Father Arthur Meyer, 84, dies; funeral set next Friday in Lacon

LACON — A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Immaculate Conception Church here at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 12, for Father Arthur D. Meyer, a former hospital chaplain and pastor, including for 17 years at St. Mary Parish, Canton.

Father Meyer died on Friday, June 5, 2015. He was 84.

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, will be celebrant of the funeral Mass. The scheduled homilist is Father Thomas Mizeur. Burial will be at 3 p.m. that afternoon at Resurrection Cemetery and Mausoleum in Peoria.

Visitation is planned from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Immaculate Conception Church, 415 N. High St., in Lacon, followed by a prayer service. Additional visitation will begin an hour before the funeral Mass on Friday.

Born in Peoria on May 12, 1931, he attended St. Boniface School and graduated from Spalding Institute in 1949. He began his studies for the priesthood at St. Francis Seminary in Cincinnati from 1950 to 1952 and received the habit of a Franciscan on Aug. 5, 1953.

Father Meyer professed vows in 1956 and earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Duns Scotus College in Southfield, Michigan, in 1957. He completed his theological studies at Holy Family Theologate in Oldenburg, Indiana, and St. Leonard’s College in Dayton, Ohio, and was ordained on June 13, 1961.

In the Diocese of Peoria, Father Meyer was named pastor of St. Mary Parish in Metamora in 1974 and oversaw the church renovation made necessary by an arson fire in 1976. He served as co-pastor of his home parish, St. Boniface, Peoria, in 1978, and then took a course in clinical pastoral education.

He was chaplain at Methodist Medical Center in Peoria for 10 years. During that time he approached Bishop Edward W. O’Rourke about becoming a diocesan priest, and after a three-year discernment process was incardinated into the diocese.

Father Meyer was named parochial vicar of St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Peoria, in 1989, and the following year became pastor of St. Lawrence, Penfield, and Holy Trinity, Rankin, before his assignment to the Canton parish in 1992. He was granted senior priest status in 2009, and resided in the rectory of Immaculate Conception in Lacon, where he assisted with Masses.

In a 2011 interview with The Catholic Post on the occasion of his 50th jubilee as a priest, Father Meyer called the priesthood “exciting, challenging. You never know what you’re going to be asked to do next.”

“You depend upon the power of God and the grace of Jesus and above all, the Holy Spirit,” he continued. “Somehow or other you begin to learn that the whole thing is about loving — in a feeble attempt at times — as Jesus loved.”


EDITOR’S NOTE: This obituary will be updated as new information is made available.

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