Search the Directory

Rev. Msgr. Richard J. Loeper

Deceased: 2017-08-26


ICTE Fall: 1992

Msgr. Richard J. Loeper

Rev. Msgr. Richard J. Loeper, Pastor Emeritus, Holy Ghost Parish, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, died on Saturday, August 26, 2017, at Holy Family Villa for Priests, Bethlehem, at the age of 92. Born in Reading, he was a son of the late Joseph J. and Mary A. (Voelker) Loeper. He attended Saint Paul Grammar School, Reading, and Reading Central Catholic High School. He attended Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, Overbrook, Millersville State College, and Villanova University, from which he received a Master’s Degree in Education Administration, and The Institute for Continuing Theological Education at North American College, Rome, Italy. He was ordained to the Priesthood on May 27, 1950 by the Most Reverend J. Carroll McCormick, at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, Philadelphia.

Msgr. Loeper’s first priestly assignment was Parochial Vicar, Saint Mary Parish, Phoenixville, followed by Professor, Allentown Central Catholic High School, with residence at Our Lady Help of Christians Rectory and Saint Stephen of Hungary Rectory, Allentown; Principal, Pius X High School, Roseto, with residence at Saint Elizabeth of Hungary Rectory, Pen Argyl; and Principal, Holy Name High School, Reading, with residence at Saint Cyril and Methodius Rectory. Msgr. Loeper’s first Pastoral Assignment was at Saint Joseph Parish, Reading. He was later named Pastor of Holy Guardian Angels Parish, Hyde Park, followed by Pastor, Holy Ghost Parish, Bethlehem, where he remained until his retirement and was named Pastor Emeritus, Holy Ghost Parish, Bethlehem, on June 15, 1999. During the course of his Priestly Ministry, Msgr. Loeper served as Secretary, Diocesan Building Committee; Director, Priests’ Choir; Dean, Berks County Deanery; Member, Council of Priests; Diocesan Consultor; Chairman, Diocesan Building Committee; Member, Diocesan Liturgical Commission, and Member, Budget/Audit Board, Bethlehem Catholic High School. Monsignor Loeper was named an Honorary Prelate of His Holiness by Pope Paul VI, on December 21, 1974.

His family also added “Msgr. Loeper, or Uncle Richard as he was known to his nephews and nieces, was a much beloved member of a large family. He enjoyed traveling to far countries but also spent vacation time with family members in places as varied as the White Mountains of New Hampshire and Deep Creek Lake in Maryland. He officiated at most family weddings, christenings and other sacraments. Family members remember him as a person who was firm in his convictions, constant in his faith, direct in his speech, gentle in his bearing, and with a great sense of humor. He was an avid learner which included learning Spanish which helped in his ministry to speakers of that language.”

Survivors: He is survived by his brother, Donald J. Loeper, M.D., and sister, Bernadette (Loeper) Wolff; 18 nieces and nephews and numerous grandnieces and grandnephews. He was preceded in death by his brothers, the Reverend Frederick Loeper and Charles Loeper.

Services: A viewing will be held on Friday evening, from 6-8:00 P.M. with a Vigil Service at 7:30 P.M. in Holy Ghost R. C. Church, 417 Carlton Ave, Bethlehem. A second viewing will be held on Saturday morning from 10-10:45 A.M., followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 A.M in Immaculate Conception BVM Church, 905 Chestnut St., Douglasville, PA, by His Excellency, The Most Reverend Alfred A. Schlert, D.D., J.C.L., Bishop of Allentown. .Burial will be in Gethsemane Cemetery, Laureldale. Arrangements entrusted to the JAMES FUNERAL HOME, 527 Center St., Bethlehem. Offer condolences to the family at

Contributions: In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Msgr. Loeper’s memory to the Bishop’s Annual Appeal, Diocese of Allentown P O Box F, Allentown, PA 18105 or to Holy Ghost Church, 417 Carlton Ave. Bethlehem PA 18015.