Father John J. Butler, a teacher and chaplain, dies at age 88

Father Butler

Father Butler

Father John J. Butler, a retired priest of the Archdiocese of Louisville and an educator, died on June 7. He was 88 years old.

Father Butler, a native of Louisville, was ordained to the priesthood on May 8, 1954, and served as associate pastor of St. Aloysius Church in Pewee Valley, Ky., from 1954 to 1958.

He taught at Trinity High School from 1954 to 1965 and 1970 to 1975 and served as assistant principal from 1960 to 1965. From 1965 to 1970, Father Butler taught at St. Thomas Seminary. He served as its principal from 1968 to 1970.

The majority of his teaching life was spent at Sacred Heart Academy, where he taught from 1976 to 1997, when he retired from teaching.

He also served as a chaplain for the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville for 43 years, beginning in 1970.

In a 2013 tribute to Father Butler, the Ursuline Sisters estimated that he celebrated more than 15,000 Masses for the sisters. The sisters also said he earned the title of “Honorary Ursuline.”

He is survived by a brother, William Butler.

Visitation will be June 13 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Ursuline Motherhouse Chapel, 3115 Lexington Road.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on June 14 in the Motherhouse Chapel. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery.

Father Butler requested memorial gifts be made to the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville, Mission Advancement Office, 3105 Lexington Road, Louisville, Ky., 40206.

1 Comment

  • Father Butler taught my English during my time as a high school student at Sacred Heart Academy in the 1980s. Like many of the teachers at Sacred Heart Academy, he was a pivotal influence in my academic life. He not only shaped my love of the English language, but he inspired me to achieve more as a person. As the founder and CEO of my own global publishing platform as well as a professional journalist, writer and editor, I am grateful for everything that Father Butler taught me about life and the pursuit of excellence.

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