Missionary of 73 years dedicated life to educating youth, caring for the people of Appalachia

Father Arnold Lang, 1926-2019

Father_Arnold_Lang_for_webFather Arnold Lang SVD, an educator and missionary in Appalachia, died at Techny, Ill., on Sept. 26 at age 93.

“Father Lang took educational endeavors seriously,” said Provincial Father Quang Duc Dinh SVD. “He poured himself into his studies as a youth, and after achieving success in science studies, he focused on the education of others. He served as a professor for 26 years before being assigned to pastoral work in West Virginia.”

Born in St. Henry, Ohio, in 1926, Arnold Langenkamp, who later changed his surname, was the ninth of Henry and Anna (nee Brackmann) Langenkamp’s 11 children. He began his studies with the Divine Word Missionaries at East Troy, Wis., in 1940; professed vows in 1946; and was ordained to the priesthood at Techny in 1953.

He earned a master’s degree in biology from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., in 1959 and taught the subject to Divine Word seminary students in Girard, Penn.; Duxbury, Mass.; and Epworth, Iowa. While teaching at Divine Word College in Epworth, Father Lang contributed to vocations efforts in the Archdiocese of Dubuque by serving on an ad hoc committee that reviewed practices to increase recruitment.

In 1985, Father Lang was called to West Virginia, a relatively new mission for the Society of the Divine Word. For six years per assignment, he served as pastor of Good Shepherd in Glenville, St. John Neumann in Marlington and St. Mark the Evangelist Mission in Bartow, St. Thomas in Gassaway, and St. Anne in Webster Springs. He also was chaplain of Glenville State College.

Father Lang moved to Techny in retirement in 2008. He was preceded in death by his parents and ten siblings: Marie Mohlman, Anna Miller, Dorothy Muhlenkamp, Most Precious Blood Sister Anastasia, Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ Sister Norberta, Norbert, Richard, Ralph, Divine Word Brother Berchmans and Divine Word Father August Langenkamp. He is survived by many nieces and nephews.

Father Lang’s wake and funeral Mass were held on Oct. 3 at the Divine Word Residence chapel in Techny. He was buried at St. Mary’s Cemetery at Techny.

Memorial donations can be made in the name of Father Lang in lieu of flowers. They may be made for the care of elderly and infirmed missionaries and sent to The Rector, Divine Word Residence, 1901 Waukegan Road, P.O. Box 6000, Techny, IL 60082-6000.


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