Fr. Henry Rosenbaum

Fr. Henry Rosenbaum

April 15, 2013

The long-time spiritual leader of the Knights of Columbus of Alberta-Northwest Territories says he has learned at least one thing from Pope Benedict XVI – when it's time to retire.

"I learned from the example of Pope Benedict XVI and decided it was time to say goodbye," said Pallottine Father Henry Rosenbaum, 78.

Rosenbaum, who has been state chaplain of the Knights for the past 12 years, said serving as a chaplain was challenging at times but largely very rewarding. "Most of the time it was very joyful working with the Knights."

As chaplain, Rosenbaum provided spiritual guidance, faith formation and inspiration to members of the state board of directors and council chaplains throughout the jurisdiction. He also acted as a positive model and reminder of the duties to adhere to Church doctrine and loyalty to the pope and the Church.

Rosenbaum developed the Knights' annual formation program, a series of 10 scriptural readings and reflections on many aspects of the Catholic faith that are used by each council in their monthly meetings to ensure a balance between their good works and their faith.

The program's theme for 2012-13 was Holiness of Life through the Practice of Virtue.

"From the beginning I tried to put emphasis on the catechetical and spiritual side of the Knights of Columbus," said Rosenbaum, who has also been leading formation workshops for council chaplains for the past two years.

State Deputy Gary Johnson said Rosenbaum will be missed.


"He's been the spiritual advisor and major guiding light for at least six state deputies, including myself, Leo Klein and Wally Streit," Johnson noted. "He is a very, very spiritual man. We are going to miss his calm, his sensitivity and his spirituality."

Streit said Rosenbaum provided strong spiritual direction to him and to the jurisdiction during his tenure as state deputy in 2007-09.

"Father Henry believed in the order and knew that if we followed the wish of our founder, our efforts would be good for the Church, the family and the Catholic men," he said in an email.

"He participated in our board meetings and his counsel was always well received and respected. He was very dedicated and on a number of occasions he arrived or left in snowstorms."

Born and raised in Germany, Rosenbaum was ordained a priest of the Pallottine order in 1962. The next year he came to Canada to study arts and sciences at the University of Alberta. He later earned a bachelor of education at the University of Calgary and taught at St. Francis High School in Calgary for 15 years.


In 1988 he was appointed head of the Calgary Diocesan Religious Education Department, a position he held for 10 years. He was named pastor of St. Cecilia's Parish in 2001, and is currently pastor of St. Boniface, a German-speaking parish in Calgary.

A biography of the priest on the Alberta Knights' website says Rosenbaum "joined the Knights of Columbus in 1983 and became chaplain of the local council."

His interest in the Knights grew and he became a fourth degree knight in 1989. "In 2001 he was asked to take on the duties of state chaplain, and has been an influential presence across Alberta and the Northwest Territories."

Rosenbaum will be honoured at the Knights' annual convention at Calgary's Coast Plaza Hotel April 19-21 at which time his successor will be introduced.