Laurian Rausch, OFM
Fr. Laurian Rausch was quite a character, as his Brown & White intro indicates:
œFr. Laurian is a native of West Lafayette, Indiana. And he insists on the "west" part of it. Ever since his ordination eleven years ago, Father has been at Roger Bacon High School; actually, he still is a member of the Bacon faculty. The only subject he teaches at the seminary is senior physics. His main jobs are physics teacher and business manager at Roger Bacon.
As you might imagine, he is a pretty busy man handling all these different tasks; and, as you might not imagine, his favorite pastime is reminding people of this fact. His physics classes are interspersed with important information about the tremendous quantity of work he does, how much he improves from year to year, and how courageously he carries on through life.
Subsequently, Fr. Laurian worked full-time at Roger Bacon for a few years and then returned to St. Francis in the '70s to serve as rector and to teach Geometry. Laurian took a simple, practical approach to math: "Equals added to equals is equals." He also enjoyed camping, and was known for his hair-scorching campfires. "You can never use too much lighter fluid." His other hobbies included boating (fast ones) and smoking big stogies (yuck).
Laurian took charge at the farm after the sixties, and he imposed a new, stricter order (from haircuts to dress code to removal of "oddball ornaments" like peace signs/gold chains). If you didn't know Laurian well, you probably tried to avoid crossing his path... but he was truly one of those individuals of whom it's said to know him is to love him.
Mike Thomas (SFS '74) recently wrote to the alumni association:
I don't remember the exact details, but just an idea of what a good man Fr. Laurian was. My senior year at the farm was one of personal turmoil. As the year was coming to an end and we seniors were getting ready for graduation, Fr. Laurian came into the junior/senior lounge one evening. I was sitting at one of the tables addressing some invitations or some such thing and "Beanhead" sat down beside me. I thought, "Oh sh--, what did I do?" He proceeded to talk very kindly with me and expressed concern and compassion in a way I sure didn't expect to ever hear from him. Only after years away from the fold did I come to understand the depth of love that man had for the "kids" who were in his sphere of influence. I hadn't thought of this in years and now I am misty-eyed. We were given a great gift from God by being under the influence of these men. Thank you, Lord.
Fr. Laurian died of cancer shortly after retiring from teaching.