(7-21-19) Father Rick Nieberding, C.PP.S (66) pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Montezuma, was found dead Saturday afternoon in the rectory.
Nieberding was scheduled to preside at a 1:30 PM Saturday wedding, but did not show up, members of the wedding party went to check on him in the rectory. They found Nieberding unresponsive on the living room floor. Emergency medical personnel were contacted and Father Ron Wilker, an Archdiocesan priest (retired) was available to anoint Nieberding and preside at the wedding. Nieberding was declared dead by first responders. An autopsy will be performed by the coroner’s office, which is normal when a relatively young and healthy person dies unexpectedly and alone.
On Tuesday, Nieberdingpassed out at mass, fell and hit his shoulder and head very hard. The congregation called the EMS. Before the squad arrived, Nieberding revived somewhat and parishioners helped him to the rectory. He insisted he was all right and declined treatment. Staff and parishioners volunteered to check on Nieberding every 30 minutes throughout the day on Tuesday.
Father Nieberding was appointed pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe on June 4th. Nieberding was previously the pastor of St. Augustine Parish, Minster, Ohio, and St. Joseph Parish, Egypt, Ohio, where he served for 17 years.
During his prior 18 years at St. Augustine in Minster, he was known for his work with the youth.
Nieberding told “CPPS Today” in a feature story back in 2009:
“Our goal is to have these youngsters see God in every aspect of their lives. They learn that God is with them all the time, not just in church or in religion class. He is always there to help them.”
Funeral services are pending, details will be updated to this story when available.