Biographies

Father Robert F. Morse, MM

Born: April 2, 1919
Ordained: June 15, 1947
Died: June 25, 1947

Robert F. Morse was born on April 2, 1919 in Milwaukee, the youngest in a family of four children. In 1936, while a senior at Messmer High School in Milwaukee, Robert heard Fr. John Martin give a talk about Maryknoll. Though he had been considering the priesthood for a long time, he knew that he was needed at home to take care of the house for his father. However, Mr. Morse generously encouraged his son’s vocation and in the fall of 1937 Robert entered the Venard.

At Maryknoll he was a good student of average ability, somewhat shy but a hard worker. He was particularly gifted as a singer and director of music.

During the week of his ordination retreat he fell ill but recovered enough to be ordained with his class on June 15, 1947. The following morning he celebrated his first and only Mass. The next day he was again ill but decided to begin his trip home and left for Washington with his brother. Stricken again when he reached Washington, Father Morse was brought to St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore. On the afternoon of June 25th, he began to decline rapidly and at 9:55 that night Father Morse died.

Fr. John Comber, Rector of the major Seminary at that time and, later to be Superior General, was in Baltimore with Fr. Morse during his final days. He brought the body to Maryknoll where the funeral Mass and burial took place on June 28th.