Obituary: Father Bernard Gruenes

Categories: Around the Diocese

The Visitor

Father Bernard Gruenes, 81, a priest of the Diocese of St. Cloud, died April 16 at his apartment at Country Manor in Sartell.

Reception of the body will be at 3 p.m. Monday, April 20, at the Cathedral of St. Mary in St. Cloud. Visitation will be from 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and a vigil service will be held at 7 p.m.

Gruenes2Visitation will resume April 21 at 9 a.m. until the time of the Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. at the cathedral. Burial will be at Assumption Cemetery in St. Cloud.

Father Gruenes was born Dec. 11, 1933, in Eden Valley, the son of Anton and Anna (Kalthoff) Gruenes. He attended Assumption Grade School, Eden Valley; Eden Valley High School, Eden Valley; St. Cloud State University; and Wisconsin School of Banking, Madison, Wis.

He married Catherine Stang on Aug. 28, 1956. They raised their family in Watkins and St. Cloud. He had a career in banking for nearly 40 years and was known for his many leadership roles and generosity to church, civic and community organizations. He was a charter member and founding trustee of St. Michael Parish in St. Cloud.

After the death of his wife in 1992, he began his seminary training to prepare for the priesthood. Father Gruenes was ordained by Bishop John Kinney at St. Michael Church on Dec. 18, 1998, and he celebrated his first Mass there the following day.

Father Gruenes served the following pastoral assignments in the Diocese of St. Cloud: parochial administrator, Ave Maria Church, Wheaton, and St. Peter, Dumont, January 1999 to July 1999; pastor, St. Joseph, Grey Eagle, and St. John the Baptist, Swanville, 1999 to 2002; St. Michael, St. Cloud, 2002 to 2010; and St. Joseph, Waite Park, 2007 to 2010. He retired Sept. 1, 2010.

In addition, Father Gruenes also served as a dean of the Melrose Deanery, member of the College of Consultors, vicar for permanent deacons, member of the Diocesan Review Board, member of the Priest’s Pension Board, and chaplain of the Serra Club of St. Cloud.

Father Gruenes is survived by his children, David Gruenes (Mary) of St. Cloud, Donald Gruenes (Elizabeth Perrier) of Watkins, Mary Gruenes of Sartell, and Diane Sakach (Mike) of Glen Ellyn, Ill.; grandchildren, Meghan Ericson (Kevin), Jennifer Roy (David), Carolyn, Adrienne, Meredith, Elena, and Julia; great-grandchild, Prestyn; brothers, Peter Gruenes (Grace) of Eden Valley; Al Gruenes (Rose) of Colon, Neb., Joseph Gruenes (Anna Mae) of Eden Valley, Anton Gruenes (Mary) of Spring Hill, and John Gruenes (Mary) of Watkins; and sisters, Theresa Stang (Arnie) of Richmond and Marge Gruenes of St. Cloud.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Catherine; two sons, Steven and Robert; and grandson Jordan Karasch.

Memorials are preferred in lieu of flowers.