Maryknoll Brother Eugene E. Casper, 94; a native of Rochester - Catholic Courier

Maryknoll Brother Eugene E. Casper, 94; a native of Rochester

Maryknoll Brother Eugene E. Casper, a native of Rochester and who was a Maryknoll brother for 61 years, died Aug. 23, 2023. He was 94 years old.

Brother Casper attended St. Augustine School and Aquinas Institute in Rochester. He studied business administration and accounting at Rochester Business Institute, and sociology at St. John Fisher College (now St. John Fisher University). He was an accountant with the American Laundry Machine and Pfaulder Companies, internal auditor with the General Electric Corp. and Scout executive with the Boy Scouts of America.

Brother Casper entered the Maryknoll Brothers’ novitiate in Brookline, Mass., on Nov. 6, 1960, and took his first oath on June 2, 1962, taking the religious name Theodore. He took his permanent oath in 1968.

In 1962, Brother Casper was assigned to the Maryknoll Center in Maryknoll, N.Y., where he worked in the treasury department. In 1965, he decided to return to his baptismal name, Eugene, an option given by the general council. When the controller’s department was established in 1968, Brother Casper worked with its organization and the development of a uniform accounting system. In 1970, he was appointed controller general for three years. During this time, he traveled extensively to regions in Latin America, Asia and Africa, assisting in the implementation of the unified accounting system.

Brother Casper was assigned to the Africa region in 1973. Following language studies in Tanzania, he was assigned to Kenya, where he worked as a regional financial assistant. He returned to the U.S. in 1975 and participated in the Mission Renewal Program.

In March 1976, he was assigned to the Philippines region. After completing language studies, he opted to live and work among the urban poor in a vast squatter area in Davao City in the southern Philippines. In 1980, he founded a low-cost housing program for the poor with facilities in three urban poor areas of Davao City. The period from 1981 to 1986 was extremely critical with killings, disappearances and detentions of many urban poor people accused of supporting the overthrow of the brutal Marcos regime. Brother Casper assisted many families to locate missing persons. Accompanying husbands, wives, relatives and concerned citizens to hospitals, military detention centers, safe houses and funeral homes in search of loved ones became a major focus of his work. He continued to sponsor several students from urban poor families with their high-school and university studies.

In 1989, Brother Casper returned to the U.S. and was appointed director of the justice-and-peace office. He returned to the Philippines in 1992. In June 1994, he entered the special society unit with residence in the U.S. He joined the retirement community (now senior missioner community) in 2001 and continued to reside at the Society Center in Maryknoll, N.Y.

Brother Casper celebrated his 60th jubilee as a Maryknoll brother at the Maryknoll Center in June 2022.

He is survived by his niece, Maureen Caufield; nephew, Edwin Kase; and sister-in-law, Jane Casper.

A memorial Mass was celebrated on Sept. 18, 2023, in Queen of Apostles Chapel at the Maryknoll Society Center in Maryknoll, N.Y. Interment will be at the Columbarium at Maryknoll at a later date.

Tags: Religious Orders
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