Father died Aug. 25 having served the Diocese of Wichita for 58 years
Father Eugene W. Grabner, a priest of the Diocese of Wichita for 58 years, died Friday, Aug. 25, at St. John’s Hospital in Joplin, Missouri. He was 84.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Tuesday, Aug. 29, at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Neodesha. He was buried in Neodesha.
Father was born on June 25, 1933, in Neodesha, and studied for the priesthood at Conception Seminary, Conception, Missouri, and St. Thomas Theological Seminary in Denver, Colorado.
After his ordination on May 28, 1959, at St. Ignatius Church in Neodesha, Father Grabner served in the 1960s as an assistant pastor at All Saints, Wichita; St. Patrick, Parsons; Sacred Heart, Frontenac; Sacred Heart, Colwich; St. Patrick, Kingman; and St. Mary, Newton.
He was named an assistant at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Pittsburg in 1970 where he also served as chaplain of Colgan High School. He was named an assistant at St. Anthony-St. Rose in Wellington in 1971 while serving as diocesan Director of Youth. Later that year he was named chaplain of Mount St. Mary Convent in Wichita.
In 1974 Father Grabner was named pastor of St. John Parish in Zenda. Two years later he was moved to become pastor of Sacred Heart, Eureka; St. Teresa, Madison; and St. John, Hamilton.
In 1981 he was named pastor of St. Joseph Parish in McPherson. While pastor there he helped found St. Bridget of Sweden Parish in Lindsborg and oversaw the building of the church, which also serves the needs of Catholic students attending Bethany College there.
While reading about the life of St. Bridget of Sweden, Father Grabner was inspired to commission a crucifix fashioned after the image of Christ on the Shroud of Turin. The priests of the Diocese of Wichita paid for the crucifix sculpted by western artist Frank Reese.
Father Graber was named pastor of Holy Name in Winfield and St. Mary in Oxford in 1987, and in 1992 was named pastor of St. Mary in Newton.
In 1995 he served as chaplain for Mercy Hospital and the Sisters of Mercy Convent in Ft. Scott. He was named pastor of St. Rose of Lima, Columbus, and St. Bridget, Scammon, in 1998. He retired from active ministry in 2003.
Father Grabner has a brother, Benedictine Father Donald Grabner.
A Father Eugene W. Grabner Seminary Burse has been established with the Diocese of Wichita.