Fr. David Kalert, OMI

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Father David A. Kalert, OMI, 85, died on Saturday, March 16, 2024, at the Dammert Care Center of the Benedictine Living Community at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, Belleville, IL.

Fr. David was born in Belleville on September 11, 1938, to the late Joseph and Margaret (Adams) Kalert. After his boyhood and primary education in Freeburg, IL, he attended St. Henry’s Seminary in Belleville, prior to joining the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. He pronounced his first vows as an Oblate in 1958 and was sent for further preparation for the priesthood at the Oblates’ International Scholasticate in Rome, Italy. He was ordained a priest in Rome on December 16, 1964.

His first assignment as a priest was as a teacher at St. Henry’s Seminary in Belleville. He also served as a mentor of future Oblates in Lockport, IL and in Lusaka, Zambia. In 1981, he was called to serve for six years as Vicar Provincial and Personnel Director of the Oblates’ Central Province of the United States in St. Paul, MN. In 1988, he became Director of the Missionary Association of Mary Immaculate in Belleville until he was appointed provincial superior of the Central Province in 1993. Six years later, when the U.S. Oblates merged their five provinces, he became the first provincial superior of the new United States Province in Washington, DC. After those many years in administration, he went to Lusaka, Zambia, to help in the training of future Oblate missionaries. While there, he also was administrator of a care facility for victims of AIDS. Upon his return to the USA in 2007, he served as the Vice-President for Administration at Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, TX. In 2018 he moved back to Belleville to reside at St. Henry’s Oblate Residence until 2023 when he moved to the Benedictine Living Community.

Preceded in death by his parents, as well as by his sister and brother-in-law, Mary Jo and Richard Inman, and his brother Robert, he is also survived by over 3500 Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in around 70 countries.

He is survived by his brother, Richard (Vicky) of O’Fallon, IL;
a sister-in law, Joan Kalert of Smithton, IL;
seven nieces and nephews;
and many cousins.

In lieu of flowers, donations for the missions of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate would be greatly appreciated. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

Funeral:  A Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. Friday, March 22, 2024, at the Church of Our Lady of the Snows, Belleville, IL.

The Mass of Resurrection will be streamed live on Friday March 22, at 10:00 a.m. central time.  To watch go to either, or on YouTube at:

Fr. David donated his body to Saint Louis University Medical School so that future medical professionals might help save other lives.


17 Comments on Fr. David Kalert, OMI

Gary Szymula said : Guest Report Mar 20, 2024 at 2:15 PM

Truly an inspiration to all who knew him as a faculty member and friend at St. Henry's. He taught me how to play handball but he always beat me because he had a glove and he was much better! He came along with several of us on Fr. Wightman's famous Current River canoe trips over Easter break. He tried to teach me French but to no avail. I could read it pretty good though which came in handy on my trip to Europe with Tim and Dave in 1972. His work in the missions in Africa outstanding.

  • Burlington, Iowa
  • IA
Mike Matejka said : Guest Report Mar 19, 2024 at 5:42 PM

A kind and thoughtful man -- I had the honor of being his student at St Henry's (graduated 1971). I failed at being a good French student, but I thrived in his caring presence.

  • Normal
  • Illinois
Mike Matejka said : Guest Report Mar 19, 2024 at 5:42 PM

A kind and thoughtful man -- I had the honor of being his student at St Henry's (graduated 1971). I failed at being a good French student, but I thrived in his caring presence.

  • Normal
  • Illinois
KARL ELDERS said : Guest Report Mar 19, 2024 at 11:24 AM

Today, I feel a “heavy weight”; the tax of life that we must all pay. It’s probably true that often we reflect on special persons whose kindness, energy and compassion made a significant impression on our lives. These are the “gatekeepers” for us; Father Kalert was such. We can not measure in words, money or any other earthly measurable how profound the influence of unconditional love given by Fr. Kalert. It’s the little details that matter and he was at the nucleus of formation for so many; especially St. Henry’s Prepatory Seminarians. Fr Kalert, while you have transitioned from this physical life, your kindness, energy and compassion will live on. Your gift of love will provide a template for living for those of us who endure in the flesh; and your compassion and gentleness is one bright beacon along our path to eternal life. Thank you for living in our time. I am humbled having received the blessings of your friendship. KARL ELDERS, SHPS-‘74

  • Sandy Spring
  • Maryland
Thomas and Janice Hill (Hoh) said : Guest Report Mar 18, 2024 at 11:32 PM

My Prayers and Love are with the family. Father David is a cousin of mine. He was very caring and devoted to his entire family and friends. He will be dearly missed.

