Teacher, pastor, lover of golf, friend of many. Born July 11, 1916, in Maryhill, Ont. Died June 29, 2011, in Waterloo, Ont., of cancer, aged 94.
Rev. Clarence Albert Hauser was a man and priest who was truly authentic. “You’re my witness,” he said to us on the golf course one day a few years ago as he raised his five iron in a victory salute. “It’s a hole in one.” There was no bragging – just the simple joy of a 92-year-old man with the enthusiastic heart of a teenager.
His whole life was a blend of maturity and youth. His early years were spent on a homestead near the railroad tracks in New Germany (now Maryhill), Ont., with his brother, two sisters and parents, Albert and Barbara. In the cold months of the year, when box car travellers were returning from the harvest in the West, his parents would invite them to use their small barn for a night’s lodging.
That kindness and thoughtfulness became hallmarks of Father Hauser’s long life. In his later years, he loved spending time on the golf course, often quoting the principles: “Keep your head down; your eye on the ball; and follow through. We’ll watch the ball for you.” Not all golfers observe this last instruction; Father Hauser did.
His family eventually moved to Waterloo, Ont., where they were members of St. Louis Parish. After graduation from St. Jerome’s High School in Kitchener, he entered the Congregation of the Resurrection and completed the required studies at the University of Western Ontario and St. Peter’s Seminary in London. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1942.
For 18 years, Father Hauser taught physics, mathematics, chemistry and vocational guidance at St. Jerome’s High School in Kitchener and Scollard Hall High School in North Bay. Many former students hold him in genuine esteem. They also recall the pranks they played, such as taking the hose from the Bunsen burner, placing one end in a fellow student’s back pocket, the other end on the water spigot and turning on the tap. Somehow Father Hauser didn’t lose his cool entirely.
Among his close associates and peers he was often referred to by his nickname, Count. It was a reference not just to his bearing and 6-foot-2 stature, but to his reliability. “You can count on Father Hauser,” many said, for his punctuality, his caring and his service.
His teaching years were followed by many more years in pastoral ministry. When he became pastor of St. Louis Parish in Waterloo, besides the countless baptisms, weddings and funerals, he spent many hours doing counselling and supporting the Out of the Cold program. Behind the hall was his beloved garden, source of many food donations. He officially retired in 1996.
In his final years, he did pastoral ministry at Pinehaven Nursing Home in Waterloo where, after a lengthy illness, he spent his own final months as a well-loved patient.
By Rev. Frank-X. Reitzel, a fellow priest.