By Eileen Connelly, OSU
Father Robert Obermeyer still recalls the sage advice from a teacher many years ago that set the course for his life and ministry: “Always do what God wants you to do.”
“So that’s what I did,” said the retired, but still active, priest, who celebrated the 60th anniversary of his ordination on May 27, 2021. “I’m blessed with good genes and love doing what I do. With any job I’ve had, I’ve decided ‘I’m going to do this and do it well.’”
The deep faith and enthusiasm with which he embraced God’s call led to decades of rewarding ministry, beginning with serving as a teacher, then principal, at Catholic Central High School in Springfield. “I had 50 kids in a class and was teaching six classes a day,” he said. “It was hard work, but I enjoyed it. I loved those kids.”
He went on to become pastor at All Saints Parish in Kenwood. In 1984, he was assigned to the newly established St. Margaret of York Parish in nearby Loveland. After the unexpected death of the pastor, Father John Roettle, Father Obermeyer took on the task of building and leading the new faith community, including the church and school. It was an appropriate role for the son of a home builder.
Those skills also provide an asset in constructing the log home in Warren County, where he lived for many years after initially building it for a family in need. When Father Obermeyer retired as the longtime pastor of Our Lord Christ the King Parish in Mt. Lookout, parishioners dedicated a single-family residence, built in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity. in his honor. It was dubbed “The House that Father O Built.”
In a 2015 interview, Father Obermeyer noted that he prefers the word “retreaded” over “retired,” since he and his fellow retired priests remain active in serving others, including providing the sacraments, ministering to the sick, and visiting hospitals and prisons.
One of the “kids” that he remembers fondly from his teaching days is Fr. Terry Schneider, pastor of St. Luke Parish in Beavercreek, where Father Obermeyer currently assists with weekend Masses. He also presides at other parishes as needed, and celebrates weekly liturgies as Mount Notre Dame.
“I’m happy to help wherever I can,” he said, noting that “humility and humor are keywords as you get older. And, I think you have to like people and enjoy what you’re doing. You also have to be kind. Kindness is the key to success, no matter what you’re doing.”
He’s grateful to those who support the CMA, saying, “Thanks to all allow me to be retired. I don’t have to worry about anything, and that’s a real blessing. Thank you for taking that off my mind. You do good work and are in my prayers.”