Jesuit Father Eugene C. Kollasch died on Jan. 14, 2017, at St. Camillus Jesuit Community in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. He was 94 years old, a Jesuit for 68 years, and a priest for 57 years.
Born into a large family in Whittemore, Iowa, on November 28, 1922, Fr. Kollasch attended grade school and high school in his hometown. He served in the military during World War II. From 1946 to 1948 he studied at Creighton University in Omaha and Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota. On August 15, 1948, he entered the Society of Jesus at St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant, Missouri. Fr. Kollasch had the usual Jesuit course of studies at St. Stanislaus, Saint Louis University, and St. Mary’s College in St. Marys, Kansas. He was ordained a priest on June 16, 1959, and made tertianship at St. Beuno’s Jesuit Spirituality Centre in Wales. In 1965 he earned a doctorate in sacred theology from the Gregorian University in Rome. Fr. Kollasch professed his final vows in Seoul, South Korea, on April 22, 1977.
Fr. Kollasch did his regency at Holy Rosary Mission in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. After doctoral studies he was assigned to the Korean Mission, where he worked from 1965 to 1998, serving at various times as a theology professor at Kwangu Seminary and Sogang University, mission superior, and rector of the Sogang University Jesuit Community. In 1998, Fr. Kollasch returned to the United States. He spent two years at the Oshkosh Jesuit Retreat House on Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin and a year doing pastoral ministry in Minneapolis. In 2002, he moved to the Creighton Prep Jesuit Community in Omaha, where he did pastoral ministry until his health required him to move to St. Camillus in 2012.
During his 33 years in Korea, Fr. Kollasch was regularly given positions of significant responsibility as he watched the Society in Korea grow from a young mission, to an independent region, to a full province. In his later years back in the United States, he proved to be a zealous pastoral minister and a quiet, steady companion for his brother Jesuits.