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Fr. Ken's Story

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Dateline: Mount St. Francis, Indiana
November 1, 2017
Fr. Ken Gering OFM Conv. 89 years of age died Wednesday November 1, 2017 at Baptist Health Floyd. With his soft voice and gentle manner he followed the example of St. Francis of Assisi in bringing the peace of Christs Good News to all he encountered. He was born Kenneth Louis Gering on November 16, 1927 in Louisville, Kentucky to Leonard and Anna (Spath) Gering. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother Donald. Fr. Ken was very close to his family, both near and far and is survived by his brother Robert, sisters JoAnn Miller and Mary Rose Gaus Brown and many nieces and nephews. He received the religious name Columban, and professed Simple Vows on July 9, 1952, and Solemn Vows on July 11, 1955. He was ordained a priest on February 23, 1958. He graduated from St. Xavier High School in 1945 and attended the University of Louisville before joining the U.S. Navy. After his service he completed an engineering degree and entered the Conventual Franciscan Order in 1951. As a newly ordained priest, he served at St. Anthonys Parish in Louisville until 1960 when he began a 13-year assignment as Dean and science teacher at the minor seminary at Mount St. Francis in southern Indiana. In 1973 he began the second phase of his Franciscan service when he was assigned as a hospital chaplain in Chicago Heights, Illinois. Except for two brief parish assignments, that would be his focus for the rest of his life. He went on to serve as a chaplain in Lansing, Michigan and Terre Haute and New Albany Indiana. Fr. Gering also served as chaplain to the Knights of Columbus in Harrison County and New Albany, Indiana, and for the Legion of Mary in New Albany. He found his niche when he became a chaplain, said Fr. Jim Kent OFM Conv. He was attentive to the person and family even after they left the hospital. He visited them in their own homes, nursing facilities, and funeral homes. He would work 40 hours in his regular ministries, and then spend another 20 hours visiting other places. For pictures and stories of Fr. Gerings Franciscan service, please visit the OLC Province website at franciscansusa.org
A wake service will be held on Thursday November 9th, at 7:00 pm in the Chapel at Mount St. Francis, Indiana. His Funeral Liturgy will be held Friday November 10th, at 11:00 am in the Chapel followed by interment with Full Military Honors in the Friars cemetery. Memorial gifts may be made by mail to the Province of Our Lady of Consolation, 103 St. Francis Boulevard, Mount St. Francis, Indiana 47146.
Published on November 5, 2017
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