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Ordained May 1, 1952

Chicago, IL (August 28, 2007)—Rev. Eugene Ballweber, an Archdiocesan priest, died on Saturday, August 25 at age 81 in Albuquerque, NM. After suffering a debilitating stroke in December 1993, Fr. Ballweber was limited to a wheelchair, and moved to Manzano del Sol Healthcare Center in Albuquerque in 1995.

A Chicago native, Fr. Ballweber was born on February 2, 1926 and was baptized at the now-closed St. Leo the Great Church on the city’s South side. Fr. Ballweber graduated from St. Felicitas Grammar School in June 1940, Quigley (North) Preparatory Seminary in June 1945 and the University of St. Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary in May 1952.

Fr. Ballweber was ordained a priest on May 1, 1952, and three days later celebrated his first solemn Mass at St. Felicitas Church on the city’s Southeast side. On July 8, 1952, he was named assistant pastor of the now-closed St. Mel Parish on Chicago’s near West side where he served until July 1958. He then became assistant pastor of Nativity of Our Lord Parish on the city’s near South side where he served until July 1960.

Fr. Ballweber then became a United States Air Force (USAF) Chaplain, and was posted in Japan, Greece and Florida throughout the 1960’s. He retired from active duty in 1970 and held the rank of major in the USAF Reserves until 1982. Fr. Ballweber moved to New Mexico with his mother, Catherine, in 1970 and soon became a counselor with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.

In 1971, he helped found the Cristo Rey (Covenant) Community and the Drug Addicts Recovery Enterprise (DARE) where he remained a counselor for nine years. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus and served as the Archbishop's liaison for the Catholic Charismatic Movement. Fr. Ballweber also served as pastor of San Clemente Parish in Los Lunas, NM from 1978 to 1981. He retired in December 1993.

Visitation for Fr. Ballweber will begin with a 7 p.m. Rosary on Tuesday, August 28 at Queen of Heaven Church, 5311 Phoenix Ave. NE in Albuquerque. Michael J. Sheehan, Archbishop of Santa Fe, will preside at a 10 a.m. funeral Mass for Fr. Ballweber on Wednesday, August 29 at Queen of Heaven Church. Interment will be at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Albuquerque.

Several nieces and nephews survive Fr. Ballweber.

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