Msgr. Rudolph J. Eisler


Msgr. Rudolph J. Eisler, a popular and well-known priest who was pastor of St. Anthony's in West Harrison, died at his nephew's home July 20 after a brief illness. He was 69. He had served at St. Anthony's since 2003, first as administrator and, since 2005, as pastor. He previously was pastor of St. Margaret's, Pearl River, 1997-2003, and St. Joseph's, Spring Valley. Cardinal Egan offered the Funeral Mass July 24 at St. Anthony's. The Mass of the Holy Eucharist was offered there July 23 by Archbishop Henry J. Mansell, a former New York priest who now heads the Archdiocese of Hartford, Conn. In a homily at the Funeral Mass, Msgr. William J. Belford, chancellor of the archdiocese, told those gathered that their greatest consolation is that Msgr. Eisler used "his 69 years very effectively and for the greatest of all purposes: to know, love and serve God, and to love and serve other people for his sake." He said that he got to know Msgr. Eisler when they were both serving in Rockland County, where Msgr. Belford was regional vicar and pastor of St. Catharine's in Blauvelt. He recalled Msgr. Eisler's service at St. Joseph's, his longest assignment. "I really admired his openness and his dedication to the people...He took care of the poor very well, and he opened his parish to everyone, bringing people of many ethnic backgrounds together." Msgr. Eisler served at St. Joseph'sÑa multi-ethnic parish in Spring ValleyÑas administrator, 1982-1985, and as pastor, 1985-1997. When he arrived, Masses were being held in the school auditorium as a result of a 1965 fire that destroyed the church building. Msgr. Eisler oversaw construction of a new church that opened in 1995. "He built a community, and then he built a church," Msgr. Belford said. He added that he and Msgr. Eisler had also traveled to the Philippines together to learn more about the culture and spirituality of the Filipino people. Born in Mount Vernon, Msgr. Eisler studied for the priesthood at St. Joseph's Seminary, Dunwoodie, and was ordained in 1963. He served at St. Paul's, Congers, 1963-1974, and at St. Theresa's, Briarcliff Manor, 1974-1982. He was made a monsignor in 1999. He is survived by a brother, Randolph, and a sister, Erma Paul. Burial was in Holy Mount Cemetery, Tuckahoe.



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