In honor of their service to the Church
Several people honored at Chrism Mass
The Chrism Mass, celebrated April 2 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe, is not only devoted to the blessing of the Holy Oils, but it celebrates priests and those who have made significant contributions to the Church over a number of years. (Father Dy is highlighted here.)
BISHOP RONALD M. GILMORE
Bishop Ronald M. Gilmore celebrates his 40th anniversary as a priest this year. He celebrated his 10th anniversary as Bishop of Dodge City in 2008.
A native of Pittsburg, Kansas, Bishop Gilmore was born April 23, 1942, to Leo and Maxine (McColm) Gilmore. He attended St. Mary’s Elementary School from 1947 to 1956; St. Mary’s High School from 1956 to 1959, and graduated from St. John Vianney High School in Omaha, Neb., in 1960.
He attended Immaculate Conception Seminary in Conception, Mo., from 1960 to 1962, with the intention of entering the Benedictine Order. Instead he decided to study to become a priest for the Diocese of Wichita.
From 1962 to 1963, he worked for Catholic Social Service in Wichita in the Cuban Refugee Program. During this time he worked with approximately 20 Cuban boys at what was then called Mariana House.
He attended the University of Ottawa (Canada) from 1963 to 1969. He received two degrees in Philosophy, a B.A. and a PhD (the first a civil one; the second ecclesiastical), and three degrees in Theology, an M.A., an M.Th., and an S.T.L. (Licentiate in Sacred Theology)
On June 7, 1969, he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop David M. Maloney at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita.
His first pastoral assignment was at Blessed Sacrament Parish, Wichita, from 1969-1971. During this time he also taught Theology at Sacred Heart College (Newman University) and began work on the Religious Education program for disabled persons at Holy Family Center.
From 1971 to early 1973, he returned to Canada for doctoral studies in Theology. In 1973, he was assigned to the Passionist Monastery in St. Paul, Kan., doing weekend supply work in various places in southeast Kansas.
He was assigned to the Church of the Magdalen, Wichita, from 1973-1975. During that time he also worked as chaplain at Holy Family Center. In 1975, he also worked in the Chancery Office as Assistant Chancellor.
From 1975-1981 he was assigned to St. Teresa Parish, Hutchinson. During this time his primary duties were at Trinity High School where he worked as chaplain and teacher of religion, and Holy Family Center, Wichita, where he acted as Chairman of the Executive Committee and a teacher of religion.
He was appointed administrator of St. Agnes Church, Castleton, from August 1981 to June 1982, while retaining his duties at Trinity High School and Holy Family Center.
In June of 1982, he was appointed the first pastor of the new St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish on the west edge of Wichita. Bishop Eugene J. Gerber appointed him chancellor to reorganize his administrative offices in August of 1983. He also served as chaplain for the 180-bed diocesan nursing home, the Catholic Care Center. He was appointed Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia in June of 1988.
In March of 1998, Father Gilmore learned that he would be elevated to the rank of monsignor. The announcement of his being named Prelate of Honor to his holiness Pope John Paul II was officially publicized on May 22, 1998. However, it was announced that Msgr. Gilmore would be the fifth Bishop of Dodge City on May 12. He was ordained to the episcopacy and installed as Bishop of Dodge City by Archbishop James P. Keleher on July 16, 1998.
His accomplishments over the last decade include the construction of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe; leading efforts for the spiritual renewal of the diocese; and initiating and sustaining nearly 100 distinct diocesan ministries.
He is the immediate past president of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference. He was chair of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee on Agriculture Issues that produced the document “For I was Hungry and You Gave Me Food: Catholic Reflections on Food, Farmers and Farmworkers,” in 2003.
Superintendent of Schools Ann Deppershmidt, who will serve her last day with the diocese June 1, was recognized at the Chrism Mass for eight years of devoted service.
“I’ll miss the interaction with the kids, the principals and teachers,” she said in an interview in January. “The kids crack me up. They’re so innocent, they’re so honest. And most of them are so happy. I’ll miss their smiles. And I have such a great working relationship with the principals. We’ve become really compatible -- good associates, good friends.”
Bishop Ronald M. Gilmore termed Depperschmidt a “problem-solver” who earned her teachers’ respect.
“We have learned much from Ann Depperschmidt in the eight years she gave us as Principal and Superintendent,” the bishop said. “We learned what a resourceful problem-solver she is, turning the impossible into the possible with easy regularity. We learned what a rock of support she has been for principals and for teachers. A professional among professionals, they accorded her unchanging respect.
