Father Fritz Neuhauser
Mill Hill Missionary
May he rest in peace
Fritz Neuhauser was born on the 5th of September, 1932 in Bruneck, Brixen, Italy to Joseph Neuhauser and Anna Koessler. His father was a businessman who ran a private shop. He had 2 brothers and 3 sisters. He was baptised ten days after his birth in Bruneck where he also received the Sacrament of Confirmation ten years later. He did his secondary education in Brixen where he also finished his Philosophy in 1953. He continued his missionary training in Mill Hill where he finished in 1957. He took his Perpetual Oath on 7th May 1956 and was ordained priest on 7th July 1957 at the Chapel of St. Joseph’s College by Cardinal William Godfrey of Westminster. After his ordination, he was sent to study at the Gregorian University in Rome where he obtained a Licentiate in Systematic Theology in 1960. He was appointed to the Archdiocese of Kampala after his studies but later on the appointment was cancelled. In 1961, he was appointed to Organising Work in Absam and two years later he served as Curate in Neuziders. In 1965, he did a 1-year Liturgy Diploma Course in Trier, Germany. The following year, he was appointed to teach at St. John’s Regional Seminary in Hyderabad, India. From 1967 to 1983, he was a full time Professor in Liturgy and Formator at St. John’s Regional Seminary.
In his own steady, conscientious and hard-working way, Fritz gave all his time and energy to the building of the local Church in India especially in forming the local priests at St. John’s Regional Seminary. A number of his own students became Bishops. He did a sabbatical year in Varanasi (1983-84), experiencing an ashram life which undoubtedly helped him embrace a deep spirituality of inner contemplation of the divine. He willingly accepted the invitation of Fr. Joseph Knecht SJ to work for a year at Navjyosi Nihetan Pastoral Centre in Patna where he collaborated with the liturgical department. From 1985 to 1989, he did pastoral work in a rural parish in Nurinthal (Hyderabad Archdiocese) while maintaining contact at St. John’s Regional Seminary as a visiting professor in Liturgy. Fritz played an important role in pioneering and establishing the Mill Hill recruitment program in India, which over the years has borne fruits. He also got involved in Mill Hill administration based in St. Joseph’s House, Ramanthapur. In 1994, Fritz attended the summer leadership course at St. Anselm’s Institute in Margate. When the Mill Hill 2nd Cycle Program was opened in Pune in 2013, he wholeheartedly shared his rich experience, wisdom and competence to both the members of the formation staff and students. In whatever work he did, Fritz poured out his whole heart into it. His sterling commitment in establishing God’s Kingdom in his beloved India had inspired many people around him as he radiated to them the integrity of God’s compassion and holiness. Fritz’s love for India and its people was crowned by the approval of his application for Indian citizenship in 2018. He took up the local name, Konthinti Shanti Raju, which can be translated as a ‘new house (for/of) the king of peace’.
In the last four months, Fritz’s health went downhill rather rapidly. He had some viral infection in the nerves connected to his left eye. He tested positive for Covid-19 last year and fortunately recovered from it. Recently, he complained of giddiness, difficulty of remembering, physical weakness and lack of appetite. A carer was employed to assist him. At one o’clock in the afternoon on 1st February 2022, Fritz was admitted at St. Theresa’s Hospital, Hyderabad and he was placed in an intensive care unit. At around 4:35 p.m., he had a cardiac arrest and he returned to the Lord bringing with him 65 years of faithful and loving service as a Mill Hill Missionary. His funeral is scheduled on Thursday, 3rd February 2022 in Hyderabad, India. May he rest in peace!