Reverend Monsignor Paul F. Knauer, 80, of Chester, NJ passed away peacefully on Friday, March 8th, 2019 at Nazareth Village Priest Retirement Residence in Chester, NJ. Father Paul was born on August 11, 1938 in Passaic, NJ. He went to grammar school at St. Virgil’s School in Morris Plains, NJ and Bailey Ellard High School in Madison, NJ. He attended one year at Providence College in Rhode Island before entering Darlington Seminary.
Father Paul was ordained on May 23, 1964 at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Paterson, NJ. His priestly assignments in New Jersey included St. Vincent’s in Madison, St. Christopher’s in Parsippany, St. Joseph in Paterson (where he started the Tenants Association), Our Lady of Victories in Paterson (where he worked on building housing for the poor), Immaculate Heart of Mary in Wayne, Our Lady of the Lake in Sparta, and St. Lawrence the Martyr Church in Chester. Father Paul retired in 2014. After his retirement he remained active in the Church saying mass at churches as needed and speaking at churches in support of Catholic Relief Services.
Father Knauer had a love of life, jazz, art, skiing, barbequing, traveling, literature, movies, plays and a good joke. He needed every bit of his high golf handicap, but loved the game and its camaraderie. He ministered to his parishioners with compassion and was a religious anchor for his family. His nieces and nephews remember him as a fun, caring, and energetic uncle. He will be sorely missed.
Father Paul is survived by his siblings, Leon Knauer and his wife Traude, Peter Knauer, Lawrence Ryan Knauer, Rosemary Lawlor and her husband Matthew, and Loretta Davis. He had 18 nieces and nephews, and 19 grand-nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Loretta and Lawrence Knauer, and brothers Joseph and Lawrence Knauer.
The Reception of the body will take place on Wednesday, March 13th, 2019 from 1:00 to 9:00pm at St Lawrence the Martyr Church in Chester, NJ, and with a Prayer Service at 7:00pm. A funeral mass will be held on Thursday, March 14th, 2019 at 11:00am at St. Lawrence the Martyr Church. Interment will follow at Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Chester.
Since it is Lenten season, flowers will not be accepted at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to St Lawrence the Martyr’s “twinning church”, St. Francois D’Assise Church in Dufailly, Haiti. Father Knauer started the twinning program with the two churches. Checks may be made out and sent to St Lawrence the Martyr Church at 375 Main Street, Chester, NJ 07930. Please be sure to mention St. Francois D’Assise Church on the notation line.