2018 Chancellor Award Winner Father Tom Wittliff (SF ’55)
Fr. Thomas Wittliff’s call to the priesthood came through sad circumstances. In 1950, he lost his 9-year-old little sister, Constance, to leukemia. This tragic loss caused him to look at life differently. “I knew I was different from my friends, but I didn’t know how. I didn’t even like priests, and here I ended up becoming one.” He graduated from St. Francis Minor Seminary in 1955 was ordained on Memorial Day in 1964. He spent six years at St. Hedwig, five years as the Chaplain at Cathedral High School, a year at St. Peter Claver in Sheboygan, 11 years at St. Margaret Mary, two years at St. Anthony, and 18 years at St. Augustine in Bay View prior to his retirement in 2006. It was during his time at St. Augustine that he earned his nickname, “the Bishop of Bay View.”
During his time at St. Augustine, he reconnected with his alma mater and began visiting students at Thomas More High School. He has presided over countless weddings and baptisms for members of the STM family. His sense of humor is legendary and it has helped him connect with STM students in a unique way. Whether it has been meeting students for meals, lifting weights with them, or simply visiting school to banter with them in the lunch room, Father Tom always brings a smile to the faces of our Cavaliers.
He was inducted into the St. Thomas More Alumni Hall of Fame in 2014. When asked to reflect upon his service to the youth of St. Thomas More High School, Fr. Tom simply stated that “it has been a wonderful opportunity to be a priest.” Father Tom, you been a wonderful blessing for St. Thomas More and for all of the lives you have touched during your career. Without question, Constance would be proud.