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Vincent Joseph Hatt

July 8, 2022 | 55 comments

“The only thing that matters now is the mercy of God,” wrote Vince Hatt about his coming death. “I have complete confidence in God’s mercy.”

Vincent Joseph Hatt, 82, of La Crosse, passed away Wednesday, July 6th, 2022 at the Mayo Clinic Methodist Hospital in Rochester, MN, aware of the love of his wife Janice and many relatives and friends.

Vincent Joseph (Vince) Hatt was born November 25th, 1939, the first child of Vincent C. Hatt and Grace Cira Hatt. He has four siblings, Linda Lundhal, David, Roseanne (Lon) Ewing, and Graceanne (Wayne) Hatt. He married Janice Mary Greiner on September 4th, 1995, at Roncalli Newman parish.

He was preceded in death by his parents and brother David.

A funeral mass will be held on Monday, July 18th, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. at the Roncalli Newman Catholic Church, 1732 State St., La Crosse.  Father Billy Dodge will celebrate with Msgr Russell Bleich and Father Ardel Barta concelebrating.  Visitations will be held on Sunday, July 17th, 2022 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at The Gathering Place, 133 Mason St., Onalaska and also on Monday at the church from 9:30 a.m. until the time of mass.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to The Franciscan Spirituality Scholarship Fund or What I Need Now (WINN) non-profit.

Click here to view Vince’s memorial video 



  1. Sue Graf

    You are in my prayers, Janice. Vince was a wonderful volunteer at the Hospitality House when I worked there. Vince was so happy to know that I continued to care unsheltered through WINN. He was a kind and compassionate man and I was blessed to call him my friend.

    • Raymond Fuller


      • Kathryn Brown

        I’m sorry to hear of Vinces death. The Family has my deepest condolences. Very upset that I’m unable to attend the visitations and funeral.

  2. Mary Thompson

    Vince was a wonderful man who shared his numerous gifts with so many. He will be missed! Prayers and love to Janice. He sure fought the good fight. May the angels lead him into paradise!

  3. Mark Stahlhut

    What a great man. My life, the La Crosse community and the world are all better because of him. Well done good and faithful servant.

  4. joyce blum

    Your witness to me asFranciscan were
    always recd with so much gratitude.
    Joyce Blum, C.Bluffs

  5. Theresa Schneyer

    You will truly be missed Vince. You were a true and faithful servant. Rest In Peace. Love you

    • Joe and Barb McGrane

      Janice we send our love and sympathy to you and all of his family. Vince was a friend, spiritual advisor, advocate for so many. We are grateful to have known and been blessed by him these many years.

  6. Mary Morrissey


  7. Helen Connolly

    Much love & daily prayers to you, dear Jan.
    He fought the good fight and he won the race.
    I will miss him very often.

  8. Kathy Roberg

    I am so sorry to hear this. Vince was a man totally committed to Gospel living, and was not afraid to speak up for peace and justice. He will be missed. Sr. Kathy Roberg, FSPA

  9. Peggy Lake Keller

    Hugs to you Janice! He was a kind and encouraging educator. I’ve always felt that I was so blessed to be his student. His words of advice and encouragement, from all those years ago, have assisted me numerous times in my life.

  10. Nancy Miller, O.S.F.

    Vince was a kind, compassionate gentleman. I am grateful for his pastoral care to my family especially at the time of my mother’s death.

  11. Cheryl

    I feel so blessed that we were companions on the journey, Vince. You will forever be in my heart, RIP.

  12. Bridget Olson

    Vince Hatt has been and will continue to be one of my spiritual mentors. Thank you, Vince.

    • marita HOffart

      Vance was a gentle soul, very much in love with his God and God’s people! I meet him at a weekend for the Spiritual Direction Preparation Program.

  13. Katherine Krage

    You’re still comforting us by teaching the holy real. Thanks for the assignments.

  14. Jackie Duffy

    Dear Janice,
    I am so sorry for your loss of your dear husband, Vince. I only had a brief time to get to know him, but I knew he was a very special man with a big heart and immense faith.
    May the Lord be waiting for him with open arms to enter eternal life and may the Lord bless you and hold you as grieve your immense loss.
    Jackie & Tim

  15. Jan Schneider

    Janice, I met Vince while he was at Franciscan Spirituality Center. I felt Vince
    was a gental & careing man. Please accept my deepest sympathy.

    Jan Schneider

  16. Sheila Garrity

    Vince Hatt will be missed by so many people. Vince patiently guided many of us personally, as well a community-wide audience through his insightful writing, always sharing his confidence in God’s love, understanding and mercy.

    Rest in Peace, Vince. I am grateful for your friendship. May you now enjoy your reward for an extraordinarly well-lived life, one filled with love, compassion and good humor.

