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Rev. Msgr. Ernest J. Fiedler

Deceased: 2007-12-28


Seminary Graduation Year: 1953

The Bishop, Priests, and Faithful of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kansas City- Saint Joseph are saddened to announce the death on Friday evening, December 28, 2007, of their beloved colleague Rev. Msgr. Ernest Joseph (Bud) Fiedler. Monsignor Fiedler was born Oct. 19, 1925, in Springfield, Mo. He was the first child of Rose (Nerud) Fiedler and Ernest A. Fiedler. As he neared graduation fromSaintAgnesHigh SchoolinSpringfield, he strongly considered entering the submarine service of the United States Navy, but finally settled his mind one afternoon in the Saint Agnes gymnasium when he told his high school sweetheart of his attraction to the priesthood. She gently encouraged him to enter the seminary. After taking degrees from Kenrick Seminary in Saint Louis and the Gregorian University in Rome, Bud was ordained to the priesthood on Dec. 20, 1952 at the Basilica of Saint John Lateran in Rome,Italy. The career of Msgr. Fiedler was remarkably varied. He began in a typical way for his times with assistant positions at Sacred Heart Parish, Springfield, Mo., Sacred Heart Parish, Kansas City, Mo., Saint Mary Parish, Independence, Mo., and Saint Peter Parish in Kansas City. In 1957 these more normative assignments were supplemented by appointments as the secretary to Bishops John Cody and Charles Helmsing. Then a highlight of Msgr. Fiedler’s life came when he was appointed a “Peritus” (theological advisor) to the first session of the Second Vatican Council in Vatican City in November 1962. Back from the Council, he took on the pastorate of Sacred Heart Parish in Warrensburg, Mo., until 1969. Monsignor Fiedler was a pioneer in the establishment of the Permanent Diaconate Program in the United States. After working to create a Permanent Diaconate Program in his own diocese, he became the Executive Secretary to the Bishop’s Committee on the Permanent Diaconate with offices in Washington, D.C.He continued these national responsibilities until he was recalled to Kansas City-Saint Joseph in August 1984. After serving as pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Raytown, Mo., from 1984 to 1988, Bud was again given an unusual opportunity that he came to relish when he went toConceptionSeminaryCollege, in Conception, Mo., as Professor of Theology and Director of Spiritual Formation from 1988 to 1994. Then, at an age when most men are well into retirement, he accepted appointment as the rector of Kansas City’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Msgr. Fiedler’s tenure as rector witnessed the complete restoration of that landmark building and the substantial growth of Cathedral parish. Finally, in July 2005, he accepted retirement with continued residence at the Cathedral and the title of Rector Emeritus. He remained active right up to the date of his hospitalization. Though Msgr. Fiedler retained a passionate interest in theology and books throughout his life, the mainspring of his success and attraction was his gentle, winning way with people. From bouncing through the Ozark hills in an old car, winning customers for his family’s business in the early 1940s to counting many of the nation’s most important cardinals and bishops as his personal friends, Msgr. Fiedler had the common touch. For him, intellectual pursuit was unendingly interesting but his true home was not in the rarefied atmosphere of academia. He most enjoyed the pastoral chair and the pulpit where he attempted to honestly bring the Catholic faith to the lives of his students and parishioners. Very often he succeeded, which is why he will be missed by so many people in Cathedral parish and throughout the Diocese of Kansas City-Saint Joseph. The visitation will be held at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception,416 W. 12th Street, Kansas City, on Wednesday, Jan. 2, from 3 until 6 p.m. A scripture service will conclude the visitation at 6 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated for Monsignor Fiedler on Thursday, Jan. 3, at 10 a.m., also at the Cathedral. Interment will be at Saint Columba Cemetery at Conception JunctionMissourifollowing the funeral Mass on Thursday at 3 p.m. Due to the special requirements of the Christmas liturgical season and the Cathedral’s very limited space, it is asked that no flowers be brought. Any donations to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in memory of Monsignor Fiedler would be gratefully accepted and warmly appreciated. Published in theKansas City Star on 1/1/2008.