As a young boy Carl Kramer knew he wanted to be a priest.
"When I was a little boy watching the priest at the altar, it struck me several times that I'd like to do what he was doing," he smiles. "I was a server at St. Patrick's in Ogden, KS."
His path to the priesthood led him to Sacred Heart Academy in Manhattan, St. Louis Preparatory Seminary and Kenrick Seminary. He was ordained a priest on March 9, 1952, at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Salina.
That same year he accepted his first assignment as associate pastor at St. Andrew's in Abilene, where he served with Monsignor Roache for four years. In April 1956, he went to Immaculate Conception in Solomon, also serving the parishes of Solomon and Niles.
Over the course of the next 30 years Father Kramer served the parishes of St. Columba, Elmo, St. Philip, Hope, the St. Robert Ballaramine Student Center at KSU, St. Patrick's in Ogden, St. Francis Xavier in Junction City, St. Mary Help of Christians in Gorham with Dorrance, and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Hays. In May of 1987 he became the State Chaplain for the Daughters of Isabella. After retiring in July of 1997, he lived in Hays, later moving to New Horizons assisted living residence. On Sept. 3, 2008, he moved to St. John's in Victoria.
Father Kramer remains popular with former parishioners even 14 years after his retirement.
Many of his friends and ex-parishioners visit him often. Children from Holy Family School color him pictures for his bulletin board, and the employees at St. John's even put another bulletin board in his room to show off all the artwork.
Father Kramer enjoys all aspects of religion, but can find humor even in so serious a subject. In addition to participating in a number of ongoing activities at St. John's, Father Kramer is a regular at Mass, which he also appreciates. Employees at St. John's says he has a terrific sense of humor, is fairly soft spoken and a pleasure to visit with as he teases and jokes.
"I have the utmost respect for him," says Judy Dreiling, social services director. "I really enjoy this gentleman - he is kind, patient, and a good person."
"Father Kramer is such a blessing to St. John's Victoria," adds Dave Karlin, CEO. "He has both a reassuring and calming presence. We are grateful he chose to live at St. John's Victoria."