Father Gerhard Mellert, 1938-2006


The Rev. Gerhard Mellert, 67, a missionary for the Society of the Divine Word and member of the Chicago Province, died suddenly on July 22, on the Caribbean island of Montserrat, where he was the pastor of St. Patrick Catholic Church.

Born in Freiburg, Germany in 1938, he began his studies for the priesthood in 1959. He was sent to the Divine Word Seminary in Manila, Philippines, to complete his theological studies prior to being ordained a Catholic priest in 1965.

He ministered in the Philippines for several years. Because of his great facility with languages, he was asked to work in the Society’s General Headquarters in Rome. He was then assigned to Columbia in South America, where he served on the staff of the Catholic Biblical Federation.

In 1997, he went to the Caribbean, where he served at parishes on several islands in the West Indies until his death. He became well known for his zeal and his care of Spanish-speaking people.

Survivors include his brother and sister-in-law in Germany. The Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated on Friday, Aug. 4, on the island of Montserrat with burial there.

Memorial donations for the care of retired missionaries may be sent to The Rector, Divine Word Residence, 1901 Waukegan Road, P.O. Box 6000, Techny, IL 60082-6000.

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