Msgr. Alois J. Goertz
Alois J. Goertz was born on March 7, 1924, in Red Rock, TX, the third of twelve
children born to Rudolph and Hettie Goertz. He passed away on Sunday,
January 20, 2019 in San Antonio, TX.
For the first twelve years of his life Alois worked on the family farm and attended
Sacred Heart School in Rockne, TX where he was taught by the Benedictine Sisters.
In 1937, at the age of thirteen, Alois answered the call of God and left his home to
travel for the first time outside of Bastrop county to San Antonio to attend St. John’s
Seminary to study for the priesthood. In May of 1948, after eleven years at St. John’s,
he was ordained a priest and celebrated his first Mass in Rockne in which he
remembered his mother who had passed away in January of that year.
Msgr. Goertz’s (or Fr. Goertz as he preferred to be called) priestly ministry covered
many areas, however, parish ministry was uppermost for him and what he enjoyed
the greatest. His was a ministry of service and he is remembered by many for the way
he diligently and spiritually served his parishioners. He began his ministry at
St. Michael’s in Weimar, TX in 1948 and ended as Pastor of St. Ann’s in La Vernia, TX in
1995. During that time period his ministry also covered ten additional parishes. In 1965,
upon the request of the Archbishop, he became the director of Campus Ministry at
San Antonio College which over several years he built into the organization that today is
a focal point for campus ministry at colleges and universities within the Archdiocese of
Fr. Goertz had many hobbies during his lifetime. His early years on the farm created a
love of the outdoors and sports. He was active in youth sports in all of his parish ministry
including starting a little league program at his first assignment in Weimar. He loved
partaking in sports with his priest friends, from goose hunting to fishing at the coast to
the weekly golf games at Starke Park in Seguin, TX.
Fr. Goertz, however, will be most remembered for authoring the book “Rockne” or the
“Red Book” as it is called which chronicles the history of the Rockne and String Prairie, TX
communities all the way back to the mid 1850’s when the ancestors came over from
Germany. In addition to history, it contains the genealogy of every family of those
communities. A copy of the book resides in almost every home of a descendant of Rockne
and String Prairie. The book also spawned the creation of the Rockne Historical Society and
the Museum that houses so many valuable artifacts from the community.
In 1995 Fr. Goertz retired from active ministry and moved to Casa de Padres, a retirement
facility for priests, and then in 2016 moved to Padua Place, a higher care facility. The family
wishes to express sincere thanks to the staff of both places for the loving care provided for
Fr. Goertz, particularly during his final years as he dealt with dementia.
Fr. Goertz is survived by eight of his eleven siblings, many nieces and nephews, and many
great and great, great nieces and nephews.
A rosary service for Fr. Goertz will be held at 7:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart Church, Rockne, TX on
Thursday, January 24, 2019 and the funeral will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, January
25, 2019 also at Sacred Heart Church. A memorial Mass will be celebrated in San Antonio, TX
at a later date for those who wish to but cannot attend the funeral.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to a charity of choice or the Padua Place, 80 Peter
Baque Rd, San Antonio, TX 78209.
Father Alois was a great friend and a wonderful priest. I am so sadden by his death. He was the main celebrant at my wedding. He will always be in my heart and prayers and will be missed. But he is now in his heavenly home.
Joan WoodsHighland Haven, TX
Father Goertz was an amazing man - he married my husband, Jeffrey and I, in 1983. In fact he officiated quite a few Marbach weddings over this time at St. Monica's in Converse. Well Done Good and Faithful Servant!
TAMMY MARBACHSAINT HEDWIG, TX
I am very saddened to read this news. My family loved Father Goertz. I believe he was one of the main reasons my husband became Catholic. One of our daughters would always collect his hat and give it to him after mass at St Ann’s, LaVernia. I quietly cried when he announced his retirement. Amazed at his journaling. Rest In Peace Fr Goertz.
Robin ThompsonSan Antonio, TX
All our love and prayers to the Goertz family during this time. Father Goertz will always have a special place with the Clark family. He was a very special man who showed great kindness. He will surely be missed but his spirit will continue on. We were parishners at St. Anne’s in La Vernia TX for approximately 8 years.
Summer ClarkLa Vernia, TX