Walter Eckler, SJ
Brother Walter Eckler, SJ, has been a Jesuit for more than 70 years.
Born in West Palm Beach, Fla. in 1929, he spent time in the U.S. Naval Reserve and attended Palm Beach Junior College for a year before entering the Society of Jesus in 1950.
He spent much of his formation process and most of his active ministry in maintenance and related fields that utilized his gifts of craftsmanship and handiness.
Most of his assignments have been in the states of Louisiana and Texas.
His early ministry was in Grand Coteau, La., where he worked in the bakery, laundry, shoe repair and as a tailor and porter at St. Charles College. Next, he spent six years at what was then called Sacred Heart Church (now St. Charles Borromeo), primarily as a sacristan, before returning to St. Charles College to manage the farm and grounds. Years later, he served as a sacristan at Immaculate Conception Parish in New Orleans.
Brother Eckler’s assignments in Texas include dean of students at Corpus Christi Minor Seminary and in maintenance at Strake Jesuit College Preparatory of Houston, Montserrat Jesuit Retreat House and St. Joseph Church.
In the mid-1980s, he spent three years in maintenance at the Catholic mission on the Pacific island nation of Palau.
He is currently praying for the Church and Society at St. Alphonsus Rodriguez Pavilion in Grand Coteau, La.