“Praised be You, my Lord,
through our Sister Bodily Death,
from whom no one living can escape” (CtC 12).
Our fellow friar and faithful priest of Sacred Heart Province,
Nicholas Meyer OFM
died at the age of 86 on Thursday morning, May 3, 2012, at 9:45am in his room
at Villa West in Sherman, Illinois, surrounded by friars and nursing staff. He
died of congestive heart failure and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. On
the evening of May first he suffered a serious setback in his ability to breath.
Earlier, on April 26, he began hospice care and started to receive oxygen 24
hours a day.
Nick hailed from Duluth, Minnesota, where he was born on June 10, 1925,
and was given the name of William. His parents were Nicholas H. and (nee
Weidig) Meyer. St. Anthony’s Church in Duluth was the place of his baptism and
confirmation. After the minor seminary he entered the novitiate of Sacred Heart
Province in Teutopolis, Illinois, on July 4, 1945, receiving the name Nicholas. He made simple profession
a year and a day later. Three years after that he professed solemn vows in the hand of Provincial Minister
Wenceslaus Kzrycki OFM on July 5, 1949. Subsequently – after his ordination to minor orders,
subdiaconate, and diaconate – Nick was ordained a priest in St. Francis Church, Teutopolis, on June 24,
1952, by William A. O’Connor, Bishop of the Diocese of Springfield-in-Illinois.
After his obligatory year of “Sacred Eloquence” at St. Francis Solano Church in Quincy, Illinois, Nick
spent the first 25 year of his ministry in service to the Province. He studied at the Antonianum in Rome
from 1954 to 1957. Then he was a lector of theology at St. Joseph Seminary in Teutopolis, Illinois, until
1968 when the theologate moved to Chicago and became Catholic Theological Union. While he was in
Teutopolis he also served as chaplain at St. Anthony Hospital in Effingham, Illinois (1957-1960).
Nick began serving as the provincial prefect of studies in 1966 and then became the provincial prefect
of total formation in 1969, a year after he was elected a definitor and moved to St. Anthony’s in St. Louis.
After this responsibility he followed the call of his heart and helped to establish the Franciscan Retiro for
the Province, first in Gerald, Missouri (1972-1974), and then in Portland, Missouri (1974-1979).
Taking up parochial ministry, Nick was the associate pastor at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Petoskey,
Michigan, from 1979 to 1985. He then moved to Sacred Heart Friary in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he
spent six years in the preaching apostolate and six more years in retirement. Once again he also served as
the community vicar for three years from 1999 to 2002, just as he had done in Petoskey (’80-’85) and
In December 2006 Nick was experiencing some serious health problems in Minnesota, including
vertigo. In March of 2007 Nicholas moved to Villa West in Sherman where he retired. The last year
showed definite signs of diminishment in Nick’s health.
Nick Meyer OFM was a man full of understanding, empathy, and humor. Gentleness and joy were two
of his outstanding characteristics. Though thoroughly versed in theology and Franciscan spirituality, he
always carried about an “aw, shucks” kind of humility, a brotherly smile, and a caring concern.
May Nick rest in peace!