“We learned what an advocate she was for children. ... And we learned how much we shall miss her: her genial personality, her ready laugh, and her eye for the absurd in staff, and in parents, and in this one bishop, anyway. We wish Ann and Steve well in the new world that will be their marriage.”
Finney County resident Virgil Gunter is being honored for his many years of service on the Catholic Social Service Board of Directors.
“He’s really been a great board member for us,” said CSS Executive Director, Debbie Snapp. “It has really helped us since we’ve gone through difficult times through the years. He has a really good vision for needs of the people and communities of the diocese.”
Dolores Mesa-Lopez, parish secretary at St. Mary in Garden City, said, “One thing I’ve always admired about him – and you’ll hear this from everybody – is that he’s a good Christian man who always serves when asked, on boards, at church -- everything. I’ve known him many years in Garden City. He’s always been really visible in our committees.”
Among the many committees and boards on which Gunter has served is the Finney County Meals on Wheels board, which he has chaired for nine years, and during which time they have delivered 250,000 meals. Director Joe Paulson said that Gunter commented recently that he enjoyed the program because it “gave him a great sense of serving people in need. Virgil’s a great guy. I couldn’t say enough good things about him.”
FATHER GILBERT HERRMAN
Father Gilbert Herrman was born March 25, 1924, in La Crosse, the son of Jacob and Mary (Heronema) Herrman. He was ordained by Bishop Mark K. Carroll in St. Joseph’s Church, Liebenthal, on April 21, 1949.
Father Herrman’s first assignment was as assistant pastor at St. John the Evangelist, Hoisington. He also served as an assistant at Sacred Heart, Frontenac, and Sacred Heart, Pratt. While at Pratt, he served the mission at Turon (Assumption) and Pratt County Hospital as chaplain. He became chaplain at St. Anthony Hospital, Dodge City, in 1951.
In 1952, Father Herrman was appointed chaplain at St. Mary of the Plains where he taught high school religion and a medical ethics course for the college nursing students.
His first pastorate came in 1953, when he was assigned to Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, Dodge City. His other pastoral assignments included: Mary, Queen of Peace, Ulysses; Chaplain at Bob Wilson Memorial Hospital, Ulysses; Holy Family, Odin; Sacred Heart, Ness City; St. Joseph, Ellinwood; St. Joseph, Ashland, and Holy Spirit, Coldwater; Christ the King, Deerfield; St. Anthony, Lakin, and St. Raphael, Syracuse. He retired from active ministry in 1999 and resides in Garden City.
Father Herrman’s most noted diocesan positions include: Director of the Propagation of the Faith (10 years); Director of Catholic Social Service (10 years); Director of Bishops’ War Relief (15 years); Director of Thanksgiving Clothing Drive (15 years). He has also served as state chaplain for both the Knights of Columbus and Daughters of Isabella.
FATHER LISLE POTTORFF
Father Lisle Pottorff was was born in Wichita March 10, 1924, the son of Lisle Pottorff, Sr., and Anne Regina Carney. He was ordained by Bishop Mark K. Carroll for the Diocese of Wichita on April 23, 1949 in Blessed Sacrament Church. He became a member of the clergy of the Diocese of Dodge City when it was established in 1951.
He served one assignment as an assistant pastor at St. Rose of Lima, Great Bend (1949-1954). He celebrated the first public Sunday Mass at St. Patrick’s Chapel, which later became a separate parish in Great Bend. His first pastorate was at St. John the Baptist at Meade. During this pastorate (1954-60) the rectory was built and paid for.
In 1960, Father Pottorff was assigned pastor of St. Joseph, Beaver with a mission at St. Catherine, Dubuque. He served these parishes for five years. Both the parish and mission had a school and convent. He built a new school in Beaver.
When a second parish became necessary in Garden City, Father Pottorff became the first pastor of St. Dominic’s. He began this assignment on Oct. 15, 1965. The rectory, school, multi-purpose room and convent were all built under his direction.
In 1970, Father Pottorff returned to pastor the parishes at Beaver and Dubuque. On June 8, 1972, he took on additional duties as Director of Catholic Social Service in Great Bend. He served as director until Sept. 15, 1982. During that time the Emmaus House and a branch office were opened in Garden City; and the Family Crisis Center was established in Great Bend.
Father Pottorff’s remaining pastorates were at Sacred Heart, Pratt (1979-1986); St. Michael’s, La Crosse (1986-1989); and St. Boniface, Sharon (1989-1993). He retired for reasons of health in 1993 and resided in a country home owned by his family southeast of Douglass in Butler County. In retirement he gave generously of his time in celebrating Mass and hearing confessions at St. James Church in Augusta. He now resides at the Priests’ Retirement Center in Wichita.