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Most Reverend George Rueger

1929 - 2019 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Most Reverend  George Rueger Obituary
Most Reverend

George E. Rueger, 89

Worcester - The Most Reverend George Edward Rueger, retired auxiliary bishop of Worcester, died peacefully on Saturday, April 6 at Christopher House in Worcester. He was 89 years old.

Bishop George Edward Rueger was born September 3, 1929 in Framingham, the son of Edward G. and Mary T. (Reddy) Rueger.

He attended South High School and St. Peter's High School. After attending the College of the Holy Cross from 1949 to 1950, he entered Cardinal O'Connor Minor Seminary in Jamaica Plain and completed his studies for the priesthood at St. John Seminary in Brighton. He also did post-graduate studies at Harvard University.

Father Rueger was ordained a priest Jan. 6, 1958 by Bishop John J. Wright in St. Paul Cathedral, Worcester. He served as assistant pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in East Millbury, St. Peter's Parish in Worcester and Our Lady of the Lake Parish in Leominster. In 1977 he was named pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, Hopedale and in 1981 he was named pastor of St. Peter's Parish, Worcester.

On Feb. 25, 1987, he was ordained a bishop in St. Paul Cathedral by Bishop Timothy J. Harrington and served as auxiliary bishop for 18 years in the Diocese of Worcester assisting Bishop Timothy J. Harrington, Bishop Daniel P. Reilly and Bishop Robert J. McManus.

In June of 1965 he was named the first headmaster of the former Marian Central Catholic High School, now Saint Peter Marian Central Catholic High School and became Diocesan Superintendent of Catholic Schools in 1978. Bishop Rueger held many positions within the Diocese including, president of the Diocesan Senate of Priests, Diocesan Moderator of the Curia and Vicar General.

After 47 years of service to the diocese, 18 of them as auxiliary bishop, and after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75 in 2004, he submitted his resignation to Pope John Paul II.

In 2018, while celebrating his 60th anniversary as a priest, Bishop Rueger had the following words: "The thing I guess I want to say more than anything else: no matter where you go and whatever you do, you do it with joy and happiness, because you are reflecting, to the best of your ability, the Lord Jesus, the first priest. He sought to bring people closer to God, and so, in everything he did and said, he was being a priest."

Bishop Rueger's body will be received at St. Paul Cathedral on Friday, April 12 at 1:00 pm at a Liturgy of the Word. The viewing will take place from 2 – 7 pm concluding with a Vigil service with Vespers at 7:00 pm. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated, Saturday, April 13 at 11:00 am at the Cathedral of Saint Paul 15 Chatham Street. The committal service and burial will follow in Saint John Cemetery, Lancaster.

Funeral arrangements are under the care of Alfred Roy and Sons Funeral Home 12 Hammond Street, Worcester.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Bishop Rueger can be made to Priests' Retirement Fund or the Adopt-A-Student Program, Diocese of Worcester, 49 Elm Street, Worcester, MA 01609.

To share a memory of Bishop Rueger or to sign the online guestbook, please visit

Published in Worcester Telegram & Gazette from Apr. 8 to Apr. 11, 2019
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