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Father Emmeran Rettger, O.S.B.

Father Emmeran Rettger, O.S.B. Thursday, June 10, 1999

 The Rev. Emmeran A. Rettger, O.S.B., 87, died Thursday, June 10, 1999, at Saint Vincent Archabbey, after a long illness.

Father Emmeran was born May 27, 1912, in St. Marys, a son of the late Leo and Margaret (Briendle) Rettger, and was one of 14 children.

He attended St. Marys Central Catholic High School, St. Marys, and graduated from Saint Vincent Preparatory School in 1929. He attended Saint Vincent College, receiving a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy in 1934 and a master of arts degree in philosophy in 1949. He attended Saint Vincent Seminary from 1932 to 1938 and received a master of divinity degree in 1977.

He entered the Benedictine Monastic Community of Saint Vincent Archabbey in 1931, making simple profession of vows July 2, 1932, and solemn profession of vows July 11, 1935. He was ordained a priest in Saint Vincent Archabbey Basilica by the late Hugh C. Boyle, Bishop of Pittsburgh, June 12, 1938.

Father Emmeran served the monastic community in the educational apostolate by teaching physics, mathematics and religion in the Preparatory School. He also taught physics in the College and, during World War II, he was the physics laboratory instructor for the Army Air Cadet Program. In the Seminary he served as vice rector, assistant prefect, prefect, and professor of moral and pastoral theology and liturgy. Since 1989 he had held the rank of professor emeritus.

He also was Saint Vincent Archabbey master of ceremonies and served in several pastoral apostolates.

At various times during his priesthood, he served as assistant pastor at St. Marys Church, Erie, and Saint Vincent Basilica Parish; assistant and associate pastor at St. Joseph Church, Johnstown, and associate pastor at Queen of the World Church, St. Marys. He served as pastor of four parishes: St. Benedict, Marguerite; St. Benedict, Covington, Ky.; St. Benedict, Carrolltown; St. John, Summerhill and Immaculate Conception, New Germany.

Some of his other accomplishments include service on the liturgical commissions of Saint Vincent Archabbey and the Dioceses of Altoona-Johnstown, Covington and Greensburg. He helped to update the Episcopal Ceremonies for Holy Week and revised the fifth edition of the Manual of Episcopal Ceremonies.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Charles and Benedict, and two sisters, Sister Eileen, O.S.B., and Marie.

Father Emmeran is survived by five brothers, Vincent and George, both of St. Marys, Leo of Erie, Joseph of Pomfret Center, Conn., and Paul of Pittsburgh, and by four sisters, Margaret of Marienville and Gertrude Brechtel, Agnes Bucheit and Theresia Knouse, all of St. Marys.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Benedictine Health and Welfare Fund of Saint Vincent Archabbey.

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