    Janice, my heart is with you.

  17. Pamela Harstad

    I had the opportunity of having Vince teach during my SDPP classes. He was insightful, helpful, and at times a bit humorous during his presentations. He even had his wife bring a few of her rabbits for those of us who wanted to see them while we stayed at the center being out of town guests. Once while staying at the Radisson, I saw him at a breakfast table with his morning group and he made the effort to come over to my table and talk. I recently read the beginning of his new book. I could related to it and it was so well done.

  18. Dave and Donna Kampa

    What a wonderful individual God has placed on earth for the rest of us who were blessed to be in at least one of his classes. He was not only a wonderful teacher but a forever friend. We are going to miss Vince so much.

  19. Diane Vaaler Withers

    Vince, through his own personal trials, truly became a wounded healer for so many! His warmth and smile “spoke” of God’s Love. His commitment to the church and to the broader community was so constant. He has set a high bar for the rest of us on our journey with Christ. May Janice be comforted in these difficult days of loss. May Vince continue to pray for us all!!

  20. John O Hempstead

    Thank you for sharing your life with us, Vince!

  21. Karen ( Lynch)Miller

    What a wonderful human Vince was. He was so very kind to our family when our Mother, Donna Lynch, passed away. I’m sure My parents ( and so many others ) were there to greet him in Heaven ❤️
    His spirit was welcomed with open arms !!
    Glad to have know him for sure !!

  22. Tim Brennan

    Vince always had an infectious smile and a love of life, and all things good. He showed himself to be a spiritual man, without even talking about it. And Vince’s columns showed his faith, common sense, and wisdom. Vince’s involvement with those things he believed in, enjoyed, and shared with others, have been appreciated by all those that knew him and knew of him. My condolences to Vince’s family. He had a positive affect in all who knew him.

  23. Emily Klug

    To Vince’s Family,
    You have my prayers and sincere condolences. I never formally met Vince, but I read his published columns in the the La Crosse Tribune. I have to agree with the the following words shared by Sheila Garrity,

    “Vince Hatt will be missed by so many people. Vince patiently guided many of us personally, as well a community-wide audience through his insightful writing, always sharing his confidence in God’s love, understanding and mercy.”

    Thank you Vince for your words of wisdom that you shared so very often. RIP with your Lord and Savior.

  24. Violeta Abitia

    Precious Janice,
    I have been holding Vince in my heart and memory for a while now.
    Today I read the news of his journey to the stars.
    I treasure having met you both.
    I am not able to come to the funeral mass. I am however embracing you both from afar.
    Bless you my dearest.

  25. Gerry Cox

    May he rest in peace! I got to know Vince with the River City Running Club. I enjoyed his talks while we ran though often he was much faster than I was. Our oldest son who was a Holy Cross priest at Notre Dame worked with the sisters there in La Crosse while he was stationed in Goodyear, Arizona at St. Vianney parish. Vince was very hospitable when he visited La Crosse. I enjoyed his talks. He was a special person who made a real difference in his time on earth.

    • Sister Marge Burkle

      Holding you, Janice, in my thoughts and prayers during these days of letting go. Loved the times Vince shared with our OSF Sisters and the talks we shared on our journey. He made a difference in the lives of so many -in my life.

  26. Glenn Borreson

    My heartfelt sympathy. I am a Lutheran who knew Vince Hatt only by his thoughtful, kind, and compassionate pieces that would appear in the paper occasionally. Those will be missed; he will be missed. Peace.

  27. Mary Lee Kerrigan

    Vince, on his last marathon into heavenly reward. God bless.

  28. Patty Manuel

    Janice, my prayers and thoughts are with you during your great loss. While I didn’t know Vince as well as I wish I would have, I do know his kindness, beautiful smile and his immense faith will be missed. You will certainly be well taken care of with Vince sending his love from Heaven. Hugs to you!

    • Mark Sinnwell

      Prayers from Waterloo Iowa Vince was one of the first priests’ that I remember at St.John’s/St.Nick’s. What a very kind man. let eternal life shine upon him may he rest in peace

  29. Elaine George

    Vince was a truly wonderful human being in a world that has too few of them. I am sorry that he died but grateful that he lived to teach all of us what it means to be a Christian.

  30. Peggy Johnson

    The last time I spoke to Vince was at the FSPA Mission Assembly in June, when I introduced him to a former student. I said, “This is Vince, and he walks on water.” And that was true: Vince was the closest person to Jesus I’ve ever known. As my spiritual director (for over 20 years!) and friend, his impact on my spiritual growth was enormous. I miss him terribly.

  31. Janice Munson

    To Janice, From Janice.
    Please accept the condolences from my family over your loss.

