Sunday, May 10, 2009

Rest In Peace, John Kortuem

Last week a friend of many in St Michael passed away, John Kortuem. He was a huge man, 6'8" and three and a half bills. Father Michael gave a touching and poignant homily at the Funeral Mass, recounting John's life, faith, size, strength and his occasional foibles.

I was in John's CRHP group, and was honored to have been a pall bearer at his funeral. And, John's son is a key reason I finally took the Tiberian plunge and joined the Church. John's gentleness and faithfulness, and his devotion to the Eucharist and the Blessed Virgin, were undoubtedly passed on to his children.

And so I know if it weren't for John Kortuem, I might still be lost.
Pray for John's soul, and for the comfort and consolation of his family.


Rich B said...

God Bless him. What an amazing man.

I believe John is our newest Saint--and I don't mean that in the token way we use that term lightly when ever someone dies. John was a suffering soul. If purgatory purifies us, John was purified through suffering here on Earth. He felt it was his calling to be a suffering soul; to pray, and to take on the suffering of others.

Further, John, as was JPII, was a huge follower of the divine mercy chaplet. If anyone met the requirements for full forgiveness, it would have been John.

The night before he died, he told the nurse that he felt he was dying. She said she though so too and asked if she should call his family. John said no. He just wanted to be a peace with God. And now he is.

John was such a devout follower of Mary. Truthfully, at times his divotion freaked me out a bit. He was so honest about his feelings. As someone less mature in his faith, it made me uncomfortable at times. But I believe that on the day he died, we was brought face to face with Jesus. And Jesus probably said "so your the one my Mom has told me so much about."

After his funeral, I had the chance to meet a person who went to Majagory with him. This person lives in South Dakota, and was so touched by John, that he felt compelled to come to his funeral. The stories he told about John and his divotion to Mary were amazing: Crawling up the mountain, sing the Ave Maria in Belgium and on Aperation Hill, leading the rosary while they were all traveling, and suffering while traveling (picture Big John on a plane with his bad leg).

What a devout man. I don't want to be John. I don't want to suffer as he did. But I want to be a Saint. John, please pray for us, your brothers in Chirst who are not as strong as you were, that we may take up our own cross and partake in the suffering of Christ.


J. Thorp said...

I knew who John was by sight, and have heard many stories, but never had the privilege of meeting him. Thank you both for sharing.