March 27:Father John J. Grueter


March 27, 1940

Father John J. Grueter

Father John Grueter was born in Cologne, Germany, on February 10, 1869 and attended elementary school in Cologne. He studied philosophy and theology at Louvain in Belgium and was ordained for the Diocese of Wichita on July 9, 1886. For a few weeks he was assistant at the old Pro-Cathedral and then pastor in the following three parishes: St. Joseph, Ost, for 19 years; Sacred Heart, Colwich for 5 years; and, St. Joseph, Andale for 17 years. At Ost he built the church and rectory and at Colwich and Andale he built the parish schools. In the early years Fr. Grueter preached only in German but switched to English toward the end of World War I. “To his last day, Father Grueter remained a priest of the ‘old school,’ emphasized the essentials in life and religion, entertained a doubting state of mind on what he called ‘new fangled’ ways and customs.” (The Advance Register, Mar. 30, 1940). Consistent with his beliefs he never did own or drive a car. At the time of his death he was Pro-synodal associate judge for the diocese. He died in the rectory at Andale on March 27, 1940.