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12/22/2006
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Fourth graders read together to help break a world record
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Wishing you God's blessings for a wonderful Christmas
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Msgr. Donald Sylvester Miller, 80, dies
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School community tells Judy Warren she will be missed


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Msgr. Donald Sylvester Miller, 80, dies


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Key file photo
In what turned out to be his last public appearance, Msgr. Donald Miller, right, attended the Solemn Vespers honoring the diocese's newly elevated monsignori held at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Nov. 26.
CONCEPTION - Msgr. Donald Sylvester Miller, 80, died Dec. 14 at the St. Stephen Infirmary at Conception Abbey, where he had lived since 2002.

Msgr. Miller was born in Parnell on June 16, 1916, the oldest son of Wyatt and Esther Klaas Miller. His mother died in the flu epidemic of 1918, leaving 2-year-old Donald and 3- month-old Wyatt Junior to be raised by their father and grandmother.

He attended a Catholic school in Conception Junction and graduated from Conception Abbey High School and College. He attended Kenrick Theological Seminary in St. Louis.

He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of St. Joseph on May 30, 1942. His first assignment was as assistant pastor at St. Joseph Cathedral, 1942-1954. During his first year as a priest he also served as administrator for St. Joseph Church in Chillicothe and St. Patrick Church in Maryville.

He was assigned as pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Hamilton in 1955, and served as pastor of St. John La Lande Parish from 1958 to 1968. At that time he was assigned to St. Louis Parish in Kansas City. In 1975 he was assigned to St. Mark Church in Independence.

According to Msgr. John Leitner, Father Miller did a lot of summer street preaching in the early years of his priesthood, served on the marriage tribunal and conducted high school dances on Sunday evenings.

Joyce Comfort of St. Patrick Parish in Kansas City remembered Father Miller as a "new, rather shy priest at Cathedral." She said Father Miller would direct and accompany the children's choir on a small, portable organ lodged between the left aisle pews and the wall in the Cathedral.

From 1986 to 1989 Father Miller served as senior priest in residence at St. Patrick in Kansas City, then at St. Gregory Barbarigo in Maryville, until his health began to fail in 2002. He then retired to Conception Abbey Infirmary.

Pope Benedict XVI conferred papal honors on Father Miller in November 2006, elevating him to a monsignor.

Msgr. Miller's body lay in state at St. Gregory Barbarigo on Dec. 18, where a rosary was said. The body was then taken to Conception Abbey for a visitation, wake service and rosary that evening.

A funeral Mass on Dec. 19 was presided over by Bishop Robert Finn. Father Charles Tobin, pastor of St. Sabina Church, was the homilist.

Msgr. Miller was buried in Parnell.

END


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