Cover photo for Rev. Msgr. Victor Goertz, J.C.D.'s Obituary
Rev. Msgr. Victor Goertz, J.C.D. Profile Photo
1928 Rev. Msgr. Victor Goertz, J.C.D. 2023

Rev. Msgr. Victor Goertz, J.C.D.

June 9, 1928 — November 6, 2023

 

Rev. Msgr. Victor Goertz, a Catholic priest of the Diocese of Austin, died on November 6, 2023, in Georgetown, Texas at the age of 95. He was born on June 9, 1928, in Red Rock, Texas to Rudolph and Hettie (Bartsch) Goertz. Msgr. Goertz studied at St. John’s Seminary in San Antonio and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Austin on May 31, 1952, by Bishop Louis J. Reicher, alongside his cousin, Fr. Bernard Goertz. He later earned a doctorate in Canon Law from Catholic University of America in Washington, DC in 1955.

Fr. Victor’s first priestly assignment was at Cristo Rey Parish in Austin (1955-1971). Bilingual in English and Spanish, he remained as pastor for sixteen years.  During those years, he served as part time secretary to Bishop Reicher, remained very involved in the Cursillo Movement, and served as a board member of the Human Opportunities Corporation, where his interests and activities addressed concerns of the whole neighborhood. He often shared fond memories of his time at Cristo Rey Parish with the East Austin community, gratefully remembering the priests who were his Associate Pastors, and the people of the parish and neighborhood. 

From 1961 to 1970, Fr. Victor served as a member of the Board of Directors of Holy Cross Hospital, then owned by the Diocese of Austin.  In 1966 he was invited by the manager of KHFI TV to host a 30-minute weekly show. His 6 years of television ministry afforded him the opportunity to interview numerous individuals from the East Austin community.

Fr. Victor served several terms on the Priests’ Senate, now known as the Presbyteral Council. He was a judge on the Diocesan Tribunal (1974-1979), the Episcopal Vicar to Mexican American Ministry (1974-1979), as well as the Vocation Director (1977-1979).

Fr. Victor sat on many boards including the Austin OEO Agency (1965-1969), the Citywide Committee for Human Rights (1970-1973), and the Board of Trustees at St. Edward’s University (1979-1981). He also served as a member of the Human Relations Commission for Austin (1967-1969). In 1969, he was elected to be the Provincial Representative on the board of the National Federation of Priests Council.

In 1972, Bishop Vincent Harris named Fr. Victor the editor of the diocesan newspaper, The Catholic Herald.  Within a year, the Herald office was moved to Waco to make it possible for Fr. Victor to also serve as pastor to St. Martin Parish in Tours and St. Joseph Mission in Elk.  He recalled his two years as the pastor in those two communities as a very special time. When the Texas Catholic Herald was discontinued in 1979, Fr. Victor became the pastor of Christ the King Parish in Belton. “A wonderful community,” he said, “with whom to share the journey.”

Fr. Victor then moved to Boerne, Texas to serve as Chaplain for the Benedictine Sisters, of which two of his sisters are members. From elementary school and throughout his life, the Benedictine Sisters were an enriching presence in his life. His ministry of retreats and spiritual direction for the next 25 years began with the establishment of the Omega Retreat Center, located at the Benedictine Sister Monastery, in 1982.

After six years, Fr. Victor returned to the Diocese of Austin. From 1987 until 1993, he continued in retreat ministry and spiritual direction at Emmaus Retreat Center in the hills west of Austin. In 1993, he moved to Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center in Belton. For him the ministry of retreat and spiritual direction was a privilege in sharing the journey with so many wonderful people.

In 2005, Fr. Victor moved to the Pope John Paul II Residence for Priests in Georgetown. There, he wrote a series of spontaneous reflections on life’s journeys which were published by the diocese in a book titled “Meandering through the Mystery.” Fr. Victor was a survivor of colon cancer. This permanent condition did not deter him throughout his priesthood.

Fr. Victor was preceded in death by his father, Rudolph W. Goertz and his mother, Hettie Bartsch; brothers, Rev. Msgr. Alois and Mark; sisters, Irene, Helen, Sister Lucille, Sister Mary Rose, and Ann. He is survived by two brothers, Elmer and William; and two sisters, Sister Bernadette and Marcella.

The funeral liturgies will all be held at Sacred Heart Parish in Rockne, Texas.  The Visitation is Sunday, November 12, 2023, at 5:00 p.m. with the Vigil for the Deceased and prayer of the Rosary at 6:00 p.m.   The Mass of Christian Burial, to be celebrated by the Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez, is Monday November 13, 2023, at 10:30 a.m., with internment to follow in the Sacred Heart Cemetery.  A bereavement meal will be held in the Sacred Heart parish hall following the burial. 

 

In memory of Fr. Victor and in lieu of flowers, please make donations to Cedarbrake Catholic Retreat Center located at 5602 TX-317, Belton, TX 76513 or call (254) 780-2436.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rev. Msgr. Victor Goertz, J.C.D., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Sunday, November 12, 2023

5:00 - 6:00 pm (Central time)

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Rosary and Vigil Service

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Starts at 6:00 pm (Central time)

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Mass of Christian Burial

Monday, November 13, 2023

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

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Committal Service

Monday, November 13, 2023

Starts at 12:00 pm (Central time)

Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery

4045 Farm to Market 535, Bastrop, TX 78602

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