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by Terrie Evans
San Antonio Church has had many great Priests who have served our very grateful congregation over these past 98 years. Since the early years of our church, we were considered a Franciscan Parish and had many men from that order who guided us during that time. The last Franciscan to serve as our Pastor was Father Albert Senn, O.F.M. from June 1976 until his retirement in 1986. Fr. Albert was attached to the Province of St. John on Vine Street and during his time at San Antonio, made many improvements to our church. Fr. Albert worked on the expansion of our lot so we would have ample parking for our future events and was there with us when we worked very hard to keep San Antonio open when the Archdiocese of Cincinnati was merging churches.
Fr. Albert came to us after many different assignments and was truly a man of many talents. A native of Louisville, Kentucky Fr. Albert came from a family that emigrated from Germany and operated Senn Brewing from 1874-1892. He was born Quintin Ferdinand Senn on May 10, 1911 and by 1924, at the age of 13 entered St. Francis Seminary as a Friar Minor. He was given the name Albert when he received the habit of the Order on August 15, 1928 and made his solemn profession on August 16, 1932, 88 years ago today. Ordained at age 25 on June 11, 1936 he received his 1st assignment at Our Lady of Sorrows in Kansas City, Missouri, and as a Chaplin of the General Hospital and the County Jail from 1936-1948. While there, he organized the “Friars Choir” in 1940 and performed many concerts during the war years.
In 1949 he was sent to Roger Bacon High School to teach Music and Religion before being assigned to Baton Rouge, Louisiana for 7 years (1949-1956) as Resident Chaplin at Our Lady of the Lakes Medical Center while also giving lectures and retreats for the Louisiana State Newman Club. In 1956, he was sent to Fort Wayne, Indiana to become the 1st Franciscan Pastor of St. Theresa Parish before going on to New Orleans as Chaplin of Holy Angels Academy, and then as Pastor and Guardian of St. Johns in Over the Rhine. In 1963, Fr. Albert became pastor of St. Clements Church until 1972 when he was assigned to St. Bonnies as Pastor, a Chaplin at the V. A . Hospital and the Administrator for San Antonio Church.
A year before his passing in 1988, Fr. Albert received an award from the Greater Cincinnati Bicentennial Commission for his contributions to the quality of life in our community. Sadly, Fr. Albert Senn passed away on Sunday morning March 26, 1989 of a heart attack at 78 years of age.