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Fr. Donald R. Goetz dies at 72

Father Donald Goetz

Father Donald Goetz

Father Donald Raymond Goetz, 72, a retired priest for the Archdiocese of Louisville, died unexpectedly Dec. 4. He had been a priest for 46 years.

Father Goetz retired from active ministry in 2012 and at the time of his death was serving as the sacramental moderator of St. Boniface Church. It was a ministry that allowed him to focus on peoples’ spiritual lives, he said in a 2013 column in The Record.

“Retired means that one has retired from active administration and, as I have said to many, I am now able to do what I was ordained to do without administration,” he wrote.

Father Goetz is a native of Louisville. He attended St. Francis of Assisi School, St. Thomas Seminary, St. Meinrad College Seminary and Mount St. Mary’s of the West in Norwood, Ohio. He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Louisville on Nov. 30, 1968.

He served as an associate pastor of St. Gabriel Church in Fern Creek, Ky., from 1969 to 1975; at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Anchorage, Alaska, in 1975; and at Holy Spirit Church from 1975 to 1979.

He was pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church from 1979 to 1989; at St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi Church in Payneville, Ky., from 1989 to 1994; at St. Brigid and St. James churches from 1994 to 2012.

He also served as procurator advocate for the Archdiocese of Louisville’s Metropolitan Tribunal from 1976 until his death. He was the chaplain for the Widows or Widowers Organization from 1978 to 1982 and for The Serra Club of Louisville from 1982 to 1988.

In a story that appeared in The Record on March 25, 1995, Father Goetz said he always strove for a “very deep, personal spiritual life.”

“I feel that if I cannot spend my time in prayer, then I can’t be a good priest,” Father Goetz said in the interview.

Survivors include his brother, Richard “Rick” A. Goetz; sister-in-law Jacinta Goetz; nieces, Laura Goetz Boisseau and Jenny Goetz Carter; as well as great-nephews, Mathew and Ryan Boisseau. He is also survived by his family of priests and many close friends.

Visitation will be held Dec. 5 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Ratterman and Sons Funeral Home, 3800 Bardstown Road, and on Dec. 6 at St. Boniface Church, 531 E. Liberty Street, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Dec. 6 at 11 a.m. at St. Boniface. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz will preside. Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery, 1600 Newburg Road.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made in his memory to St. Meinrad Archabbey or the Archdiocese of Louisville Catholic Services Appeal.

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2 comments on “Fr. Donald R. Goetz dies at 72

  1. Father Fr. Donald R. Goetz presided over our wedding. May you find peace, and comfort knowing he impacted so many lives serving our Lord, and Savior Jesus Christ. God Bless

  2. Father goetz married my wife and I 20 years ago and baptized all four of our children. I would have never guessed him to be 72. He had the will and spirit of a man half his age ! He was a good man. We were blessed to know him .

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