priest celebrates his 60th anniversary
Father Robert Waldman, retired priest of the Diocese of Boise, will celebrate 60 years as a priest on May 21, 2006. Fr. Waldman was born May 21, 1920 to Clemens and Margaret Schaefer Waldman in Greencreek, Idaho.
Waldman was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Boise, by Bishop Edward J. Kelly on May 30, 1946. His first mass was celebrated in his hometown of Greencreek. He served as Chancellor, secretary and chaplain at St. Alphonsus Hospital after his ordination. In 1947, he was assistant pastor at St. Agnes in Weiser and then St. Mary’s in Moscow until 1952. He was assistant pastor at St. Mary’s in Boise from 1952-1954. Fr. Waldman was first appointed a parish pastor in 1954 in Mary Immaculate parish in St. Anthony. From there his priestly journey took him to Blessed Sacrament in Aberdeen, and St. Charles in Hailey.
While an assistant at Moscow under Fr. Earl Stokoe and Fr. Urban Schmidt, Fr. Waldman taught religion at the Ursaline Academy and coached football and basketball. He remembers those times as very enjoyable. His career was nearly cut short when on October 10, 1948 Father Bob was a passenger in a small plane and the plane crashed. He suffered many broken bones in his face, a broken leg and other injuries. He spent nearly 2 years in and out of the hospital in recovery.
As an assistant pastor at St. Mary’s in Boise, Fr. Bob worked with two Benedictine nuns from St. Gertrude’s Convent and his hometown of Greencreek, Sr. Jerome Arnzen and Sr. Celestine Riener.
In 1954, Father Waldman and Fr. Nick Walsh joined a tour group to the Holy Land. Father remembers it was a tremendous feeling to walk where Jesus walked—The Sea of Galilee and the Mount of the Beatitudes.
Father Bob’s time as a priest was not all work as he traveled to China and the Panama Canal. Both were trips that he enjoyed. He was also an avid golfer and down hill skier. In his early years, he played softball and basketball and was chosen all city shortstop in Weiser and Moscow.
In 1962, Father Waldman began to make his way north serving as pastor at Sts. Peter and Paul in Grangeville and its missions, Assumption Parish in Ferdinand and Sacred Heart in Lapwai. He retired as an Idaho pastor at the end of his term in Lapwai in June 1987.
Since his retirement, he has lived in the Ferdinand Parish house. In retirement, he helped in the Ferdinand, Cottonwood, Greencreek parishes. He also helped where he was needed in parishes throughout the diocese from Idaho Falls to Kellogg.
There will be an open house from 2-4 pm on Sunday, May 21, 2006 at the Assumption Parish Hall. Refreshments will be served. All are invited to attend.