

Fr. David Ratermann (left), Fr. Andrew Schierhoff (center) and Msgr. Andrew Kennedy (right) were the first three priests to serve in Bolivia.When the opportunity to work in Bolivia arose, Msgr. Ratermann very enthusiastically volunteered, and was thrilled when Archbishop Joseph Ritter sent him. In 1956, he became one of the first three priests to go to Bolivia, making him a founder of the Latin America Apostolate.

The first commitment of the Latin America Apostolate was to found Cristo Rey Parish in La Paz. Msgr. Ratermann helped to establish this parish and saw its beginnings as a shed with a tin roof and no walls (called “el galpon” in Spanish) transform into a permanent church in 1961. Msgr. Ratermann briefly returned to Saint Louis in 1981, where he served at Most Holy Trinity Parish for 3 months and at St. Luke the Evangelist Parish for 3 years. He went back to Bolivia in 1984 and was stationed in Cochabamba through 2004. In 2004, Msgr. Ratermann retired and returned to La Paz, where he continued to serve at Maria Reina Parish.

Msgr. Ratermann with people in Bolivia.Over the years, Msgr. Ratermann worked with many people through his involvement and service at the Maryknoll Language School, the Maria Reina Health Clinic, and Alcoholics Anonymous. The majority of his time in Bolivia was spent working with the Aymara, the native people of Bolivia who live in the Altiplano region surrounding the mountains.

Msgr. Ratermann confirms a young man in Bolivia.In June 2008, Msgr. Ratermann returned to St. Louis, after 50 years of service in the Latin America Apostolate. He resided at Regina Cleri and continued to promote and share the good news of the Latin America Apostolate with the Archdiocese of Saint Louis.

On November 10, 2014 Msgr. Ratermann passed away at Regina Cleri in Saint Louis. He was a great inspiration and friend to many. We are so grateful for his many years of service to the people of Bolivia. May he rest in peace!

Msgr. Ratermann with parishioners at Maria Reina Parish in La Paz, Bolivia.

( from: on 11/12/2014)

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