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In Memoriam ~ Fr. Al Ludwig ’50

Father Al Ludwig ’50

Father Alexander Ludwig, 84, of Alexandria, MN, passed away peacefully at Grand Arbor surrounded by loved ones on April 26, 2018. Father Al was born in Richmond, Minn., on Dec. 8, 1933, the son of Alex John and Irene (Cashman) Ludwig.

He attended Catholic elementary school for 6 years. After graduating from St. John’s Preparatory School in Collegeville, MN in 1950, he attended St. John’s University in Collegeville and earned his bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Classics in May 1954. He remained at St. John’s, where he was ordained a priest and earned his Master of Divinity in Theology in June 1958. Father Al received a Master of Theology from the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley, Calif., in October 1975. In addition, he was a 1977 graduate of the War College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. He was awarded many medals in his military career, but the most special to him was the Legion of Merit Award.

Father Al’s life’s work was serving people. He taught at Cathedral High School in St. Cloud and then served as associate pastor of Our Lady of Victory, Fergus Falls. He then began a 20-year career as a chaplain in the U.S. Air Force, which took him all over the world. His final assignment was pastor of the Church of St. Mary in Alexandria, where he served for 24 years. He retired in 2007 and finally took a vacation-and then a couple more-after rarely taking a day off from his service to the many people he encountered in the church, the community, and the military.

Father lived what he believed, and he believed that if we all lived like Jesus did, then “One day the whole human family will live in peace.” He lived it by caring for the lepers in Thailand, attempting to stop an air raid on Hanoi on Easter Sunday morning, fighting segregation laws in the South, and offering aid to all suffering people wherever he encountered them. His closing statement at the end of every parish staff meeting was, “Let’s always find better ways to serve the people.”

Father Al was preceded in death by his mother and father, infant brother, and several aunts, uncles and cousins. Left to mourn his passing are several cousins and those who considered him a dear friend.

Visitation will be held from 3-7 p.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 7 p.m. Friday, May 4, 2018, at the Church of St. Mary, Alexandria, MN. Interment will be in Our Lady Cemetery, Mananah, MN.  Memorial donations are preferred to St. John’s School of Theology, Collegeville, MN.