Former Mascoutah Priest Has Died

Gerald Hechenberger

By Pamela Rensing
[email protected]

The former priest of Holy Childhood Catholic Church in Mascoutah, who pleaded guilty last fall to charges of distributing child pornography and possessing methamphetamine, has died.

According to Perry County Coroner Paul Searby, Gerald Hechenberger was pronounced dead Friday morning, March 6, at Pinckneyville Community Hospital. He had been serving a nine-year sentence at Pinckneyville Correctional Center.

An autopsy will be performed on Monday, March 9.

On Nov. 7, 2019, he pleaded guilty to three counts of possessing pornographic photos of children and one count of possession of methamphetamine. He was sentenced on January 14, 2020.


  1. Anonymous on March 10, 2020 at 9:02 pm

    Rot in hell! There is no forgiveness for this.

  2. Anonymous on March 10, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    I don’t have any sympathy for this guy.

  3. Anonymous on March 7, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    ‘From the perspective of the Christian faith, his death is a call to each of us to pray for him in the hope that God in his love and mercy will give him a share in the eternal life that is promised to those who strive to be faithful followers of Jesus Christ,” Bishop Braxton wrote.

  4. Anonymous on March 6, 2020 at 7:04 pm

    he was well liked

    • Anonymous on March 7, 2020 at 11:09 am

      Liked or not, he was not fit to be around children.

      • Anonymous on March 10, 2020 at 5:28 pm


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