Rev. Gerard Heinz, O. S. B., pastor of St. Benedict’s Catholic Church at Atchison, had for almost forty years been connected with the Catholic institutions of this city as student, teacher, director and, pastor.
Father Heinz was born in Chicago, Illinois, July 11, 1864. a son of Nicholas Heinz, who died in that city in 1876, at the age of fifty. Father Heinz lived in Chicago during the time of the great fire in 1871. While there he attended paroehial schools, but in 1877, at the age of thirteen, entered St. Benedict’s College at Atchison. He pursued the classical, philosophical and theological courses, and was ordained a priest June 30, 1887. Before his ordination and afterwards until 1889 he served as prefect of discipline and a teacher in St. Benedict’s College, and after 1889 was director of the college until January, 1898. The only important interruption to his continuous residence at Atchison was a six months’ pastorate of St. Mary’s Church at Des Moines, Iowa. In January, 1899, Father Heinz became pastor of St. Benedict’s Church, and had now been the spiritual leader of that congregation for eighteen years.