Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

Alumni Obituaries

Fr. Jerome E. "Jerry" Wirth

Father Jerry Wirth suddenly died early Monday morning on September 30th as he was preparing to get a radiation treatment. He had recently been diagnosed with cancer in early September.Jerry was born on June 11, 1941 in Mt. Carmel, Illinois on a farm a mile north of St. Sebastian Church, eight miles west of Mt. Carmel. His parents were Bernard and Pauline Wirth (both now deceased). He attended St. Mary's grade school, Mt. Carmel, IL and graduated from high school in 1960 at St. Henry High School Seminary in Belleville, IL. His college education was at St. Henry College from 1960-62, Saint Meinrad College, IN, from 1962-64; Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology, IN, 1964-68; SIU Edwardsville, IL, 1971-74; and Sabbatical in San Antonio, TX, 1994 for four months. His college degrees included: BA Classics, MA Social Services, and MA Theology (1970). Churches that have been assigned to him included: St. Clare, O'Fallon, lL, lmmaculate Conception (1968-69); lmmaculate Conception, Columbia, IL (1969-70); Gibault High School, Waterloo lL (1969-75); St. Rose of Lima, Metropolis, lL (1975-80); St Paul, Vienna, lL (l975-80); lmmaculate Conception, Centreville lL (1980-84); St. Regis, East St. Louis, lL (1983-84); St Patrick, East St. Louis, lL (1984-94); and St. Joseph, Stringtown, lL (1994-95). In Dec. 1994, Father Jerry moved to St. Joseph, Olney, IL where he was currently the pastor. His diocesan activities included serving on a variety of numerous committees and organizations for the diocese, e.g., Chairperson of the Presbyterial Council, Chairperson of Diocesan Priests' Convocation, Chairperson of the Formation Priest Committee, and Chairperson of the Southern Illinois Association of Priests, Inc. He has served Richland County by being on the board of Big Brother/Big Sister from 2003-09 and was currently serving on the board of Fox River Apartments. His personal interests were swimming, walking, speed walking, biking, skiing, hunting, sports, flower gardening, reading, good movies, travel, good food, and enjoying nature and the outdoors. He is survived by his four brothers and their families: Paul and Carole of Olney and their children Alan and Kristina, Jim and Shirley of Hollister, MO and their children, Jonathan, Kara, and David; Lee and Donna of Darien, IL and their children, Mark and Kelly; Tom and Jane of Evansville, IN and their children, Matt and Joe. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Norma Jean. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to St. Joseph Catholic School.VISITATIONThursday October 3, 2013, 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM at St. Joseph Catholic Church Click for Map and DirectionsMASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIALFriday October 4, 2013, 11:00 AM at St. Joseph Catholic Church Click for Map and DirectionsDONATIONFather Jerry has donated his body to St. Louis University so others can live.