Lift Up Your Hearts

I hope that you are all enjoying these summer days. While our parish staff members are all continuing to serve our parish grouping day by day, we are all enjoying a bit of a ‘slow down’ which July often brings. I just want to share with you these few items.

I know that many of you have come to know Father Joe Kurutz over the past 15 years, since he began his retirement and has lived in Bethel Park (within Saint Joan parish). Father Kurutz has been a faithful and welcoming presence in the confessional at Saint Louise, and for a time often celebrated daily Mass to help us out. He is also very often with us for the 4:00pm Vigil Mass at Saint Joan (which was his first assignment as a newly ordained priest). This past May he observed his 60th anniversary of priestly ordination, but he has also experienced some health issues since then. Father asked if he might share his own words with you in our bulletin, which I am happy to do:

“I send my thanks to all of you who prayed and offered Masses for me, sent gifts, cards and good wishes on the 60th anniversary of my ordination, May 30, 2019. It’s easier for me to do this in one bulletin announcement rather than send a thank you by mail to each of you. I thank all of you for your kindness, generosity and good wishes. It feels good to be appreciated. But like a greedy recipient who has received so much from you, I am at the same time asking for you to continue to pray for me. The cancer I had in the lung in 2013 has returned. I am currently losing weight and feeling rather tired all the time. I have retired completely and will no longer offer Mass or hear confessions. I don’t have enough pep and energy to do so. I had an appointment with my oncologist on Tuesday, July 2nd and I began treatments on Friday July 5th. I’m certain God knows what is best for me. I ask that you pray like His Son, as I say with Him, I don’t want to drink from this chalice of pain and suffering BUT not my will but THINE be done. I’ve always been convinced that God loves me BEST. Every good Christian should feel God loves them best. He does.”

– Father Joe Kurutz

We thank God for Father Joe K.’s priesthood, and how he’s shared it here with us. With you, I am particularly touched and am grateful to Father Joe even now, for how he is witnessing to our faith and teaching us how to accept our share in the Lord’s Cross. I trust that you will continue to pray for him.

Thank you once more for your support of the annual Missionary Cooperative Appeal. Last weekend, July 6 & 7, we welcomed Sister Gratia and Sister Mercy of the Sisters of Mary Immaculate to Saint Joan of Arc. Next weekend, July 20 & 21 we will welcome Passionist Father, Curtis Kiddy, to Saint Louise de Marillac. This annual appeal supports the missionary work which our guests speak about and many other missionary activities carried out by our Church both in the US and throughout the world.

Please note: For our 9:00am Mass-goers at Saint Joan, we realize that a second collection was not taken for the support of the Missionary Co-op. This Sunday, at the 9:00am Mass only, the second collection will be taken up for the Missions. Please place your ‘Repairs and Replacement’ envelopes in the first collection.

Lastly, our seminarian Aaron Ledgerwood has been introducing himself to our parish community in person, whenever he’s been able. I’ve asked Aaron to share a little bit about himself here in the bulletin by way of introduction. I’m sure that you’ll continue to welcome him to Saint Joan of Arc and Saint Louise de Marillac, and that you’ll also support him with your prayers.

Yours In Christ,
Fr. Joe

From Aaron…

Hello! I am excited to join the faith communities of Saint Joan of Arc and Saint Louise de Marillac for my pastoral year! I grew up in Beaver County and attended the University of Pittsburgh for my undergraduate, where I majored in bioengineering. After I graduated from college in 2012, I worked as a research engineer for a few years; this was when I began to grow closer to God in prayer – especially in the presence of the Eucharist – and when I first heard the call to the priesthood.

I entered seminary formation four years ago and since then I’ve focused primarily on my studies while working on my prayer and discernment – I studied philosophy at Duquesne University for two years and then theology at the Catholic University of America for two years. It will be good for me to get some hands-on experience while I discern the priesthood during this pastoral year before I head back to CUA for my last two years of seminary. I’m looking forward to working closely with the parish staff throughout the year and will be concentrating my efforts to help as Faith Formation and Youth Ministries come together as one!

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