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Rev. Msgr. James A. Geiger

Deceased: 2019-05-08


CSM Graduation Year: 1957

Reverend Monsignor James Austin Geiger died on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 while in skilled nursing care at Mother Angeline McCrory Manor. The son of Clemence and Rose (Burger) Geiger, Msgr. Geiger was born on February 17, 1925 in Bucyrus, Ohio, and Baptized on February 22, 1925 at Holy Trinity Church (Bucyrus).

Msgr. Geiger graduated from Saint Ignatius High School (Cleveland) in 1943, followed by seminary formation and college studies at the Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary (Columbus), graduating in 1947. He continued his theological studies and seminary formation at Mount Saint Mary’s of the West (Cincinnati); prior to his graduation Msgr. Geiger was chosen to be a “student priest” and was ordained to the priesthood on August 15, 1950 at the Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary Mother of Mercy Chapel by Bishop Michael Ready. Msgr. Geiger was later sent for doctoral studies in Philosophy at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (Rome), graduating in 1957. He also engaged in particular studies at the University of Salzburg (Austria), Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.) and the Ohio State University (Columbus). During his 69 years of priestly ministry Msgr. Geiger served as a long-time instructor at the Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary and Preparatory School (Columbus), including Chair of the Philosophy Department. He also served as associate pastor, Saint Joseph Cathedral (Columbus); weekend assistant, Saint Philip the Apostle Church (Columbus); Pastor, Saint John Church (Logan); associate pastor, Saint Mary Church (Lancaster); and Pastor, Saint Joseph Church (Sugar Grove) until his retirement in 2009. Msgr. Geiger was named a “prelate of honor” (Monsignor) by Pope John Paul II in 1999. He also served as a member of the diocesan Tribunal, the diocesan board of consultors and the diocesan liturgical commission, chaplain of several Knights of Columbus Councils, moderator of the Diocesan Council of Catholic Nurses, and chaplain of the Columbus circle of the Daughters of Isabella.

Msgr. Geiger is survived by his brother, Charles (Charlotte) Geiger and many nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his parents Clemence and Rose; his sister, Angela (Francis) Tillemans; and his five brothers, Dr. Louis Geiger, Dr. Paul (Irene, Gertrude) Geiger, Clair Geiger, Dr. Dan (Lucy, Lee) Geiger, and Thomas Geiger.

Our thanks to the religious sisters and staff at the Villas at Saint Therese and Mother Angeline McCrory Manor for the care given to Msgr. Geiger.

Calling hours for Msgr. Geiger will take place on Monday, May 13 at Saint Joseph Church, 308 Elm Street, Sugar Grove, Ohio, from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. concluding with a Rosary.

Calling hours will resume at the Church on Tuesday, May 14 at 9:30 a.m., concluding just prior to the Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. Bishop Robert Brennan will celebrate the Mass and deliver the homily, Bishop Frederick Campbell and Bishop James Griffin will concelebrate the Mass along with priests of the Diocese of Columbus.

Burial will take place at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 16, at Saint Bernard Cemetery in New Washington, Ohio.