John Luers

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Styles of
John Henry Luers
Mitre plain 2.png
Reference styleThe Most Reverend
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleMonsignor
Posthumous stylenot applicable
John Henry Luers from Who-When-What Book, 1900

John Henry Luers (September 29, 1819 – June 29, 1871) was nominated first bishop of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and consecrated in Cincinnati, Ohio, 10 January 1858.

Luers was born near Münster, Westphalia and emigrated to America in 1831. He was ordained a priest in Cincinnati on November 11, 1846. Entering upon the administration of the new diocese, he devoted himself zealously to the founding of new parishes and missions, provided a home for the orphans, and built a cathedral. His endeavours were substantially assisted by his diocesan priest Eduard König. Via his connections to German priests, especially Heinrich Spaller of Gelsenkirchen, he negotiated since 1866 for members of a German religious congregation, namely the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ (PHJC) of Dernbach / Westerwald to come to the USA. The members of this community were widely known for their thorough training in nursing and schooling. In Germany they were among the very first nursing sisters who received training from a university trained medic instead, as it was thence usual, only from fellow nurses. On August 24, 1868 the first sisters of this congregation settled in Hessen Casssel, in his diocese. Bishop Luers was very impressed by their work. In due course he encouraged the congregation to send more sisters. This happened in 1869, 1872, 1873, 1875 and 1885. Already in the second year of their arrival (1869) locals joined the congregation, being impressed by their example of work, attitude and charism. With these undertakings, Bishop Luers lay ground for a regional system of schools and a medical system. He fostered their endeavours throughout his lifetime. This positive supportive attitude was continued by his successor in office Joseph Gregory Dwenger.

In June, 1871, during a vacancy of the see of Diocese of Cleveland, he was called to that city to confer ordination on a number of seminarians. After the function, on his way to the train, he suffered an apoplectic stroke and fell dead. At the time of Bishop Luers' death, there were, in the Diocese of Fort Wayne, 69 priests, 75 churches, 10 chapels, one hospital, one orphan asylum, one college, 11 academies for girls, 40 parochial schools, and a Catholic population estimated at 50,000.

The Franciscan order founded Bishop Luers High School in 1958 in Fort Wayne which currently enrolls approximately 550 students.


  • Catholic Encyclopedia Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 6, (Robert Appleton Company, 1909),
  • The Diocese of Fort Wayne, 1857—September 22—1907, A Book of Historical Reference, 1669-1907 by the Rt. Rev. H. J. Alerding. Fort Wayne: The Archer Printing Co. 1907.
  • Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Bishop of Fort Wayne
Succeeded by
Joseph Dwenger

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "article name needed". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.