Father Harold Kaufmann of Saskatoon SK., passed away on August 25, 2008 at the age of 78.
He is survived by his Missionary Oblate brothers; his sisters, Betty Smith, Abbotsford, Sr. Connie Kaufmann, S.P., Cloverdale, his sister in law Katherine Kaufmann and several nieces and nephews. Fr. Kaufmann was predeceased by his father, Jacob, his mother, Helen (Ulsifer), his brother Jack and his brother in law Doug Smith. Father Kaufmann was born in Cavell, SK, on July 6, 1930. He entered the Novitiate of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in 1949 and professed his First Vows on September 9, 1950 at St. Laurent, MB. Following his seminary formation at St. Charles Scholasticate, in Battleford, SK, Father Kaufmann was ordained to the ministerial priesthood on October 2, 1955, in Leipzig, SK.
For much of his priesthood, Father Kaufmann worked in service of his religious community. Living in the St. Charles community, he was the bursar of the Oblate residence, the Scholasticate, the communications center, and the director of Batschol Farm for many years. Batschol Farm was a mixed dairy, beef and grain farm which provided financial resources for the Oblate community. The farm was a ministry for those who worked there, providing an oblate presence among the farmers in Saskatchewan.
In August, 1979, Father Kaufmann was appointed Treasurer of St. Mary’s Province, a position which he held for the next eighteen years. During that time, he also was pastor of St. Joseph’s Parish in Saskatoon from 1988 to 1993 and provided weekend ministry in Imperial, Liberty and Holdfast, SK from 1993 – 1997.
Father Kaufmann was sensitive to those who struggled with addictions and was involved in setting up the Hopeview Center in North Battleford, SK. He also served St. Mary’s Province with a special portfolio of reaching out to his Oblate brothers who had particular needs.
Following his long tenure of community service and at the age of 67, Father Kaufmann volunteered to go to Kenya, to help set up a mission for the Oblates of the Canadian region, in the Diocese of Meru. He served there for six years. When Father Kaufmann returned to Canada, he lived with the Oblate community in Battleford.
In April 2005 he moved to Mazenod Residence in Saskatoon, where he resided until his death.
Father Kaufmann was wholly committed to his religious community and would serve in whatever capacity was asked of him. He was particularly attentive to his Oblate brothers who were suffering and in the wider community, to both men and women who were in need of a kind, gentle and compassionate ear. Father Kaufmann was also a very happy person and the sounds of his laughter will remain in the hearts of those who knew him.
Funeral services were held on August 28th in Battleford, SK. No flowers by request. Donations may be made to the Missionary Oblates – Kenya Missions.