William John "Bill" Wegner
William John "Bill" Wegner
William John “Bill” Wegner, a member of St. Veronica Parish, Howell, and co-founder and president of Good News International, a Catholic lay movement based in the Diocese of Trenton, died March 18 at age 73.

Mr. Wegner’s Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated March 23 in St. Veronica Church.

Born in 1948 in Newark, Mr. Wegner graduated from St. Rose High School, Belmar. He earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, and a master’s degree in theology from Georgian Court University, Lakewood.

After owning several businesses and a successful career in real estate, he devoted his life to spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ as a Catholic lay evangelist. For nearly 30 years, he traveled across the United States and other countries conducting parish missions, conferences and tent revivals and also organized a school of evangelization. He also established the “Celebrating Our Catholic Faith Tent Revival” held for many years in Monmouth County. He authored “Dare to Be Holy,” a book detailing his journey into ministry.

In November 2000, the Sacred Heart Institute presented Mr. Wegner with the Father Jim Ferry Award for evangelization, and in 2001 he was nominated for the Pope Pius VI Evangelization Award by the National Catholic Conference for Evangelization (NCCE) in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Wegner was predeceased by his parents and sister. He is survived by his wife Cheryl Wegner; a son, Brian (Jen) Wegner; his daughters Amy Stewart, Erin Garcia and Kati (Jonathan) Shorey; two brothers; 12 grandchildren; five brothers-in-law; three sisters-in-law, and nine nieces and nephews.