Date of Birth: 05/10/1893
Date of Death: 03/03/1957
Date of Ordination: 03/12/1918
Date of Installation: 30/11/-0001

Fr Frederick Charles Anthony Gatzemeyer


Early Life

Frederick Charles Anthony Gatzemeyer was born in Angas Street, Adelaide on October 5, 1893, the youngest of five sons of Franz and Anna Gatzemeyer, and was the third to study for the priesthood. He was baptised and confirmed in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral. When his parents married they purchased a chalice which was placed in their lounge room to be an incentive for any son to become a priest – in fact thee of their five sons became priests, Frs Francis, John and Frederick Gatzemeyer.

Their third son and first priest, Francis, was born in Adelaide, studied in Ireland and was ordained in Dublin on June 24, 1909 and he died in Adelaide on March 26, 1941.

Frederick studied for the priesthood at St Patrick’s College Manly NSW and he was ordained to the priesthood in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral December 3, 1918.


Soon after his ordination, on February 1, 1919, he was appointed Assistant Priest at Murray Bridge which at that time was a large parish extending to the Victorian border.

On February 1, 1926 he was appointed Parish Priest at Salisbury, where he was to remain for 30 years. He died suddenly as a result of a car accident on March 3, 1957 at the age of 63 years.

Throughout that time he was loved by all his parishioners for his gentleness, kindness and helpfulness – he was always ready to put himself out for others, even at great inconvenience to himself.

Following his death a simple Requiem Mass was celebrated at Salisbury at 7am to be followed by a Solemn Requiem Mass in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral. The celebrant was his brother Mgr John Gatzemeyer VG and Bishop B Gallagher presided in the absence of Archbishop Beovich. Frs David Abfalter and Peter McIntyre assisted at the altar and almost all the priests of the diocese were present.

The panegyric was given by Dean Bayard. He commenced by reading a telegram from Archbishop Beovich which read: “Deeply grieved by the death of Fr Gatzemeyer. Sympathies in your sorrow. The diocese has lost a zealous, holy priest, and Salisbury and Yatala a devoted self-sacrificing pastor”.

Dean Bayard spoke of Fr Gatzemeyer’s work among the poor, the desolate and the outcast. “For 30 years he was chaplain at the Yatala prison, and God alone knows the tremendous amount of good he did among those poor unfortunates in that institution where he was regarded as ‘their priest’. In his work with the sick and the poor, with children and the aged he was always the beloved priest and father.”

He was buried in the West Terrace Cemetery.

May he rest in peace.

< back to Search