Bernard J. Ganter

Bernard Jacques Ganter (July 17, 1928 – October 9, 1993) was an American clergyman of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Tulsa (1973-1977) and Bishop of Beaumont, TX (1977-1993).

Bernard J. Ganter
Bishop of Tulsa
AppointedDecember 13, 1972
Term ended1977
OrdinationMay 22, 1952
by Bishop Wendelin Joseph Nold
ConsecrationFebruary 2, 1973
by Archbishop Luigi Raimondi
Personal details
Birth nameBernard Jacques Ganter
Born(1928-07-17)July 17, 1928
Galveston, Texas
DiedOctober 9, 1993(1993-10-09) (aged 65)
BuriedBishop's Garden next to St. Anthony Cathedral
DenominationRoman Catholic
ParentsBernard and Marie (née Bozka) Ganter
ProfessionPrivate Secretary
EducationTexas A&M University
Alma materSt. Mary's Seminary, La Porte


Bernard Ganter was born in Galveston, Texas, to Bernard and Marie (née Bozka) Ganter.[1] He studied engineering at Texas A&M University for one year before transferring to St. Mary's Seminary in La Porte to study for the priesthood.[1] He was ordained by Bishop Wendelin Joseph Nold on May 22, 1952.[2]

He then attended the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., from where he obtained a Doctor of Canon Law in 1955.[1] He was a curate at Sacred Heart Church in Conroe before serving as private secretary to Bishop Nold (1955-1958).[1] He was also head of the diocesan tribunal (1958–66), chancellor of the diocese (1966–72), and diocesan consultor.[1] He was named Papal Chamberlain in May 1964, and elected to the presbyterate council the same year.[1]

On December 13, 1972, Ganter was appointed the first Bishop of the newly erected Diocese of Tulsa, Oklahoma, by Pope Paul VI.[2] He received his episcopal consecration on February 2, 1973 from Archbishop Luigi Raimondi, with Bishops Nold and John Louis Morkovsky serving as co-consecrators.[2] He quickly became a beloved figure among Catholics in Eastern Oklahoma, and led a diocese that was culturally and economically diverse.[3] After four years in Tulsa, Ganter returned to Texas and was named the third Bishop of Beaumont on December 13, 1977.[2]

During his tenure in Beaumont, he established five new parishes, including the first parish in the United States for Vietnamese Americans.[1] He started the permanent diaconate and ordained 36 men between 1979 and 1992.[4] He also established a Catholic Charities office, diocesan financial board, retreat center, and biblical school for adults.[4] The Diocese of Beaumont lost territory with the creation of the Diocese of Tyler in 1986, but received the rest of Chambers and Liberty Counties in 1989.[4]

Ganter died from a brain tumor at age 65.[1] He is buried in the Bishop's Garden next to St. Anthony Cathedral.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "GANTER, BERNARD JACQUES (1928-1993)". The Handbook of Texas Online.
  2. ^ a b c d "Bishop Bernard James Ganter".[self-published source]
  3. ^ "Tulsa Gets a Bishop". Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. Archived from the original on 2008-12-23.
  4. ^ a b c "History of The Diocese Of Beaumont". Roman Catholic Diocese of Beaumont. Archived from the original on 2009-04-01.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Bishop of Tulsa
Succeeded by
Eusebius J. Beltran
Preceded by
Warren Louis Boudreaux
Bishop of Beaumont
Succeeded by
Joseph Anthony Galante