BRISTOL — Father Francis Joseph Royer, 87, died on May 3, 2019 at St. Elizabeth Manor in Bristol.
Born November 5, 1931, he was the beloved son of the late Joseph John Royer and Teresa (Kauss) Royer and loving brother of the late Bernie Royer. He is survived by members of the Kauss and Royer families.
Father Royer grew up in St. Barnabas Parish, Chicago, where he attended St. Barnabas Grade School. He was a graduate of St. Ignatius College Prep High School and Loyola University. In September of 1951, he entered the Columban Seminary in Milton, M.A. for his preparation into the priesthood and missionary work. He was ordained a priest on December 21, 1957, by Most Rev. Jeremiah F. Minihan, Auxiliary Bishop of Boston.
His mission appointment was to Korea in the fall of 1958. His work there reflected his great love and zeal for God and the Korean people. He built two churches there, working brick by brick, alongside his parishioners. He served in San Joeng Dong, Mokpo; Jindo, Chollanamdo and Kyeng Dong, Mokpo. In April of 1962 he became administrator of Hwasun parish pro tem and later served at Huksando, Chollanamdo.
In March 1965, he was appointed to do vocation work in the Chicago area and it was during this time that he had a kidney removed. In May 1969 he was reassigned to Korea and served in Yong Wol, Kangwondo and Yeng San Po, Chollanamdo where he became known for the magic tricks which fascinated the children. It was also during this time that he developed a project to help poor people get better roofing for their homes. He then served in Hallim, Chejudo; Illo, Chollanamdo and Kangjin, Kwangju.
In March of 1991 he returned to the United States and worked with the Korean community outside of Los Angeles. His work for Our Lord was not over and he returned home to Chicago where he served at St. Bernadine Church in Forest Park, IL and Holy Family Villa Home for the Aging, Lemont, IL. He underwent triple bypass surgery in November 1998 and served in the Pastoral Care Department at Palos Community Hospital. He also helped with daily Masses at St. Alexander Parish in Palos Heights and Sacred Heart Church IL. In 2014 he retired to Columban House in Bristol, R.I. and more recently moved into St. Elizabeth Manor.
His friends, parishioners of St. Alexander and Sacred Heart and the people of Korea will always remember him for his gentle and kind nature, intense attachment for Notre Dame and the Fighting Irish and above all, his great love for God and all His people.
A Memorial Mass was celebrated at the Columban Fathers Chapel on Friday, May 10.