SHAWNEE, OK, USA - Did you know?
Father Gregory Gerrer, OSB was born
Robert Francis Xavier Gerrer (1867 – 1946) to a father who served as one of Napoleon's bakers in France.
In 1872, the Gerrer family immigrated to the US to flee invading German troops. They settled in Missouri for a short time before staying in Iowa.
1891 was an eventful year, with a young Gerrer joining the traveling circus as a musician before setting his sights on that Oklahoma land that was rumored to be given away in a most peculiar way via "Land Run!"
This adventure didn't quite go as planned, while in Guthrie awaiting the run, he realized his calling to become a priest after an encounter with the Abbot of Sacred Heart Abbey (which became Saint Gregory's.)
After an international call for artists, Pope Pius X chose Fr. Gerrer to paint his official portrait in 1903.
Through it all, he traveled the world; several times over. He met people. He created art. He collected art. He traded art and artifacts. All kinds of art and artifacts.
Before his death in 1946, 218 paintings and 6,347 artifacts were cataloged in his collection. The current collection is housed at Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art on the Oklahoma Baptist University Green Campus and has over 8000 pieces including many of Gerrer's acquisitions.
You may not be as accomplished as Father Gerrer, but I'm glad you're here. Be who you want to be, in Shawnee!