JURGENS, REV. WILLIAM A., H.E.D. (3 July 1928-1 Sept. 1982) was a Catholic priest, linguist, author who translated theological and scriptural works, and Diocesan historian. An expert on Gregorian Chants and a gifted musician and composer, Jurgens was the first director of the Commission on Sacred Music.
Born in Akron to Charles and Ruth (Gardner) Jurgens, Jurgens attended Immaculate Conception School and St. Vincent High School in Akron, St. Joseph Preparatory Seminary in Westmont, IL., and St. Mary Seminary in Cleveland.
Ordained in 1954, Jurgens first assignment was at St. Michael Parish on Scranton Road. In 1956 Jurgens began studies in Rome at the Pontifical Music Institute, while also earning a doctorate in ecclesiastical history from Gregorian University.
Returning to Cleveland in 1959, Jurgens served at Blessed Sacrament Church before being named to the St. Mary Seminary faculty. Jurgens was assigned to teach at Borromeo Seminary in 1961 and became Instructor of Chant at both seminaries in 1965. From 1961-1968 Jurgens was diocesan director of sacred music. He served on the Diocesan Liturgical Commission and was the director of the Commission on Sacred Music. In 1974 he became BISHOP CLARENCE ISSENMANN's secretary.
In 1977 Bishop James Hickey appointed Jurgens Diocesean research historian, commissioning him to write a multi-volume work on the Diocese. Jurgens had completed the first volume, A History of the Diocese of Cleveland: The Prehistory of the Diocese to Its Establishment in 1847, and the draft of volume two at the time of his death.
Jurgens is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery.