Bro. Louis Victor Welker, FSC
On September 14, 2020, Brother Louis Welker, FSC passed away at 11:00 am following a long illness. A native of New Orleans, he was born on September 14, 1943, the son of the late Alois Webber Welker, Sr. and the late Vera Carambat Welker. He was preceded in death by his brother Philip Martin Welker and beloved sister-in-law Linda Milton Welker and nephew Anthony J. Sanchez, III. He is survived by his brothers Alois Welker, Jr (wife Gene), Jules Welker, Victor Welker (wife Mary), his sister Barbara Welker Sanchez (husband Anthony) and sister-in-law Pat Trapani Welker. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews and great-great nieces and nephews. In addition, he is survived by the Brothers of the heritage District New Orleans-Santa Fe and the heritage District of San Francisco. Brother was a De La Salle Christian Brother for 58 years. His greatest joys were being a religious Brother, teaching, the study of the spiritual life, church history, and making people laugh.
Brother entered the Christian Brothers in Lafayette, LA on June 8, 1962, immediately after graduating from De La Salle High School in New Orleans, LA. He received the religious habit on August 31, 1962 and made final profession of Vows on April 14, 1968. During his years as a Brother, he served in many capacities. He began his teaching ministry at La Salle High School in San Antonio, TX in 1967. In 1968, he was transferred to Galveston, TX where he was assigned as the first Assistant Principal of O’Connell Jr High. In 1970, he was appointed Assistant Principal of O’Connell Sr. High. After five years in administration, he requested to go back into the classroom as a full-time teacher. He was sent to St. Michael’s High School in Santa Fe, NM as head of the Religion Department and teacher. His time at St. Michael’s was a challenging but happy time. In 1974, he was named Assistant Principal of St. Michael’s High School and Sub-Director of the Brothers’ Community. On the morning of August 7, 1977, after looking at himself in a mirror and telling God “I am so happy I could stay here forever”, he was transferred and named Vocation Director for the New Orleans-Santa Fe District that day. Brother was heard to say on many occasions: “Never tell God when you are happy.” He was assigned to Archbishop Rummel High School Community in Metairie, LA. In 1979, he was also appointed Director of Continued Formation for the Brothers while continuing as Vocation Director. During the summer months from 1978-82, he served as Director of Postulants for the District. In 1979, he made CIL (Lasallian Studies) in Rome, Italy. He did training in retreat ministry at St. Cassian’s retreat house in Kintbury, England in the summer of 1981. In 1982, he requested permission to be assigned to Archbishop Rummel High School to serve as Campus Minister. For the next seven years, he served in that capacity in addition to serving as the Director of the Brothers Community. In 1989, he was assigned as Director of the De La Salle Christian Brothers in Lafayette, LA as Community Director for the elderly and infirmed Brothers of the District. He remained in that position for 19 years while also serving as School Evaluator for the Diocese of Lafayette, LA and Vicar for Religious. The Conference of Religious Brothers honored him with the Call to Brotherhood Award in 2001 “as one who has given faithful witness to the Brothers’ vocation by word and deed.” In 2004, he was appointed by the Superior General in Rome as provincial of the New Orleans-Santa Fe District. In 2008, he was given a sabbatical to take care of health problems. In 2011 he was assigned to the St. Paul’s Community in Covington, LA where he conducted the St. La Salle Auxiliary for the care of the elderly and infirmed Brothers of the New Orleans-Santa Fe District, helped with Campus Ministry and as a substitute music minister on Sundays.
Brother will be remembered for many things. He was a man filled with a great love for his vocation, the communities and schools where he ministered, conducting hundreds of student retreats, spirituality evenings for adults and annual retreats for the Brothers. He also conducted the Brothers’ Urgent Issues Assembly in 2002 and the District Chapters of 2003 and 2004. He loved nature, dogs and cats, parakeets and cockatiels. God blessed him with a beautiful singing voice, and he was a published composer of liturgical music. On two occasions, he sang with the Santa Fe Opera Company. His favorite time of the year was Christmas and for many years his decorations delighted the hearts of those who saw them. Every liturgical season found Brother coming up with a new decorative idea to celebrate its meaning. Most of all, he will be remembered for his great sense of humor and his ability to imitate Brothers, relatives, friends, and even celebrities. He was a deeply spiritual man, always searching for ways to deepen his relationship with the Trinity, to whom he was consecrated, and the Blessed Mother. He referred to Our Lady of Prompt Succor, patroness of Louisiana, as “my Lady.” Brother loved serving as sacristan in all the communities where he was assigned. He often stated that his prayer to God was “I will take care of your house here on earth and hope that you will let me into your house for eternity.” Brother also loved to do the shopping for the community and for himself. When a Brother told him he shopped too much he replied: “It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it.” He also stated that when he died, he hoped he would be in Hobby Lobby which was his favorite place to shop.
Brother earned a BA in History with a minor in music from the College of Santa Fe, an M.Ed. from Our Lady of the Lake College in San Antonio, an STM (Sacred Theology) from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio and a Life Experience Doctorate in Theology from Rochelle International University.
The Brothers are grateful to Brother Jerry Vincent and Brother Peter Dudenheffer for the care they gave Brother Louis during his illness. Also, the nurses and staff for the care, love and concern.
A Private Mass of Christian Burial will be held at the Saint Paul’s Brothers Residence Chapel in Covington, LA at 10:00 am on October 3, 2020. Burial of his cremains will be held privately.
E.J. Fielding Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Brother’s name to the St. La Salle Auxiliary and St. Jude Hospital in Memphis, TN.