Fr. Ken's Story
Fr. Ken Gering OFM Conv., 89, of Mount St. Francis, died Wednesday, Nov. 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 Christ's Good News to all he encountered. He was born Kenneth Louis Gering on Nov. 16, 1927, in Louisville, Ky., 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 Feb. 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. Anthony's 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. 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, Mich., and Terre Haute and New Albany, Ind. Fr. Gering also served as chaplain to the Knights of Columbus in Harrison County and New Albany, 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. Gering's Franciscan service, please visit the OLC Province website at franciscansusa.org
A wake service will be Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, at 7 p.m. in the Chapel at Mount St. Francis. His funeral liturgy will be Friday, Nov. 10, 2017, at 11 a.m. 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, IN 47146.
Published on November 5, 2017