Enjoy the August edition of the West River Catholic
Father Gerald N. Scherer was born in 1919 in a little farmhouse near Timber Lake, South Dakota. He was the third of six children born to Simon A. Scherer and Mary C. Ditter. He attended grade school in a one-room country school near their farm, then went to high school at St. Joseph’s School in Timber Lake, graduating in 1936.
From 1936 to 1940 he helped his father operate a lignite coal mine near Firesteel, SD. When his father died in a mining accident in 1940 he took over the operation of the mine and ran it until 1943 when the underground supply of coal was exhausted.
After spending a year working in an aircraft factory as an arc-welder in Wayne, Michigan, he enlisted in the Marine Corps. In 1947 he was discharged from the service, and that fall he entered St. John’s University at Collegeville, Minnesota, graduating with a BA degree in 1950.
In the fall of 1950 he entered the Seminary at Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, for theological studies. He was ordained to the priesthood there on May 8, 1954 by then-Archbishop Amleto Cicognani, who was the Apostolic Delegate to the United States before later being named a Cardinal and appointed as the Vatican’s Secretary of State.
Father Scherer’s first assignment in the Diocese of Rapid City was as assistant pastor at the Cathedral Parish in Rapid City. From there he was sent as assistant pastor to Buffalo, South Dakota, where he helped attend to St. Anthony’s Parish and its six outlying missions.
In January 1956 he was appointed by Bishop McCarty as rector of Witten, Hamill and Dixon-Iona. While pastor there he helped with the remodeling of all three churches. In 1960 his residence was transferred to Winner, where he helped out with the school and sports program while still taking care of the missions at Witten, Hamill and Dixon.
In 1965 he was appointed as pastor of Murdo with a mission at Draper. During these years he held the additional position of Diocesan Director of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine.
On September 14, 1967 he was appointed pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Gregory, and in 1970 he was again reassigned as pastor of St. Mary’s in Lemmon, where he continued to work at the diocesan level organizing parish catechetical programs, training catechists and using a mimeograph to publish the materials he had written, bringing a new approach to teaching the faith to children and youth.
In 1974 Father Scherer was appointed as Rector of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Rapid City, where he served until 1983. During this time he put his building know-how to good use, designing the present chancery, which opened in 1975.
From 1983 to 1994 he served as pastor of St. John the Baptist Parish in Custer with a mission at Hermosa. During this time, he build a new rectory in Custer, doing much of the work himself.
Father Scherer retired in 1994 to the private home he built near Hermosa. His “hermitage” was used at times for private retreats by many in the diocese. He continued to assist pastors with weekend pastoral support and to host retreats and workshops at his home until 2000, although he enjoyed visiting relatives in warmer climates during the winter months.
In 2011 his Hermosa home was sold and Father Scherer moved to Casa Maria Priest Retirement Home, where he lived until 2013, when he moved to Here’s a Hart Assisted Living. In 2014 he celebrated his 60th Anniversary of Priesthood in May, and that November moved to Bella Vista Golden Living Center, where he received skilled care until his death on August 1, 2017.
The Vatican is preparing for a Synod of Bishops on the topic of Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment, to be held in October 2018. They have put out a Preparatory Document, which can be found here: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/synod/documents/rc_synod_doc_20170113_documento-preparatorio-xv_en.html
The Vatican is collecting information based on several questions that they have put out in order to gather information for drafting the work-document or Instrumentum Laboris.
And so, they would like as many people as possible – young people ages 16-29, and adults ages 30 and up, to participate in a survey. Our feedback will have an impact on this Synod of Bishops and their discussion.
A diocesan committee has put together this survey and made it available via Survey Monkey or in hard copy. These surveys are due in to the diocese no later than September 1, 2017.
Here is the link to the online Survey Monkey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Synod2018Input
Click here for a printable PDF (Please fill out and return to your parish or mail it to: Office of Youth & Young Adult Ministry, Diocese of Rapid City, 2101 City Springs Rd Ste 200, Rapid City, SD 57702.)
We would like to ask everyone to disseminate this survey as widely as possible, and here are some possible ways to share this:
1) Email to your parishioners the link to Survey Monkey, and post it on your website. If your parish has an app, you could send it out through the app. Encourage parishioners ages 16 and up to go online and fill it out. There is a possible pulpit and bulletin announcement below that you could use if it is helpful.
2) Make hard copies of the survey available at Mass, for people to take home and then return to the parish, or mail to the Diocese: Office of Youth & Young Adult Ministry, Diocese of Rapid City, 2101 City Springs Rd Ste 200, Rapid City, SD 57702.
3) Gather small groups of people and complete the survey orally, with one person recording the groups answers. Please indicate how many people were in the group, and their ages. With small groups of youth or college students, you could gather them for a pizza party, do the survey, and the pray evening prayer or spend time in adoration together.
606 Cathedral Drive
Rapid City, SD 57701
Chancery Annex at Terra Sancta
2101 City Springs Rd Ste 200
Rapid City, SD 57702
Terra Sancta Retreat Center
2101 City Springs Rd, Ste 300
Rapid City , SD 57702
Victim Assistance Coordinator