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Retired priest buried at home parish

Father Godfrey Meiergerd

An Archdiocese of Omaha priest who served rural parishes for more than 50 years was buried Feb. 4 in the rural cemetery of his home parish in Cuming County.

Father Godfrey Meiergerd died Jan. 31 at the St. Joseph Retirement Community in West Point where he had lived since 1998. He was 88.

Archbishop Elden Francis Curtiss presided at Father Meiergerd's funeral Mass at St. Mary Church in West Point. Father Frank Lordemann, senior associate pastor at St. Mary Parish, gave the homily. Burial was at the St. Aloysius Cemetery at Aloys.

Father Gerald Gonderinger, pastor of St. Mary Parish, presided at the wake service Feb. 3.

Ray Meiergerd of West Point, one of three surviving brothers, said his brother was known for work he did in establishing endowments for education and parishes. His real joy, however, was serving people and "being a priest period."

That dedication to serving people was evident even after Father Meiergerd retired in 1994 to Marianna, a priests' retirement settlement near Cedar Bluffs. He continued to assist when needed at area parishes, his brother said, and became chaplain of St. Joseph Retirement Community in West Point when he moved there in 1998. He served in that role until failing health forced him to give up those duties three years ago.

When he celebrated Mass at St. Joseph Retirement Center, Father Gonderinger said he would visit with Father Meiergerd, who would often speak German. "I'd get my daily German quiz," said Father Gonderinger.

The son of Edward and Anna Meiergerd, Father Meiergerd grew up near Aloys and attended St. Aloysius School. He also attended St. Lawrence School in Mt. Calvary, Wis., and was ordained in 1942 after completing his studies at Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis. He also received a Master of Arts degree from the University of Nebraska.

His first assignment was as assistant pastor at St. Mary Parish in West Point, where he served for seven years. In 1949, he was named pastor of the former St. James Parish near Wynot.

He moved to Lindsay in 1954, serving as pastor at Holy Family Parish there until 1970, when he returned to West Point and served as pastor at St. Mary Parish until 1983.

Before retiring in 1994, he served as pastor of St. Lawrence Parish in Scribner and St. Rose of Lima Parish in Hooper.

Among honors he received were the Omaha Archdiocese Board of Education Award and the Boys Town Outstanding Citizen Award.

In addition to his brother, Ray, who lives in West Point, Father Meiergerd is survived by two other brothers, Aloysius and Edward Jr., both of Dodge, and one sister, Ludovica Baumert of West Point.

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