Order of Premontre, Premonstratensians, Norbertines, and White Canons

R. D. John J. Kohnke, O. Praem.

Birth: August 1, 1907

Death: September 2, 1987

House: St. Norbert Abbey

Our brother John Kohnke was born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 1907, graduated from St. Norbert High in 1929, and entered the Order that year.  He professed solemn vows in 1934.  

Teaching assignments found John at Southeast Catholic in 1935 and St. Norbert High in 1938.  In 1940, he was appointed to Our Lady of Ransom in Hingham, Montana, and then to St. Joseph in Oneida in 1953.  He returned to Montana in 1955, to minister at St. Thomas in Sunburst.

During the late 1950’s, John worked with Sr. Mary Huberta, O.P. of Bethany Mother House in Venlo, Holland, selecting fabrics and approving designs for vestments for the Premonstratensian pontifical rites for the new St. Norbert Abbey. 

In 1960, John ministered as temporary pastor at St. Mary’s in Chester , Montana , where he finalized plans for a new church.  Later that year, he remodeled the convent, rectory and church in Shelby . 

In 1967, John became the chaplain and taught students at Incarnate Word College in San Antonio , Texas .  In 1969, he was chaplain of St. Joseph Hospital in Burbank , California and St. Luke Hospital in Pasadena .  In 1976, as chaplain for the Benedictine Sisters of Boerne , Texas , he also taught religion classes at their grammar school.

In 1978, John returned to the abbey and assisted at St. Boniface inManitowoc, before his full retirement in 1982.  He died on Wednesday, September 2, 1987 at the age of 80.

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