December 16, 2022

Ordained at age 59, Father Harold Rightor served in parishes for 10 years

By Sean Gallagher

Father Harold Rightor IIFather Harold Rightor II, a retired archdiocesan priest, died on Dec. 9 at Franciscan Health in Indianapolis. He was 79.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Dec. 15 at St. Joseph Church, 1401 S. Mickley Ave., in Indianapolis. Burial will follow at Washington Park East Cemetery, 10612 E. Washington St., in Indianapolis.

Archbishop Charles C. Thompson is scheduled to be the principal celebrant of the funeral Mass. Father Robert Hausladen, pastor of St. Joseph Parish and of St. Susanna Parish in Plainfield, is scheduled to be the homilist.

Raised in the Lutheran faith, Father Rightor was received into the full communion of the Church in 1991 at the age of 48. Just a few years later, he was accepted as a seminarian for the archdiocese.

“It wasn’t a case of being unhappy in the Lutheran Church,” said Father Rightor in a 2002 interview with The Criterion just prior to his ordination as a priest. “It was really God speaking to me in my heart. I’ve always been an open person.”

“Ministry was always sort of in the background,” he said in the interview, “and then it just seems like the Lord led me along the path he wanted me to, and when I joined the Catholic Church, wow, things just really went from one thing to the other at a pretty decent pace.”

At the time of his ordination, Father Rightor was looking forward to ministering to the faithful in parishes across central and southern Indiana.

“I truly love working with people and helping people,” he said. “When you’re very approachable, you can really win people over. Or they’ll come to you, and they’ll come to the Lord.”

Harold Warren Rightor II was born on Feb. 28, 1943, in Beech Grove to the late Harold Rightor, Sr., and Mary (Fisher) Rightor.

He graduated from Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis in 1961.

Before becoming a seminarian, Father Rightor worked in several jobs in Indianapolis. He also used his vocal talents in several musical productions in the city and was the director and member of the Jubilation Singers, which sang in several churches.

As an archdiocesan seminarian, he received priestly formation at Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, where he earned a bachelor’s degree; Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wis.; and Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in

St. Meinrad, where he earned a master’s of divinity degree.

Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein ordained him a priest on June 29, 2002, in SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis. Father Rightor celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving the following day at St. Ann Church in Indianapolis.

His first pastoral assignment was as associate pastor of Holy Spirit Parish in Indianapolis, where he served from 2002-04.

Father Rightor led the former St. Martin Parish in Yorkville and the former St. Paul Parish in New Alsace from 2004-07. He was administrator of the two faith communities in 2004 and was their pastor from 2005-07. He was also sacramental minister of the former St. Mary-of-the-Rock Parish from 2005-07.

In 2007, Father Rightor was appointed pastor of St. Mark the Evangelist Parish in Indianapolis. That same year, his ministry assignment was changed, and he served as associate pastor of St. Joseph Parish and St. Ann Parish, both in Indianapolis.

Beginning in 2009, Father Rightor served as pastor of Annunciation Parish in Brazil and the former Holy Rosary Parish in Seeleyville.

He retired from active ministry in 2012.

He is survived by two sisters, Sharon Larmore and Carol Steindorf, and a brother, Jimmy Rightor. †

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