Rev. Kenneth E. Grabner, C.S.C.
June 1, 1934 – March 9, 2021
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Rev. Kenneth E. Grabner, C.S.C., 86, died at Holy Cross House, Notre Dame, Ind. on Tuesday, March 9, 2021 after a short illness.
He was born on June 1, 1934 in South Bend, Ind., to Edward G. and Mary M. (Strantz) Grabner, who preceded
him in death. Fr. Ken was educated by the Sisters and Brothers of Holy Cross all through grade school and high
school. Immediately after graduation from Central Catholic High School in South Bend, he entered Our Lady of
Spring Bank Cistercian Abbey in Oconomowoc, Wis., where he was ordained a Cistercian monk on July 25,
1960. He ministered there until he discerned a call to the apostolic life of the Congregation of Holy Cross. He
entered the novitiate for Holy Cross on July 15, 1967 at Notre Dame, and professed final vows in Holy Cross on
July 16, 1968.
Fr. Ken taught theology at the University of Notre Dame until 1972, when he began training for ministry to
alcoholics. From 1975 to 1977 he was a Counselor at Grant Hospital in Chicago, Ill. In 1977 he earned an M.A.
in Alcoholic Sciences at Governors State University (University Park, Ill.) and began his ministry at St. Mary
Medical Center in Gary, Ind., where from 1977 to 1981 he was the Coordinator/Director of Hospital
Alcoholism Program, and from 1981 to 1986 was the Director of the Mission Effectiveness Program. In 1986,
Fr. Ken took up the ministry of chaplain for the Holy Cross Brothers’ Center at Holy Cross College, Notre
Dame, Ind., where (including at Holy Cross Village) he has remained ever since as a faithful chaplain.
Throughout his religious life Fr. Ken was a much sought after spiritual director, retreat director, author, and
speaker. Fr. Ken concluded his comments for his 50th jubilee of priesthood (in 2010) by writing “As I look back
over the past fifty years and beyond, I find much for which to be grateful, much that illustrates the fact that we
have a very gracious God who cares for us, and leads us to where we should be.”
The Funeral Mass will be at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, March 15, 2021 at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Notre
Dame, Ind., with everyone wearing masks and safely distanced. You may also join us via livestream at
https://campusministry.nd.edu/mass-worship/basilica-of-the-sacred-heart/funeral-live-stream/. Burial will be in the community cemetery at Notre Dame. Kaniewski Funeral Home, South Bend, is in charge of the
Memorial contributions in support of the mission and ministries of the Congregation of Holy Cross can be made to: United States Province of Priests and Brothers, Office of Development, P.O. Box 765, Notre Dame, IN
46556-0765 or online at https://donate.holycrossusa.org