Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

Alumni Obituaries

Fr. John Zahn

Father John H. Zahn, 74, a priest of the Lafayette diocese for 45 years, died Sunday Aug. 27 at his home in Lafayette. 


John H. Zahn was born Feb. 12, 1943, in Lafayette, to Charles E. and Catherine (Kessen) Zahn. He has one younger sister, Mary Alice Bloom, (husband Joseph) of Lafayette who survives. Also surviving are two nieces, Shannon M. Campbell (husband David) and Kelly A. Munn (husband Shaun) both of Lafayette; two great nephews and three great nieces. The family moved to Frankfort when he was 2 years old. 

He attended Frankfort High School, Indiana University in Bloomington, and Oakland City College in southern Indiana, before entering Saint Meinrad Seminary. 

Father Zahn was ordained May 27, 1972, by Bishop Gallagher at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Lafayette. 

He had served as a deacon at St. Patrick Parish in Kokomo and, after his ordination to the priesthood, was reassigned there for six years. In 1977, he was named associate pastor of St. Ambrose, Anderson; and in 1978, associate pastor of Blessed Sacrament, West Lafayette, where he worked again with high school ministry.

Father Zahn’s first pastorate came in 1984 at St. Mary, Union City, while also being named administrator of St. Joseph Winchester. In 1994, he was named pastor of St. Joseph, Rochester, and administrator of St. Ann, Kewanna. He made five trips to Haiti while he was in Rochester because the parish was involved in the Haitian Twinning Project .

 In 2000, he became pastor of All Saints Logansport and administrator of St. Elizabeth Lucerne. While at All Saints, he offered weekly Masses in Spanish and a Sunday evening Life Teen Mass. He was named associate pastor of Our Lady of Grace, Noblesville in 2002. In 2011, Father Zahn became chaplain at Cathedral High School, Indianapolis, with residence at Holy Spirit Parish in Fishers.