Father Lawrence A. Kohler M.S.

Published 5:00 am Friday, May 17, 2024

Father Lawrence Anthony Kohler, M.S., 89, a Missionary of Our Lady of La Salette, of Our Lady of La Salette Parish in Sulphur, La., died May 15, 2024, in Lake Charles, La.  He was born June 15, 1934 in St. Louis, Mo., son of the late Eugene J. and Cecilia (Ryan) Kohler.  He attended grammar and high school in St. Louis followed by the La Salette Junior Seminary in Jefferson City, Mo. from 1948 to 1952. He continued his college education at the La Salette Seminaries in Hartford, Conn. and Altamont, N.Y., earning a Bachelor’s degree.   Father Kohler entered the Novitiate of the Missionaries of La Salette in East Brewster, Mass. on July 1, 1954 and made his First Profession on July 2, 1955 and his Perpetual Profession on July 2, 1958.  He was ordained to the Priesthood on Sept. 24, 1961 at Our Lady of La Salette Church in Rome, Italy.

Over the years Father was a Professor at the La Salette Seminary in Jefferson City, Mo.; ministered in parishes in Missouri, Michigan and Louisiana, as well as in the foreign missions in Madagascar. He was a gifted preacher and teacher. His primary apostolate for many years was traveling throughout the United States preaching missions and retreats.

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Fr. Kohler has served at Our Lady of La Salette Parish in Sulphur, La. since 1986.  He was appointed Pastor of the Parish from 2000 to 2006. Following his retirement, he remained in Residence, assisting in ministry until 2014.  His last years were marked by declining health, but also by a strong and steady faith in the midst of his suffering, and with a continuing interest in the life and future of his religious community. He also continued to keep a lively interest in and concern and thanksgiving for his friends and parishioners of Our Lady of La Salette Parish in Sulphur.

In addition to his La Salette Community, Father Kohler, M.S., is survived by his sister, Loretta and her husband, Dr. Paul Hein Jr. of Mo., and numerous nieces and nephews.  He was predeceased by his parents, Dr. Eugene and Cecilia Kohler; brothers, Rev. Peter D. Kohler M.S., who was also a Missionary of La Salette, Rev. Joseph Kohler, a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Mo., John Richard, Eugene, and Henry Kohler, as well as his sister, Betty.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be concelebrated at 9 a.m., Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at Our Lady of La Salette Catholic Church of Sulphur, Louisiana. Calling hours of visitation will be from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. with a 6 p.m. Rosary on Monday, May 20, 2024, at Our Lady of La Salette Catholic Church, 602 North Claiborne Street, Sulphur. Burial will be at Mimosa-Pines South Cemetery, 568 Belle Moye Road, Sulphur, under the direction of Johnson and Robison Funeral Home. Contributions in his memory may be made to: Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette Retirement Fund, P.O. Box 331370, West Hartford, CT 06133. 

Words of comfort may be shared with the family at www.robisonfuneralhome.com.