August 25: Father Eugene Grabner

August 25, 2017

Rev. Eugene Grabner

Fr. Eugene Grabner 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 and was ordained on May 28, 1959, at St. Ignatius Church in Neodesha. Father Grabner served in the following parishes: All Saints, Wichita; St. Patrick, Parsons; Sacred Heart, Frontenac; Sacred Heart, Colwich; St. Patrick, Kingman; St. Mary, Newton; Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Pittsburg; St. Anthony-St. Rose, Wellington; St. John Parish, Zenda; Sacred Heart, Eureka; St. Teresa, Madison; St. John, Hamilton; St. Joseph Parish, McPherson; St. Bridget of Sweden Parish, Lindsborg; Holy Name, Winfield; St. Mary, Oxford; St. Rose of Lima, Columbus, and St. Bridget, Scammon. In addition to serving at many parishes in the diocese he also served the following: chaplain of Colgan High School, Diocesan Director of Youth; Chaplain of Mount St. Mary Convent in Wichita; chaplain for Mercy Hospital and the Sisters of Mercy Convent in Ft. Scott. In 1981 when 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. He retired from active ministry in 2003 and moved to Noel, Missouri and lived there until he died at St. John’s Hospital in Joplin, Missouri. He is buried in Neodesha, Kansas.