Christian 05

The Very Reverend Father Robert John Karl

May 1, 1930 ~ May 3, 2022 (age 92)

Obituary

The Very Reverend Father Robert John Karl, a retired priest of the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, fell asleep in the Lord in Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh on May 3, 2022. A priest for 65 years, he served in many parishes and contributed much to Religious Education and to the creation of the original God With Us catechetical series used in Eastern churches throughout the United States. A founder of the Eastern Catholic Eparchial Directors of Religious Education (ECDE), he also was the founder of the Byzantine Catholic churches in Texas: St. John Chrysostom in Houston, St. Basil in Irving, and the Mission in San Antonio.

Father Robert was born in Endicott, New York, on May 1, 1930, the son of John and Mary Kuzma Karl. As a child, he attended the public schools of Endicott, and then St. Fidelis High School/ Seminary in Herman, Pa. He obtained the rank of Eagle Scout. He became one of the first seminarians in the then new Byzantine Catholic Seminary of Sts. Cyril and Methodius in Pittsburgh in 1951. He was graduated from Duquesne University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1954, and he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Nicholas T. Elko in the seminary chapel on May 19, 1957. He obtained a MA in Religious Education from Duquesne University in 1962. His first pastoral assignment was assistant pastor of St. Mary Church in Chicago, Illinois. Since St. Mary also had a parochial school, one of his duties was to drive the school bus. 

From Chicago he served the Pennsylvania parishes of St. Mary, Bradenville; St. John, Rankin; Sts. Peter and Paul, Duquesne; and Holy Ghost, McKees Rocks.  In 1982, he was sent to Texas where he founded and became the pastor of both St. John, Houston  and St. Basil, Irving. He returned to Pennsylvania in 1994 as pastor of St John, Uniontown. Then to St. John Cathedral, Munhall, Pa. with its mission in Nashville, Tennessee; Sts. Peter and Paul, Portage and St. Michael, South Fork, Pa.; Sts. Peter and Paul, Warren, Ohio; Sts. Peter and Paul, Erie and Sts. Cyril and Methodius, Girard, Pa.; St. Andrew, Gibsonia, Pa.; and Holy Trinity, Sykesville, Pa. from where he retired from active ministry on August 22, 2016.

Father Roberts Archieparchial appointments include: Teacher of Doctrine, Liturgy and Methods in Chicago and Whiting; Director of Vocations, Johnstown, Deanery; Member of the Ecumenical Commission; Assistant Director and then Director of the Office of Religious Education; Instructor of Religious Education Methods at the Seminary; Spiritual Director at the Seminary; Protopresbyter of the Southwest Protopresbyterate; Archieparchial Consultor; Consultant to the Office of Religious Education; and member of the Renewal and Revitalization Commission.

Preceding Father Robert in death were his parents and his sister, Mary Lee Brown. Surviving him are his sister, Dorothy Karl; his brother-in-law, Gerald Brown; and nieces, Mary Beth Brown, Maryanne O’Malley, Mary Lynne Lee, and Mary Kristen Avini and their families; great-nieces and great-nephew, Marykate O’Malley Kalish and family, Justin Karl Lee, Mia Sahar Avini, Adrian Amir Avini; and Great-great-niece, Nora Mari Kalish.

Friends will be received at St. John Cathedral, 210 Greentree Road, Munhall, PA, 15120, on Monday, May 9 from 2-7 PM. The priestly Parastas will be celebrated at 7 PM. The Funeral Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at the Cathedral on Tuesday, May 10, at 10 AM by Metropolitan William C. Skurla. Arrangements entrusted to the SAVOLSIKS-WASIK-GLENN FUNERAL HOME, INC., 3501 Main Street, Munhall, PA 15120. Condolences may be left at www.swgfuneralhome.com.

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Services

Visitation
Monday
May 9, 2022

2:00 PM to 7:00 PM
St. John the Baptist Cathedral
210 Greentree Road
Munhall, Pennsylvania 15120

Parastas
Monday
May 9, 2022

7:00 PM
St. John the Baptist Cathedral
210 Greentree Road
Munhall, Pennsylvania 15120

Funeral Liturgy
Tuesday
May 10, 2022

10:00 AM
St. John the Baptist Cathedral
210 Greentree Road
Munhall, Pennsylvania 15120

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