  • Saint Louis
  • Missouri
John Heiligenstein said : Guest Report Mar 18, 2024 at 6:20 PM

Father Kalert was a wonderful priest. A son of Freeburg and a gift to all that knew him. RIP. John Heiligenstein, MD

  • INdianapolis
  • IN
David Oughton said : Guest Report Mar 18, 2024 at 10:13 AM

Fr. Kalert was a great priest and a great teacher. Many of his students became teachers and tried to be as patient and caring as he was.

  • Fenton
  • MO
Connie Jean Goyda said : Guest Report Mar 18, 2024 at 9:55 AM

My family and I met Fr. Kalert at the Shrine many years ago. My mother, father and I all worked there throughout the years in administration with Fr. Kalert. He was always kind, sincere, smiling, & compassionate. He took my father out for his retirement dinner and we all enjoyed a great time together. Family and Fellow Oblates, please accept my deepest sympathy on your loss. He was loved and appreciated by so many people.

  • Belleville
  • Illinois
David Ochs said : Guest Report Mar 18, 2024 at 9:53 AM

My heartfelt condolences go to all who feel the loss of Fr. Kalert. Many of us in the class of '69 from St. Henry have wonderfully warm memories of his work and the guidance he provided to our lives.

  • Springfield
  • Va
Gregory Renner said : Guest Report Mar 17, 2024 at 9:41 PM

Fr. Kalert will be greatly missed by many people. I always had strong admiration for him, saw him a role model, and considered him a true friend. He was always kind, compassionate, and friend to all. I had many great exchanges with him over the years and particularly during my time at St. Henry Seminary. I will always think well of the many times we played handball and the several canoe trips we shared with Fr. Wightman. Fr. Kalert has and will continue to be an inspiration to me.

  • Columbia
  • Missouri
Sr. Susan Hazenski said : Guest Report Mar 17, 2024 at 9:38 PM

I have great respect for Fr. David. I met him when I worked at the Oblate Renewal Center in San Antonio. TX. He was a great friend and someone we could count on. Please accept my condolences. He will be truly missed. It is consoling to know that he is no longer suffering and is the sr s of our loving God.

  • Danville
  • PA
Jerry Stookey, OP said : Guest Report Mar 17, 2024 at 9:38 PM

My sympathies to the Kalert family and all the Oblates of Mary Immaculate. Fr. Dave had a special place in my heart, as he was another priest from my hometown and my former high school teacher. A wonderful person. I hope to meet him again on the Other Side someday. Prayers and sympathies, Jerry Stookey, OP

  • St. Louis
  • Missouri
Raul &Rosalinda Ramirez said : Guest Report Mar 17, 2024 at 8:36 PM

So very sorry for you lost , May you be comforted by knowing the separation is only temporary, We keep you in our prayers .

  • Midlothian
  • TX
Michael Chambliss said : Guest Report Mar 17, 2024 at 7:59 PM

My condolences to the Kalert family, his close friends and the Oblate community. I’m a member of St. Henry’s Class of ‘69. Dan Franklin St. Henry’s Class of ‘66 recently published information on his weekly blog about his visit to see Fr. Kalert. I last spoke to Fr. Kalert in September last year when I was in the St. Louis area visiting and had lunch with a few classmates. Father wasn’t sure if he would join our gathering but he did..with his signature wonderful smile. It was very nice to see him. I appreciate him taking time to meet us. He attended many of our class reunions and also met with class members in the St. Louis Area when he was able (lunch/dinner). We had a special connection to him during our time at St. Henry since we were one of the first classes after he was assigned to teach at the seminary. He will be greatly missed and always remembered. Mike Chambliss

  • Fresno
  • CA
Addie Belobraydic Hall said : Guest Report Mar 17, 2024 at 5:37 PM

Deepest sympathies to his family. Fr celebrated mass at me and Larry’s wedding with Fr Hurkes and Fr Altier in February 1972. He was a dear friend.

  • Maryville
  • IL
Addie Hall said : Guest Report Mar 17, 2024 at 5:35 PM

Deepest condolences to Fr Kahlerts family. He celebrate the mass at my wedding in February 1972 with Fr Hurkes and Fr Altier. He was a Wonderful person and lifelong friend.

  • Maryville
  • IL
Patricia Hurst said : Guest Report Mar 17, 2024 at 4:51 PM

He was not only my cousin but a beloved friend. We grew up together running barefoot at the farm sometimes picking blackberries so Margaret could make us a blackberry cobbler. Sometimes him my sisters and Richard would play house (he always wanted to play priest) even then he new God had a plan for him. I will miss him so very much but so thankful to have had him in my life ❤️

  • Belleville
  • Illinois

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