June 21, 2017 // Special
Father Glenn Kohrman celebrates 25th jubilee
When Father Glenn Kohrman was young, a priest asked him to pray a prayer after communion. A prayer that would unknowingly and eventually shape his vocation. The prayer was simple: “God, let me do whatever you want me to do.”
He came from a family where religion “was taken seriously, but in what I would judge to be in a very balanced way,” he said. They went to Mass on Sundays and would even occasionally attend a Holy Hour on Thursday nights. They also prayed the family rosary, especially during the seasons of Advent and Lent.
Engineering, however, also fueled his interests. “I had an idea for a high mileage gasoline carburetor and wondered if it would work, so it seemed that engineering would give me the skills to assess the theoretical possibility of it,” he said. “In my third year at Purdue, I was able to estimate that that my ‘73 Dodge Charger should be able to get at least 70 miles per gallon, assuming an adiabatic efficiency of 17 percent and the caloric value of gasoline being 128,000 BTU per gallon of gasoline, but I never have built the prototype. Maybe one day.”
During his senior year, a professor invited him to do research for a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, with a specialty in acoustics. Additionally, “in this period I met a beautiful person and seriously considered marriage, but felt God was inviting me to be a priest. This woman was probably holier than I was and entered the convent for a time, but discerned that was not her vocation. She actually died last year at the age of 51, and lived a life of service dedicated to others.”
Today Father Kohrman can often be heard to exclaim, “Priesthood is more fun than a human being should be allowed to have!” He feels extremely blessed, and said he is “privileged to help people discover their worth and just how much God loves them.”
Some of his favorite memories include when he was in Mile High stadium for a Mass with St. John Paul II, “and as we were walking into the stadium, all the youth were reaching out to the priests, over the rails, to give them high-fives.” Even though that experience was “pretty cool,” Father Kohrman always loves saying Mass, gathering the people for worship and confession and helping them understand God’s mercy is such a gift. To lift burdens and put into practice the gift God gave to his apostles in John 20:19, “that is somewhat of a miracle.”
Perhaps there are also some genetics involved in Father Kohrman’s calling to a religious life. His sisters entered the convent briefly, going on to be happily married and living faith-filled lives. A niece of Father Kohrman’s is making her final vows this summer in the Dominican Community at Ann Arbor, Mich. He also had an excellent example from his uncle, Father Donald Isenbarger.
Father Kohrman served at St. Mary of the Assumption Parish, Decatur, for about 14 months before being named administrator of Sacred Heart and St. Paul parishes in Fort Wayne. After about five years he was moved to St. Patrick Parish, Fort Wayne, followed by an additional 2-1/2 years at St. Paul. He spent the next nine years at St. Mary of the Lake and Culver Academies, as their chaplain, and was then asked to serve at St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Elkhart, for six years. He is currently at Holy Family Parish, South Bend, and since September has been also attending to the needs of St. John the Baptist, South Bend.
Regarding his plans for the future, Father Kohrman said he hopes to remain faithful in his service to Jesus. “I just hope to become a better friend of Jesus in all I do. There really is something to that prayer, ‘God let me do, whatever you want me to do!’”
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