John Peter Gerhard, O.P.
Born: February 22, 1923
Professed: October 6, 1947
Ordained: June 5, 1953
Died: March 18, 2005
A native of Providence, RI, John Peter Gerhard was born on February 22, 1923, and following his elementary and high school education, entered Providence College in 1940. He served in the military in Europe from 1943-1945, and received the Dominican Habit at St. Rose Priory in Springfield, KY, the following year. After his Simple Profession in 1947 and his Solemn Profession in 1950, Father Gerhard was ordained to the Priesthood on June 5, 1953, at St. Dominic Church in Washington, DC, having completed his philosophical and theological studies in Somerset, OH, and in Washington, DC.
Father Gerhard was engaged in the teaching ministry early in his life as a Dominican priest at Mt. Mercy College in Pittsburgh, at Providence College, and from 1967 to 1970 at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Nairobi, Kenya. Upon his return, he served as Secretary for the Missions of the Province and later in pastoral ministry in our parishes in Zanesville, OH, Cincinnati and in New York City. In 1998, he returned to missionary work in the Vicariate of Eastern Africa and later was once again engaged in the parochial apostolate at St. Louis Bertrand Priory in Louisville, KY.
Father Gerhard was a particularly gifted preacher and earned a richly deserved reputation throughout his priesthood for his well-prepared and creative homilies.
As his health failed, he was welcomed by the Dominican Sisters of St. Mary of the Springs into their Mohun Health Care Center in Columbus where, having received sensitive and loving care, he died peacefully on March 18, 2005.
At the Mass of Christian Burial, V. Rev. Raymond Daley, O.P., Vicar Provincial, was celebrant. Fr. Gerhard was buried in the Dominican Friars’ cemetery at St. Joseph Church in Somerset, OH.