Biography of Father Michael Köhler

Born October 30, 1897, in Johannenstal, outside Odessa. Studied at Saratov Seminary and graduated after its relocation to Odessa. Ordained May 21, 1922, by the retired Bishop Anton Zerr in Selz. Served at Sts. Peter and Paul parish in Karlsruhe; from 1923, he was administrator of St.Martin parish in Speier. 1934 – arrested and banished to Central Asia, where he celebrated Mass illegally. In 1938 he was in exile in Karaganda. In the post-war period he worked as a construction superintendent at construction sites in northern Kazakhstan, first as a prison laborer, then as a free worker. In March 1957 he met with Father Jósef Kuczyński in Krasnoarmeysk, where Fr. Józef was ministering, and also with other priests who had voluntarily remained to minister in Kazakhstan, and Father Jósef publicly said Mass for the first time in twelve years. After his retirement, he [Father Michael] received a letter of commendation and a medal for his work. At first he resided in Novosibirsk where he carried on active pastoral work among the German population; later he moved to Frunze [Bishkek, Kirghizia], where on July 14, 1967, he received official registration and began to minister in a chapel for exiled Germans. In 1972 he marked the golden jubilee of his ordination – and then in 1982, his diamond jubilee. He died February 28, 1983, in Frunze. He was the last priest of the Tiraspol Diocese. Source: Assumptionist Archives, Rome. 2ER.66, p. 38; Madała, p. 79; Schnurr, p. 373
Variant Names:
Keler, Mikhail; Köhler, Michael
Odesa (Ukraine); Saratov (Russia); Stepove (Mykolaïvsʹka oblastʹ, Ukraine); Karaganda (Kazakhstan); Krasnoarmeĭsk (Saratovskai︠a︡ oblastʹ, Russia); Novosibirsk (Russia); Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan); Tiraspol (Moldova)
male; clergy and religious; survived