Faculty, staff share their memories of Fr. Zahn

Retired chaplain dies of natural causes


Cathedran file photo

With theology teacher Mr. Marc Behringer ’84 as his driver, Fr. John Zahn takes a lap around the Welch Activity Center gym floor at last spring’s Irish 500. Fr. Zahn passed away over the weekend of Aug. 26-27.

Megaphone Staff

Posted Aug. 28 at 8:25 a.m.

Updated Aug. 28 at 11:13 a.m.

Fr. John Zahn, who served as the school chaplain before his retirement at the end of the last school year, died over the weekend of Aug. 26-27 of natural causes.

The schedule of his visitation and funeral Mass has not yet been released.

Faculty and staff shared their memories of Fr. Zahn.

My first two years at CHS I had second period prep with a freshman resource in Kelly Hall for Period 3. I frequently walked over to the Kelly Hall Faculty Lounge during the prep period, and Fr. John was often in the lounge, having a cup of coffee and a morning snack. We talked and laughed most days. Fr. John was a great storyteller as well as a great teller of jokes. He suffered the consistent teasing jabs from myself, as well as the other faculty members in the lounge, and always came back strong with jokes and jabs of his own. He was a friendly, disarming presence in the sometimes overwhelming CHS environment. I’ll always hold on to the moments in the Kelly Hall Lounge when Fr. John would have us rolling with laughter with one of his tales. Rest in peace, Padre. Mr. Matt Panzer, English teacher

Any time I wanted to go to confession, no matter the hour or the plans he had, Fr. John made time and was committed to his vocation. I constantly experienced the love and forgiveness of God through him. Ms. Katie Klee, theology teacher 

I loved Fr. John so much that every Friday I would ask him which Mass he had at Holy Spirit at Geist and he would laugh and look it up and we would go to whatever Mass Fr. John had. We did that for at least two years. Not only were his homilies short, but they were from the heart, and I got more out of those short homilies than any long winded homily I’ve ever heard. He also loved brown eggs, so I would sometimes bring a dozen to Mass. he always got real excited for his eggs. Mrs. Susan Mills, biology teacher 

My first encounter with Fr. John was years ago at a retreat. Its was late evening (or perhaps early morning) and we were in the snack room just trying to stay awake. I loved how down to earth he was and enjoyed his realistic and humorous sarcasm. Every conversation since was a bright spot of clarity in my day. I will truly miss him. Mrs. Rebecca Pavlik-Heger, mental health counselor

During alpha period, Fr. Zahn was always the first person I saw in the faculty lounge. He would always ask how I am doing and how my family is. Always selfless, and always focused on others. A true champion of the common man. Mr. John O’Hara ’02, social studies teacher