George Henry Speltz

Most Reverend
George Henry Speltz
Bishop of St. Cloud
See St. Cloud
Installed January 31, 1968
Term ended January 13, 1987
Predecessor Peter William Bartholome
Successor Jerome Hanus
Other posts Auxiliary Bishop of Winona (196366)
Coadjutor Bishop of St. Cloud (196668)
Ordination June 2, 1940
Consecration March 25, 1963
Personal details
Born (1912-05-29)May 29, 1912
Altura, Minnesota
Died February 1, 2004(2004-02-01) (aged 91)
St. Cloud, Minnesota
Denomination Catholic Church

George Henry Speltz (May 29, 1912 February 1, 2004) was an American prelate of the Catholic Church. He served as Auxiliary Bishop of Winona (196366) and Bishop of St. Cloud (196887).


George Speltz was born in Altura, Minnesota, one of seven children of Henry and Josephine (née Jung) Speltz.[1] He attended Holy Trinity High School in Rollingstone, and then studied at St. Mary's College in Winona, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1932.[2] He continued his studies at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul.[3]

Speltz was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Francis Kelly on June 2, 1940.[4] He then served as assistant pastor of St. John's Church and superintendent of Loretto High School in Caledonia until 1941.[1] In 1944, he earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in economics from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.[2] His thesis was entitled: "Decentralization and the Social Obligations of the Land".[5]

Returning to Minnesota, Speltz served as vice-chancellor of the Diocese of Winona (1944–47) and superintendent of diocesan schools (1945–49).[3] In 1946, he was named pastor of St. Mary's Church in Minneiska and a professor at St. Mary's College in Winona.[1] He served as the first rector of Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Winona from 1948 to 1963.[3]

On February 12, 1963, Speltz was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Winona and Titular Bishop of Claneus by Pope John XXIII.[4] He received his episcopal consecration on the following March 25 from Bishop Edward Fitzgerald, with Bishops Peter Bartholome and Frederick Freking serving as co-consecrators, at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.[4] In addition to his episcopal duties, he served as pastor of St. Mary's Church in Winona from 1963 to 1966.[1] He also attended the last three sessions of the Second Vatican Council (1963–65).[6]

On April 6, 1966, Speltz was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of St. Cloud by Pope Paul VI.[4] His installation took place on the following June 7. He succeeded Bishop Peter Bartholome as the sixth Bishop of St. Cloud on January 31, 1968.[4] He was president of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference from 1970 to 1972.[3] In 1984, he initiated a ban to deny church weddings to couples who live together before they marry, unless they agreed to live apart before their wedding; he said cohabitation "calls into question fundamental moral values that have long been central to the Christian tradition: the sacred character of sex and of the Christian family."[7] He retired as Bishop of St. Cloud due to health concerns on January 13, 1987.[4]

Speltz died at St. Benedict Senior Community in St. Cloud, at age 91.[2] He is buried at Assumption Cemetery in St. Cloud.[8]


  1. 1 2 3 4 Who's Who in the Midwest, 1982-1983. Marquis Who's Who. 1982.
  2. 1 2 3 "Bishop Speltz, retired head of St. Cloud Diocese, dies at 91". The Georgia Bulletin. 2004-02-03.
  3. 1 2 3 4 "Former Bishop George Speltz leaves behind lengthy legacy" (PDF). Saint Mary's University Magazine. Spring 2004.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Bishop George Henry Speltz".
  5. Vecsey, George (1979-08-04). "Catholic groups campaign to save the 'family farm'". St. Petersburg Times.
  6. Sawyer Allen, Martha (1986-03-16). "At 73, Bishop Speltz looks back at pain caused by change and principles". Star Tribune.
  7. "GEORGE SPELTZ WAS BISHOP OF ST. CLOUD DIOCESE". St. Paul Pioneer Press. 2004-02-04.
  8. "Rev George Henry Speltz". Find A Grave.
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