Talk to us

CathNews, the most frequently visited Catholic website in Australia, is your daily news service featuring Catholics and Catholicism from home and around the world, Mass on Demand and on line, prayer, meditation, reflections, opinion, and reviews. And, what's more - it's free!

Fr Stephen Gutgsell (OSV News/Omaha Archdiocese)

A Catholic priest in Nebraska died on Sunday after being stabbed at a parish rectory. Police have identified a suspect. Source: CNA.

The Omaha Archdiocese said in a statement that Fr Stephen Gutgsell was assaulted “during an invasion at the rectory of St John the Baptist Parish in Fort Calhoun early Sunday morning”.

“Fr Gutgsell was transported to Nebraska Medicine in Omaha, where he died of his injuries,” the archdiocese said. 

“The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is investigating, and there are no further details at this time. Please join Archbishop George Lucas in prayer for the repose of Fr Gutgsell, for his family, and for the St John the Baptist Parish community in this tragic time.”

Fr Gutgsell was listed on St John the Baptist’s website as the parish’s pastor. 

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post on Sunday that deputies arrived at the scene of the incident six minutes after an emergency call was placed. At the rectory, police located a suspect and arrested him.

The sheriff’s office named the suspect as 43-year-old Sioux City, Iowa, resident Kierre Williams. No motive was given in the press release, though the sheriff’s office said the incident involved an “attempted break-in”.

In 2007, Fr Gutgsell pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $US100,000 from St Patrick Catholic Church in South Omaha. He received five years of probation in connection with that case. He returned to priestly ministries later that same year.

His brother, Michael – who is also a priest and was previously the chancellor of the diocese –earlier this year pleaded guilty to financial crimes in which he stole more than $US150,000 from an elderly priest. 

Fr Michael Gutgsell had also been charged with stealing nearly $US100,000 from St. Joseph Church in Springfield, Nebraska, where he had served as pastor. Those charges were dropped when he reportedly repaid the parish in full. 


Nebraska priest dies after stabbing in parish rectory, suspect arrested (By Daniel Payne, CNA)


Nebraska priest dies after attack during apparent rectory break-in (NCR Online