Father Don Kocher
Father Don was raised in Naperville on a 250 acre dairy farm located at Route 59 and North Aurora Road. He is the eldest of six boys and four girls. Father farmed with his dad for three years after high school. In 1951, since he was about to be drafted, Father Don enlisted in the U.S. Air Force for four years. That tour of duty took him to New York State, Texas, Illinois, California, Greenland and Guam.
Upon his discharge Father attended the University of Illinois--Champaign for two years in the College of Engineering, after which he finally succumbed to a call that had haunted him during his Air Force years. In June of 1957 he began a six year study for the priesthood in the Diocese of Joliet at Conception Abbey in Missouri.
Since his ordination in 1963, Father Don has served in three parishes as Parochial Vicar and in four parishes as Pastor. Now retired, he had been blessed with the chaplaincy for 120 developmentally handicapped men at Good Shepherd Manor in Momence, Illinois for the five years preceding his arrival at St. Joan of Arc as senior priest in residence. Father believes he has now been called to offer the abilities the Lord has given him to the people of St. Joan of Arc parish. He appreciates the warm welcome he has been given and hopes that parishioners will continue to feel the same way throughout whatever time God grants him at the parish. Father Don wants parishioners to know that he will be praying for them each day and asks that they do the same for him.