Reverend Monsignor Ronald C. Groth, 77, a retired priest of the Diocese of Lake Charles, died Sunday, May 10 – Mother’s Day – in his residence in Hathaway.
A native of Elton, Msgr. Groth was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Lafayette at St. Lawrence Parish in Hathaway on May 31, 1969 by The Most Reverend Warren Boudreaux, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Lafayette.
In accord with recent civil requirements for indoor services and adhering to limited seating, public viewing for Monsignor Ronald Groth will be held in St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Raymond on Thursday, May 14, beginning at 6 p.m. and concluding with a Scripture Service at 7 p.m. Viewing will resume in St. Lawrence Church on Friday, May 15, beginning at 9 a.m. and concluding with a Mass for Eternal Rest of Monsignor Groth at 10 a.m. A private funeral Mass and burial for family and clergy will be celebrated at a later time. Funeral services are under the direction of Miguez Funeral Home.
He celebrated his first Holy Mass on June 1, 1969, in St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Hathaway and his first pastoral assignment following ordination was as assistant pastor to St. Raphael Catholic Church in Iowa.
Msgr. Groth was named a Prelate of Honor to His Holiness Pope John Paul II, with the title Monsignor, on June 3, 1990 and was a member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.
He received his college/philosophy training at Immaculata Minor Seminary in Lafayette and at St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston and his theological education at the University of St. Thomas in Houston – graduating with a Master of Theology degree. He earned a Master of Spiritual Theology degree in 1994 from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.
Other pastoral assignments included assistant pastor at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in New Iberia, St. Mary Magdalen in Abbeville, and pastor of Our Lady Help of Christians in Jennings. While still in the Diocese of Lafayette, before the formation of the Diocese of Lake Charles in 1980, Msgr. Groth served as Vocation Director and Diocesan Chairperson of Evangelization.
In 1981, he was named Chaplain for the McNeese Catholic Student Center at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church.
Other assignments in the Diocese of Lake Charles included stints as pastor at St. Philip Neri in Kinder, rector of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Lake Charles, administrator (then pastor) at Immaculate Heart of Mary in Lake Charles and pastor at Our Lady Queen of Heaven. In 2005, he was named pastor to St. Lawrence in Raymond, then became pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus in Lake Charles and pastor of Our Lady of the Lake in Lake Arthur.
In Lake Charles, he served as Director of Evangelization, director of the Society of the Propagation of the Faith, and director of campus ministry, including a time as state chairman of campus ministers. He has also served as chaplain to the various Knights of Columbus Councils and Catholic Daughters of the Americas Courts in most of his assignments and was the secretary for the Jennings Ministerial Alliance.
In 1988, Msgr. Groth was awarded the Clergyman of the Year Award by Msgr. Cramers Assembly Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus. He authored a high school religion textbook series used locally along with writing Evangelization training materials and pamphlets.
A member of the Companions of Honor of the Diocese of Lake Charles, Msgr. Groth was a columnist for the Catholic Calendar and The Southwest Catholic as well as serving on the Clergy Committee and the Campaign Cabinet for the successful diocesan capital campaign Return to the Lord.
A Knight of Columbus, he received numerous awards and honors in his more than 50 years of ordained ministry.
Survivors include his brother Bob Groth of Lake Charles, his sister Joan G. Minor of San Antonio and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles F. and Neva D. Groth and sister, Gayle G. Fontenot.
**Please note that the gathering capacity will be limited to 25% occupancy as per state compliance**
In lieu of flowers, contributions for Masses in Msgr. Groth’s memory may be made to the Church Parish or to a Catholic Charity of your choice.