Fr. William Woestman, OMI

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Father William Woestman, OMI, 94, of Belleville IL, passed away on Sunday, December 3, 2023, at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in O’Fallon, IL.

Father Bill was born November 14, 1929, to the late William and Mary Susan, nee Gallagher, Woestman, in Fort Smith, AR.  Fr. Woestman took his First Vows as a Missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate in August 1950 in Godfrey, IL.  He was ordained an Oblate priest in Roviano, Rome Italy in July 1956.

Fr. Woestman received various assignments during his priesthood including Scholastic Professor in Pass Christian MS, Pastor in McCook MS, Director and Superior of Our Lady of the Snows Shrine in Belleville, IL, Central Province Provincial in St. Paul, MN, Director General Executive Secretary at General House Rome Italy, Professor of Canon Law, Ottawa ON Canada, Tribunal Office for the Archdiocese of Chicago.  In 2021, he had retired and resided at the Benedictine Living Community in Belleville, IL where he resided at the time of his death.

Fr. Bill was preceded in death by his parents, brother-in-law, Joseph Mathews and sisters-in-law Alice Woestman and Patricia Woestman.

Mourning his passing are his two sisters, Sue Mathews and Patricia (Edward) Corich; three brothers, Gene, James, and Richard (Daphne) Woestman; other loving family members and residents and staff at the Benedictine Living Community at the Shrine; and nearly 3600 Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate around the world.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, 442 S. DeMazenod Drive, Belleville, IL 62223. Condolences may be expressed online at

Visitation: Friends may visit from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, December 12, 2023, at the Church of Our Lady of the Snows at the National Shrine Our Lady of the Snows, Belleville, IL.

Funeral: A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, December 12, 2023, at the Church of Our Lady of the Snows at the National Shrine Our Lady of the Snows, Belleville, IL. The Mass will be livestreamed on

Burial will be at the St. Henry’s Oblate Cemetery, Belleville, IL.


18 Comments on Fr. William Woestman, OMI

Sr Anne Marie Ezenwa, EHJ said : Guest Report Jan 24, 2024 at 7:09 PM

Fr Woestman was a kind and gentle priest. He was one of my professors at SPU Ottawa. I proof read one of his Canon Law books. He took students to Rome for many years. I still have the pictures we took with Pope St John Paul II. Thank you Fr Woestman for your support. May your gentle soul rest in peace.

  • Halifax
  • NS
Kelly Woestman said : Guest Report Dec 13, 2023 at 7:50 PM

As other members of the family have shared, Fr./Uncle Bill will always have a special place in our hearts. He certainly made the most of his God-given talents and was always a compassionate and caring soul.

  • Carl Junction
  • MO
Patty Rimkus said : Guest Report Dec 12, 2023 at 12:05 PM

I was given the opportunity of working along side Fr. Woestmann in the Tribunal at the Archdiocese of Chicago. We spent much time working on the causes for sainthood. He loved to share jokes every time I walked into his office. He shared the same birthday as my father as well as our connections of loved one living in the Belleville area. My deepest condolences to his family. He is one I will never forget.

  • Chicago
  • IL
Bishop Sabatini c.s. said : Guest Report Dec 12, 2023 at 10:59 AM

I lost a very good priest friend. RIP

  • Sun Valley
  • CA.
William Woestman Corich said : Guest Report Dec 12, 2023 at 10:14 AM

I grew up filled with wonderful visits from my Uncle Bill. Welcomed his advice many times over the years concerning several life issues. I always enjoyed Fr. Bill saying mass at our kitchen table in St. Louis ! Those were special sacred times I often reflect on ! Godspeed

  • Cincinnati
  • Oh
E.J. & Margie Corich said : Guest Report Dec 11, 2023 at 10:12 PM

Uncle Bill married my wife and I and also flew across the country to baptize our children. He was an amazing man and priest. From a young age, he knew that becoming a priest was his calling. At thanksgiving, we visited him and had pizza, salad and he had a beer. It was a nice visit and we were blessed to be able to spend time with him before his passing. God Bless

  • Port Orchard
  • WA
Donna Miller said : Guest Report Dec 11, 2023 at 3:35 PM

Father Woestman was the Role of Law Award recipient at the first CLSA convention that I attended. When I was able to record a podcast with him 16 years later it was truly a highlight for me. He was not teaching at St. Paul when I was there, but he was already a legend. I still use his English translations of Rotal allocutions with nearly every CLSA publication that I edit. He will be greatly missed. Requiescat in pace.

  • The Villages
  • FL
Adela Maria Kim said : Guest Report Dec 11, 2023 at 9:41 AM

I would like to express my deep condolences. Fr. Woestman was Dean during my studies at St. Paul and very warmly welcomed me. He was kindly helped me receive some scholarship for my second year from the Metropolitan Tribubal, Archdiocese of Toronto where I had an internship later. May he rest in eternal peace and happiness! Prayers!

  • Peoria
  • IL
Fr.David Kumar ANTHONY, OMI said : Guest Report Dec 11, 2023 at 7:47 AM

Fr.Woestman OMI is one of my great mentors along with other two Oblates: Fr. Morrissey and Fr. Tache. He has inspired me and Canonists in India too. He is a committed Oblate and I remain ever grateful to him. May God grant eternal rest to Fr. Woestman OMI

  • Bangalore
  • Karnataka, INDIA
Scott and Lisa Woestman said : Guest Report Dec 10, 2023 at 8:43 PM

Father Bill was there for me and my family throughout the most important times of my life - my wedding, baptizing our children , and as far back as I can remember growing up. He taught me important lessons in life. I will miss his warm presence, sense of humor and incredible stories.

  • Vienna
  • VA
Edward Peters said : Guest Report Dec 10, 2023 at 4:31 PM

I always read Fr. Woestman with profit. May he rest in peace.

  • Detroit
  • MI
John Huggins said : Guest Report Dec 10, 2023 at 4:11 PM

Fr. Woestman was a great man and wonderful canonist. I have learned much from his teaching style. Praying that he is now in heaven with St. Raymond!

  • Steubenville
  • Ohio
Very Rev. Vicente N. DeLa Cruz, EVC, VF said : Guest Report Dec 10, 2023 at 10:54 AM

My sincere condolences to the OMI Community and Woestman Family on the passing of your beloved Fr. Bill. All of us his students at SPU, Ottawa learned much about CIC and ministry from Bill. We appreciate not only his wisdom & knowledge of the Law but his love of God & people. He was a good servant & a wise teacher! May he rest in peace, amen.

  • Thibodaux
  • Louisiana
Norma Zaragoza said : Guest Report Dec 09, 2023 at 4:55 PM

My deepest condolences to the family, on the death of Priest Woestman, a great human being and priest

  • Chicago
  • Il.
Dr. Eileen Jaramillo said : Guest Report Dec 09, 2023 at 2:14 PM

Fr. Bill was a Professor at St. Paul University when I studied canon law. Not only was he an excellent teacher, he was also a person who I consulted after completion of studies.

  • Lansing
  • Michigan
Julie Brennan said : Guest Report Dec 08, 2023 at 11:21 AM

May the good Father Rest In Peace. I remember his homilies where he often spoke of the ‘Hound of Heaven’. Prayers for his eternal soul.

  • Chicago
  • Illinois
Deacon Stan strom said : Guest Report Dec 08, 2023 at 9:50 AM

A great man - my deepest sympathy

  • Chicago
  • Ill
Deacon Stan strom said : Guest Report Dec 07, 2023 at 9:31 PM

My deepest sympathy to the family of this terrific priest- deacon Stan at Holy Name Cathedral

  • Chicago
  • Ill

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