Bishop Herbert Hermes, OSB, died peacefully on Wednesday, January 3, 2018, at the General Hospital of Palmas, Tocantins, Brazil. He was buried in the crypt of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Cristalandia, Tocantins, Brazil.
Bishop Herbert was born on May 25, 1933, in Shallow Water, Kansas, near Scott City in the Dodge City Diocese. He was the ninth child of John Nicholas and Mary Ann (Hilger) Hermes. Born with him was his twin, Norbert, the tenth child.
After public education in Scott City through high school, Bishop Herbert enrolled at St. Benedict’s College in Atchison. He joined St. Benedict´s Abbey and professed vows on July 11, 1954. In May 1957 he graduated from St. Benedict’s College with degrees in Biology and Philosophy. After completion of theological studies at the Abbey, he was ordained to the priesthood on May 26, 1960. His ordination classmates, Father Blaine Schultz, OSB, and Father Albert Hauser, OSB, survive; Father Emeric Fletcher, OSB, and Father Bruce Swift, OSB, preceded him in death.
He and Abbot Ralph Koehler, OSB, traveled to Brazil in October 1962, and after a 16-week course in Portuguese in Petropolis, near Rio de Janeiro, began serving at St. Joseph’s Priory in Mineiros, Goais, Brazil. In 1972 he became pastor of the parish in Mineiros.
Bishop Herbert was active in promoting the faith among the people by his care of parishes and missions, the Cursillio movement at the parish and diocesan level, the preaching of retreats for men, women and youth, the introduction of the Worldwide Marriage Encounter movement and its continuance in the Jatai Diocese, teaching high school for many years. Bishop Herbert served as coordinator of the Parish Social Work Committee, administrating two daycare centers for working mothers, a care homes for the elderly, and as spiritual director for youth. He also established the Commission of Justice and Human Rights in the Jatai Diocese, and continued to promote that important work as Bishop, and later in retirement.
At the Priory he served as Prior and novicemaster, 1985-1989, and twice as subprior. In 1990, previous to being made Bishop, he was appointed formation director of the newly established St. Joseph Priory house of studies in Goiania, Goias.
Bishop Herbert was nominated as Bishop of the Prelacy of Cristalandia by Saint John Paul II on June 20, 1990. His Episcopal Ordination took place on September 2, 1990, in St. Benedict’s Abbey Church, Atchison. Meeting the mandatory retirement age, he resigned as Bishop of Cristalandia September 11, 2008, but continued to play an active part in promoting a society that was fair, fraternal, and God-fearing.
Bishop Herbert is survived by two brothers, Norbert (Salina), Eugene (Montana); a sister, Lucilla Herman (Broken Arrow, Oklahoma); his brother monks, and priests of the Prelacy of Cristalandia. He was preceded in death by his parents, 3 sisters and 4 brothers.
A Mass for Bishop Herbert will be held at the St. Benedict’s Abbey Church at a date to be determined.