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Priest educated future missionaries and served the disenfranchised

 
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Divine Word Father Andrew Biller, 87, a missionary in the Philippines for four decades, died on Saturday, November 2, at Techny, Ill.

Andrew Biller was born in 1932 in St. Joseph, Mo., the eldest of Andrew John and Wava Leola (nee Schottel) Biller’s five children. After graduating from high school in 1949, he entered Divine Word Seminary at East Troy, Wis. He professed religious vows in 1953.

Following ordination to the priesthood in 1961, Father Biller was sent to The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., to take graduate courses in guidance and counseling. In need of instructors for the congregation’s seminaries in the Philippines, his superiors sent him to Christ the King Seminary in Quezon City in 1963. He taught at Christ the King until 1965, when he became dean of Theology at Divine Word College in Laoag, Ilocos, Philippines.

Following a four-year term as dean, Father Biller was assigned to Divine Word College in Calapan, Mindoro, where he served as chaplain for five years. He later taught English at St. Augustine Seminary in Calapan, Mindoro, and religious education at Divine Word College in San Joseph, Mindoro. During his tenure as an educator and administrator in the Philippines, he completed his master’s degree in education from The Catholic University of America.

His sights then turned to more pastoral ministry. He served as assistant pastor of Immaculate Conception parish, Cubao, Quezon City, for six years, and as associate pastor and parochial vicar at Sacred Heart parish, Kamuning, Quezon City for an additional 12 years.

He was recognized by the Parish Coordinating Council of Sacred of Heart of Jesus with the Life-giving Achievement Award for “his abundant charity for the poor, wisdom made richer over the decades, boundless generosity with his time for parishioners and his confreres, and for the many other innumerable blessings the Sacred Heart of Jesus has showered upon him and then shared with any and all his life has touched.”

In 2002, Father Biller returned to the United States. He continued to stay active. In semi-retirement, he provided pastoral care for the Vietnamese community of St. Thomas of Aquin in St. Louis.

Father Biller lived at the Divine Word Residence at East Troy before moving to Techny in retirement in 2012.

He is survived by four sisters: Ruth Athay, Mary Searcy, Alberta Cooper and Rita Ward.

A viewing will take place at the Divine Word Residence chapel at Techny on Nov. 11 at 9 a.m., followed by a funeral Mass at 10:30 a.m. He will be buried in St. Mary Cemetery at Techny.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Father Biller’s name can be made for the retired missionaries and may be sent to The Rector, Divine Word Residence, 1901 Waukegan Road, P.O. Box 6000, Techny, IL 60082-6000.

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