Order of Premontre, Premonstratensians, Norbertines, and White Canons

R. D. Francis X. Exler, O. Praem.

Birth: November 30, 1891

Death: September 18, 1966

House: St. Norbert Abbey

Our brother Francis Exler was born in Winssen, Holland in 1891.  After attending a Christian Brothers School and preparatory seminary in Holland, he immigrated to the United States in 1906 and joined the Order in 1909.  As a novice he began teaching Latin and Greek at the college and to the frats at the priory.  He was solemnly professed in 1914.

In 1915, Francis was appointed chaplain to Hickory Grove Sanatorium, a position he held until 1939, except for the years he served as an Army chaplain during World War I and while studying at Catholic University, where he earned a doctorate in philosophy.

After two years as master of novices (1916-1917), he began teaching moral theology and was chaplain at St. Joseph Academy.  In 1932, Francis was appointed pastor of St. Willibrord in Green Bay , with the additional burden of the directorship of the Columbus Club.

In 1939, Frannie became the pastor of St. Willibrord in Chicago, where hemade many improvements to the church and school until his retirement to the abbey in 1959, where he died on Sunday, September 18, 1966 at the age of 74.

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