In Memory of Fr. Harold Gott

Harold P. Gott, otherwise known as Father Camillus, passed away on June 20, 2023, in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Camillus was born on May 11, 1932, having lived 91 years of life, 71 years in vows, 63 years of priesthood and 11 years as a U.S. Army chaplain from 1986-1994.

Friar Camillus (Harold) Gott entered eternal life on June 20, 2023 at Mesilla Valley Hospice in Las Cruces, NM. Friar Camillus was 91 years old; he had been a professed Conventual Franciscan for 71 years and a priest for 63 years.

Friar Camillus was preceded in death by his parents, Harold Jasper Gott and Margaret Mary Carlin Gott, and his brother, Michael Jameson Gott. Harold Patrick Gott was born on May 11th, 1932 in Hollywood, CA. From a young age Harold knew the Conventual Franciscan Friars as he grew up in Pismo Beach, CA. After graduation from the Mt. St. Francis Minor Seminary in 1951, Harold entered St. Anthony Novitiate in Angola, Indiana and received the name, Camillus. He professed first vows on July 9 1952. He was ordained a priest at St. Paul Cathedral in 1960. The following year, he received a Masters degree in History from the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana.

Friar Camillus served in a variety of ministries during his 63 years of priesthood: teacher, vicar provincial, initial formation director, retreat presenter, and military chaplain in Indiana, Hawaii, Kentucky, Minnesota, Texas, Georgia, Washington, DC and New Mexico. From the 1980s onwards, friar Camillus served as the team priest for numerous retreat programs sponsored by Worldwide Marriage Encounter.

A Vigil Service will take place at the Chapel at Mt. St. Francis Center for Spirituality, at 7 pm on Sunday, July 16; the Mass of Christian Burial will take place at the Mount Chapel at 11:30 am on Monday, July 17. Burial of friar Camillus’ ashes will take place in the province cemetery afterwards. Chaplain Gott was an avid historian. While he was stationed at Fort McPherson in Atlanta in 1992 he designed the monument to Chaplain Milton Haney who was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism at the Battle of Atlanta in 1864. The monument is currently at the side entrance to the Army’s Institute for Religious Leadership at Fort Jackson, S.C.

A memorial mass for Camillus was held on Wednesday, June 28, 2023 at the Holy Cross Retreat Center, 600 Holy Cross Road.