Fr. Eugene “Gene” Merz, S.J., was a member of the St. Camillus Jesuit Community and was called to eternal life at Zilber Hospice on January 16, 2019. He was 87 years old, a member of the Society of Jesus for 70 years, and a priest for 57 years. He received three Masters’ Degrees: Education, Psychology, and Spiritual Theology. His ministry touched the minds, hearts, and spirits of priests, religious, and laywomen and laymen throughout the world with Ignatian Spirituality. He enriched people through prison ministry, Native American ministry, Jesuit formation ministry, diocesan renewal programs, Jesuit renewal ministry, Jesuit Higher Education, international retreats, directed retreats as well as preached retreats, and Spiritual Direction.
Fr. Merz was born on April 19, 1931 in Milwaukee, WI. He attended St. Sebastian Grade School and Marquette High School. Upon his graduation from high school, he entered the Society of Jesus at Florissant, MO on August 15, 1948. He was ordained at Gesu Church on June 15, 1961.
His parents, Frank and Alice Merz, as well as his sister, Mary Alyce Moritz, predeceased him. He is survived by a brother-in-law, by nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews.
There will be a wake on Friday, January 25 at the San Camillo Chapel, 10200 Bluemound Road from 4:00-7:00pm with an opportunity for sharing at 5:00pm and a closing reflection at 7:00pm. His funeral will be on Saturday, January 26 at Gesu Church, 1245 W. Wisconsin Avenue. There will be a viewing from 9:00-10:30am with Mass at 10:30 am. Fr. Merz has donated his body to the Medical College of Wisconsin after his funeral Mass. Memorials may be sent to the Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus, 1010 N. Hooker St., Chicago, IL 60642 with a notation, “In Memory of Fr. Gene Merz, S.J.”