Father John Ostdiek ’50, OFM, emeritus professor of biology, celebrated his 70-year anniversary as a Franciscan Priest on June 24, 2019. He will celebrate with the university at a mass in late August.
Fr. John entered the Franciscan minor seminary in 1936 for four years of high school and two years of college study. After the novitiate, he earned a bachelor’s in philosophy from Our Lady of Angels Seminary. He spent four years studying theology at St. Joseph Seminary in Teutopolis and was ordained to the priesthood on June 24, 1949.
Fr. John went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in education from Quincy College and later studied at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., where he earned both a master’s degree and a doctorate degree in biology. During his years at Catholic University, he worked part-time as an auxiliary chaplain at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington D.C.
After completing his doctorate, Fr. John began a long teaching career at Quincy University, rising through the ranks to full professor. He also served in several administrative positions at the university. In 1980 he took a year-long sabbatical and then resumed teaching at Mundelein College in Chicago.
In addition to all his work, Fr. John was a senior Olympics bowler until his early 90’s. He earned 36 medals over the years. He writes the “Whispers in Life” column that runs in every issue of Catholic Times and a weekly blog of short reflections.
Fr. John lives at the Holy Cross Friary and presides over Tuesday noon Mass at Quincy University. He will celebrate his 97th birthday on August 27, 2019.
Founded in 1860 by Franciscan friars, Quincy University (www.quincy.edu) is a Catholic, co-educational, residential university offering undergraduate, graduate, and adult education programs that integrate liberal arts, active learning, practical experience, and Franciscan values. Quincy University’s intercollegiate sports are members of the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Valley Conference for men and women. For more information, please contact the Quincy University Office of Community Relations by calling (217) 228-5275.