Eugene John Gerber

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His Excellency the Most Reverend
Eugene J. Gerber
Bishop Emeritus of Wichita
Church Catholic Church
See Wichita
In office February 9, 1983–October 4, 2001
Predecessor David M. Maloney
Successor Thomas J. Olmsted
Orders
Ordination May 19, 1959
by Mark K. Carroll
Consecration December 14, 1976
by David M. Maloney
Personal details
Born (1931-04-30) April 30, 1931 (age 83)
Kingman, Kansas
Alma mater

Eugene John Gerber (born April 30, 1931) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Dodge City from 1976 to 1982, and Bishop of Wichita from 1982 to 2001.

Early life and education[edit]

Eugene Gerber was born in Kingman, Kansas, to Cornelius and Lena (née Tiesmeyer) Gerber. The fourth of seven children, he has two brothers, Jerome and Larry, and four sisters, Kathleen, Helen, Leola, and Joan.[1] At his baptism on May 1, 1931, the officiating priest predicted to Gerber's father, "Some day this boy will become a priest!"[1] He was raised on a farm in Waterloo, and entered Immaculate Conception Seminary in Conception, Missouri, in 1945. Two years later, he transferred to Kingman High School, where he was known as a Frank Sinatra look-alike and graduated in 1949.[1]

Gerber studied accounting at Wichita State University before returning to Immaculate Conception Seminary. In May 1955, he graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Denver, Colorado, from where he obtained a B.A. in Philosophy (1955), a M.A. in Religious Education (1958), and a Bachelor's in Sacred Theology through the seminary's affiliation with the Catholic University of America. He became a subdeacon and later deacon in 1958.

Priesthood[edit]

Gerber was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Mark Carroll on May 19, 1959, and then served as an associate pastor at St. Anne Church and Church of the Magdalen in Wichita. In 1962, he became an instructor at Notre Dame High School, teaching algebra and religion, and working as a guidance counselor. He also served as moderator of the Catholic Youth Organization.

In May 1963, Gerber was named Assistant Chancellor for the Diocese of Wichita and associate pastor of Holy Savior Church. He also earned a Bachelor's Education from Wichita State in June 1963. In addition to his role as Assistant Chancellor, Gerber became secretary to Bishop Leo Bryne and associate pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Church in August 1964. He was later made Vice Chancellor of the diocese (1965), business manager of the diocesan newspaper (1967), and associate pastor at St. Mary Cathedral (1968).

In 1969, Gerber was appointed to the Governing Board of the Holy Family Center for the mentally disabled. He became diocesan director of the Cursillo movement in 1970, and diocesan Chancellor in 1973. Continuing as Chancellor, he served as pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church from 1973 to 1975.

In October 1975, he was sent to Rome to undertake his postgraduate studies in theology and Scripture. He received a Licentiate of Sacred Theology summa cum laude from the Angelicum. Upon his return to the United States in February 1976, he resumed his work as Chancellor, as well as becoming chaplain to the Sisters of St. Joseph and Vicar for Religious.

Episcopal career[edit]

Bishop of Dodge City[edit]

On October 16, 1976, Gerber was appointed the third Bishop of Dodge City by Pope Paul VI. He received his episcopal consecration on the following December 14 from Bishop David Maloney, with Bishops Marion Forst and Richard Hanifen serving as co-consecrators. After Ignatius J. Strecker, Gerber is the second native of the Wichita diocese to become a bishop.

He was formally installed as Bishop the next day, on December 15, at the Dodge City Civic Center. He served on the National Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee on Parish Renewal for four years.

Bishop of Wichita[edit]

Gerber was later named the sixth Bishop of Wichita on November 17, 1982. Within the next twenty days, both of his parents died.[1] Gerber was installed on February 9, 1983.

He received Thomas J. Olmsted as a coadjutor bishop in April 1999, and resigned as Bishop on October 4, 2001. He has since served as a chaplain to the Discalced Carmelite Sisters and as a spiritual director for priests.

During his tenure, he served on the National Council of Catholic Bishops(NCCB) Ad Hoc Committee for Parish Renewal; the NCCB Committee on the Permanent Diaconate; two terms on the Administrative Board of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, representing Region IX; on the NCCB Liaison Committee with the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR); the Communications Committee; the Pastoral Research and Practices Committee; the Liaison Committee with NC News; the NCCB Pro-Life Committee; Committee for Women in Society and the Church; and the Ad Hoc Committee on Stewardship. Locally, Bishop Gerber served on the Board of Directors for the Wichita Urban League, the Board of Via Christi Health Systems, HopeNet, Kansas Foodbank Warehouse, Inc., and Wichita Grand Opera.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "'Some day this boy will become a priest'". The Catholic Advance. 2001-12-14. 
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Marion Francis Forst
Bishop of Dodge City
1976–1982
Succeeded by
Stanley Girard Schlarman
Preceded by
David Monas Maloney
Bishop of Wichita
1982–2001
Succeeded by
Thomas J. Olmsted