  32. Betsy & Bob Frank

    Thank you Vince and Janice, for being such kind and thoughtful neighbors to our son Nathan and his family. We are so grateful for your friendship. Any mention of Vince and Janice, lights up Aspyn’s and Cason’s face.
    Bob & Betsy Frank

  33. Rev. John Herzog

    I never did like the phrase “Rest in peace”since I believe full union with God means intense activity. But with so many things it is not either or but both and. I got to kmow Vince a little better during a diocesan clergy t Hrip to support
    Dubuque priests staffing a parish in Bolivia. His column in the paper was great. I admired his wisdom and courage.

  34. The Hoban family

    Janice, Sorry to hear the news.

  35. Sister Bonnie PHJC/JD

    Janice, I am so sorry for your loss. Vince was a good friend of mine. I was thinking about him today and was surprised when I googled to find his obit. Such a good and holy man.

  36. teresa fabert

    Janice, my heartfelt condolences to you & Vince’s family. A wonderful kind man. Thinking of you at this time.

  37. Sue and Vern Bovy!!

    Janice – We are shocked to hear about Vince! We had many good volleyball marathons with him and friends! Also remember coming to visit you and Vince!! (Also your many rabbits)! Praying for to find comfort at this difficult time! Always loved getting his words of wisdom at Christmas time! I didn’t do cards this past Christmas!

  38. Judy and Ed Swafford

    Janice and family

    Deepest sympathies at the loss of Vince, your husband, friend and love.. May you find comfort in knowing he has left lasting words for people to read and reread, helped people find direction that changed their lives and helped them grow in Gods love and mercy. You have great strength and have a tremendous family with you on Monday and after. God readied you for these days and so did Vince.

    Ed and I plan to visit during one of our trips to Wisconsin or Minnesota, maybe this Fall 2022. We would love to connect with you.

    Peace be with you and your family

    Judy, Ed and Michael

  39. Tom Langr

    Vince guided my early teaching career for 7 wonderful years. His leadership made a deep impact on my 46 years in education. The world will miss his presence.

  40. Pat Kinney

    I knew Vince when he was “Father Hatt” and taught at Columbus High School in Waterloo, Iowa. He was a gentle, humble man who clearly had some life experiences and was very approachable. We just clicked. He came to Columbus when I was a freshman and joked that he thought we should graduate together:) And I went to him for advice when I was struggling years after high school. Just a really really good man who happened to be a priest. I’d lost touch with him over the years but reading these condolences fills my heat and I can tell you this is, in heart and soul, the same Vince Hatt I knew as a high school student and a young man. My sincerest condolences to everyone who knew him, benefited from his good spirit and wit and supported and loved him. And I’m so happy he found love. It didn’t matter what kind of collar he wore – blue, white or Roman – It’s clear Vince Hatt was a true servant of his God and his brothers and sisters in humanity.

  41. Jacquie K McTaggart

    Vince made this world a better place. He will not be forgotten.

  42. Teresa Rhodes

    He was one of the best teachers I ever had. His kindness and insight were pure grace.

  43. Mary & Don Parker

    So many happy memories from knowing Vince at Holy Ghost in Dubuque, and from his saying our wedding Mass. Peace to you, Janice, and thank you for all the joyo you added to his life! Rest in peace, Vince!

  44. Jane Gates

    Vince was a wonderful man! Thinking of you all! Jane Schultz Gates

  45. Gary Theisen

    Sorry for your loss Janice! God’s comforts and help will be with you in these day’s and friends.

  46. Vince & Betty Vanden Heuvel

    We have followed Vince where ever he went since his time at Holy Ghost. We hope that now he will follow us in his new heavenly place.
    Vince’s love was never divided. It continued to multiply because so many, many people loved this man no matter how, why or when they made contact with him.
    With Vince, love is forever. May we all continue to carry the gift of his love with us.

  47. Ruth Elsbury

    “I have done my best in the race, I have run the full distance, and I have kept the faith. And now there is waiting for me the victory prize of being put right with God, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that day – and not only me, but to all those who wait with love for him to appear.” Timothy:6-8. Thinking of you Janice, during this difficult time, hugs. Ruth & Jerry Elsbury

  48. Amy Masterson

    Heartfelt condolences to you and your family Janice. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  49. Mary Beth Collins

    Dear Janice,
    I called the Franciscan Center for your phone number as I wanted to send Vince several of his books for autographs. They informed me of his death, and I am so sad. I hoped he would live forever as he was one of the most intelligent, kindest, funniest people I know. I am sending you hugs and prayers from Virginia and hope to deliver in person one day. I know he’s in good company with his mom and dad and David, but we will surely miss him here on earth until we meet again.

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