MINSTER – The Rev. Richard Nieberding, who previously was the pastor for St. Augustine Parish in Minster and St. Joseph Parish in Egypt, died unexpectedly on Saturday.
Nieberding, 66, died Saturday in the rectory of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Montezuma. He was appointed as the parish’s pastor on June 4 after serving in Minster and Egypt from 2005 to 2018.
He was scheduled to preside at a wedding Saturday afternoon, according to a post on the Missionaries of the Precious Blood Cincinnati Province website. When he didn’t show up, the wedding party went to check on him in the rectory and found him unresponsive on the living room floor. He was pronounced dead by emergency medical personnel.
“We missionaries are very sad for the people of Our Lady of Guadalupe, who were just getting to know their new pastor,” said the Rev. Ken Schnipke, vice provincial of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood Cincinnati Province. “An unexpected death like this brings on a lot of emotions: shock, grief, bewilderment and turmoil, especially when the parish was already in a time of transition. We will help them through this very difficult time.”
Previously on July 16, Nieberding was presiding at morning Mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe when he passed out, fell and hit his shoulder and head. Before emergency personnel arrived that morning, he regained consciousness and went to the rectory with the help of parishioners before declining treatment from emergency medical personnel.
In the days after his fall, staff and parishioners encouraged Nieberding to seek medical attention but he declined, saying he would be all right.
Along with his time as pastor in Minster and Egypt, Nieberding also served as associate pastor at St. Augustine Parish beginning in 1985.
He became the youth program director at the Spiritual Center of Maria Stein in 1990. He worked with Brother Bernie Barga to organize programs, lead retreats and lead parish missions with a focus on the youth.
He was appointed chaplain at St. Francis de Sales High School and associate pastor at St. James the Less Parish in Columbus in 1997, becoming pastor of St. James the Less in 1999, before returning to Minster in 2005.
Nieberding, who served almost 20 years in the Minster community, was named Citizen of the Year in Minster in 2009 and the 2018 Minster Oktoberfest parade grand marshal.
The Dayton native attended Precious Blood School then entered Brunnerdale, the minor seminary of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood in Canton, in 1967. He was a graduate of Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Indiana, and the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. He was ordained on June 28, 1980, and his first assignment was to Sts. Peter and Paul Parish in Ottawa.
Nieberding is survived by his three brothers and their wives, Ed (Michele) of Worthington, John (Kathy), of Columbus, and Ron (Amy), of Nashville; along with three nieces, one nephew and three great-nieces.
Viewing will be held from 1 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday with a prayer service at 7 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday. at St. Charles Center in Carthagena.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 2 p.m. Friday at St. Charles Center with Ken Schnipke presiding. The homilist will be the Rev. Don Davison.
After that Mass, a viewing will be held from 4 to \-8 p.m. Friday and 9-9:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Augustine Church in Minster.
A second Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Augustine with Ken Schnipke presiding. The homilist will be the Rev. Gene Schnipke. Burial will follow in the St. Augustine Cemetery.
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