Father James J. Rottner, MM
Born: February 19, 1909
Ordained: June 16, 1937
Died: October l8, 1954
James J. Rottner was born in Norwood, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati on February 19, 1909. Before coming to Maryknoll in 1930 he had studied at St. Gregory’s Seminary in Cincinnati. Father Rottner was ordained on June 16, 1937.
He was first assigned to the Fushun Vicariate and was stationed at the same place as Father Jerry Donovan when the latter was carried off by bandits. At the outbreak of the second World War he was interned by the Japanese and later repatriated on the Gripsholm in August, 1942. His eagerness to return to the active mission apostolate was satisfied a few months later with an assignment to Chile. His furlough, due in 1947, was postponed for two years at his own request. This is just one example of many which shows Father Rottner to have been a steady, hard worker and an excellent pastor. He was an excellent pastor, deeply interested in all that concerned his people and was well liked by all. This deep interest in his people was one of his strong characteristics and made him beloved of his people in Pemuco, Chile.
During the early morning hours of October 18, 1954 there was a fire in Father Rottner’s rectory. Father Rottner died as a result of smoke inhalation.
The funeral was held on October 20, with the Bishop of Chillan singing the mass. The Bishop of Talca and about sixty other priests attended.