Reverend Father Rudolph J. Koser, a retired priest of the Diocese of Greensburg at the age of 75

The Very Reverend Father Rudolph J Koser Jr. was born in Harrisburg, PA on August 15, 1948.  Father Koser was educated in the Steelton-Highspire School District and graduated from Steelton-Highspire High School in 1966.  He attended St. Vincent College, Latrobe PA from 1966 to 1968.  He graduated from St. Francis College, Loretto PA with a BA degree in 1970.  He was awarded a Master of Arts (History) from Indiana University of PA in 1973 and a Master of Divinity from St. Francis Seminary, Loretto PA in 1974.  He was Ordained a Catholic Priest by the Most Reverend William G. Connare, the second Bishop of Greensburg on May 4 1974 in the Blessed Sacrament Cathedral. 

Following his Ordination, he served in the Diocese of Greensburg as Associate Pastor of St. Agnes Parish from 1974 to 1978, Associate Pastor of St. Sebastian Parish, Belle Vernon PA from 1978 to 1980, and Associate Pastor at St. John the Evangelist Parish, Uniontown PA from 1980 to 1981.

In 1981, he entered the United States Air Force as a Chaplain, serving in Nebraska, Texas, the United Kingdom, Arkansas, Japan, Nevada, Maryland, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Turkey and Oklahoma.  He retired from the air Force on July 31 2001.  His decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with 4 devices, the Joint Service Commendation medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal with 2 devices, the Southwest Asia Service Medal with 1 device, the National Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with 7 devices, Navy Unit Commendation, Joint Meritorious Unit award and the Air Force Organizational Excellence Award. 

During his second tour in Turkey, he was made a Canon of the Metropolitan Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Evangelist of Smyrna (Izmir) by Archbishop Joseph Bernardini, OFM Cap.  On July 18 1999, being the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the dedication of the present Cathedral, where he served as Pastor. 

After retirement from the armed forces, he was assigned by Bishop Anthony Bosco, the third Bishop of Greensburg, to be the Catholic Chaplain for the State Correctional Institution, in Pine Grove, Indiana, PA.  There, he served for 17 years while in residence at Church of the Resurrection, Northern Indiana County, until August of 2018 when he retired to Las Vegas, Nevada.  

In the later years of his life, Fr. Koser particularly enjoyed his canine companions and spending time with friends and family. 

Fr. Koser was predeceased by his father, Rudolph Sr. in 1980, his mother, Mary (Bishop) Koser in 2005, and his sister, Kay Monn, also in 2005.  He survived by one nephew, Leroy Monn of Charleston SC and his niece, Lorraine Gould of Middletown PA in addition to grand and great grandnieces and nephews.

Viewing for Father Koser will be in the Parlor of the Stone Building at Christ Our Shepherd Center, 2900 Seminary Drive, Greensburg PA, 15601 on Monday, May 20, 2024 from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM.  Viewing will continue on Tuesday, May 21, 2024 from 9:45 AM until 10:45 AM.  The Funeral Mass will be held in St. Joseph Chapel at the Christ Our Shepherd Center at 11:00 AM with Bishop Larry J. Kulick as Presider and homilist.

Interment will be at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies, in Bridgeville PA


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