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7/10/2013 12:01:00 AM
Fr. Zorn to be interred at Holy Childhood July 12
Submitted to Harbor Light Newspaper

Once a well loved and respected resident of Harbor Springs, Father Philip Zorn will be brought back to the community where he resided for 22 years as priest of the Holy Childhood of Jesus Church on Main Street. On Friday, July 12, Father Zorn will be interred at 11 a.m. on the church grounds at Holy Childhood of Jesus Church in Harbor Springs.

Father Philip Seraphin Zorn was born in Bernfeld, Germany on August 15, 1825. He entered the Franciscans in Germany In 1848 and after coming to the United States, became a member of the Benevolent, Charitable and Religious Society of St. Francis, founded by Rev. Fr. John B.

Weikamp, in 1855 in Chicago.

The whole Weikamp community moved to Harbor Springs in late 1855 and in 1856 moved to Cross Village where they operated a large monastery until Weikamp's death in 1889.

Father Zorn had been studying for the priesthood and the Ven. Bishop Frederic Baraga ordained him to the priesthood at Holy Childhood of Jesus Church, Harbor Springs on January 20, 1856. Father Zorn remained in Harbor Springs as an assistant to the pastor for about a year

during which time he learned the local Indian language.

In 1862, Father Zorn was made pastor of Holy Childhood of Jesus Church in Harbor Springs, and remained there until 1884. During these years, besides being pastor of Holy Childhood of Jesus Church, Fr. Zorn was in charge of some four missions and nine stations.

In 1883, the Diocese of Grand Rapids was founded and the new bishop, Bishop Henry Richter,

asked the Franciscan Fathers from St. Louis, Missouri to send a group of men to work in the

new diocese. They arrived in 1884 and were given Holy Childhood of Jesus Church and Father Zorn was made pastor of St. Joseph Church in Elbridge (in Oceana County). He remained there until his health began to fail in the late 1880"s. He was then made chaplain of the Catholic Hospital in Big Rapids and later, chaplain of the Catholic Hospital in Manistee where he died on April 14, 1900 and was buried in the Mount Carmel Catholic Cemetery in Manistee.

Father Zorn was only in Manistee a little over a year and it has always seemed sad that his body hadn't been returned to his last parish for burial. Elbridge was closed as a parish some years

ago so a few people have worked to bring his body back to Harbor Springs where he labored for so many years. In 2012, Bishop Bernard Hebda of the Gaylord Diocese gave his permission for this move. Father Zorn's body was exhumed in November and brought back to Harbor Springs.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by the Most Rev. Bishop Bernard A. Hebda on Friday, July 12 at 11 a.m. at Holy Childhood of Jesus Church, Harbor Springs, assisted by the priests of the Diocese. Fr. Zorn will then be laid to rest on the church grounds at the Holy Childhood of Jesus Church.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, July 26, 2013
Article comment by: rebecca marshall

I am related to Fr. Zorn. His old bible was passed down to me by my mother, Shirley Baier. It was decided, by my mother, to give it back to the parish at Zorn park where the bible has been restored. The family geneology will show my heritage to this great priest. David Fero, my father, Shirley Baier, my mother. Fr. Zorn was a brother of my mother's father John Baier.
Again, this geneological info can be found in his big and beautiful bible that has been restored. My daughter Lynn Marshall has visited this parish and seen the bible. She told me it was beautifully resotred. We hated to give it up, yet, it is where it belongs. Thank you for this article.
Becky Marshall
802 Biltmore Dr.
Va. Beach, Va. 23454

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