Father Kurtis Wiedenfeld, St. Mary’s Catholic Church-Temple, TX
Submitted by: Theresa Mireles
At the very start of the pandemic Father has just returned from a missions trip to the remote villages In Honduras. It has been many years that a priest had visited them and hundreds walked many miles and even days to attend Mass. Without missing a step, Father rallied his staff that they needed to go virtual. Within days Father was posting on the church and his own Facebook messages of staying in virtue and God’s loving grace. He expressed to us that we are the church and encourage us to assemble our own in home altars. He requested pictures and received many of our make shift altars. It was a true sense of community as we continued to view Mass and watch Fathers messages of togetherness. He kept the church office open-even extending the hours which he would often times cover himself. To be with Father whether virtual or in person is a beautiful and true testimony of his love for Christ and his love for his parish and his ministry. Even through the pandemic he decided it would be a perfect time to renovate our historical church! During times when most churches felt the decrease in weekly offerings our increased or stayed steady. Because of Fr. Kurtis’s humility and hard work, we as a parish family continued to pour into our faith and into Father. During Covid 19 here’s just a couple of things we did as a community: we had a small Wedding, Baptism, Confirmation, hosted our Vicar from the Austin Diocese, hosted a three day Altar Society Jamboree, hosted four seminarians this summer and triple the amount of donations for the Walk for Life March with Father’s puppy, Trinity raising the most funds for a great cause! Things were never quiet on our church campus. We were first Catholic Church to open our doors in our town providing all Masses in the school gym. As the Covid cases declined in our county, Father and his school staff decided August 12 would be the first day of school. We were the first Catholic School in the Austin Diocese to hold personal classroom classes! We are so proud of Fr. Kurtis and his vision and sincere reverence for our Lord and our parish! He is visionary! Kind, Humble, Compassionate, Intelligent, and has a quick sense of humor! But most of all Christ’s love truly radiants through him.
Fr. Kurtis has been a light of love and compassion as I journey from being away from our Catholic faith for many years and losing three dear family members within three years. As I regain my foothold on my love for Christ it wasn’t a true conversion of my heart till Fr. Kurtis arrived on campus. He taught me The Te Deum during one his homilies and also to reserve prayer and mediation time before starting my day as well as ending my day. He spoke of wearing the veils in Church and how beautiful the meaning was to do so. He also spoke gently of those with grieving hearts and how we must continue to grow and seek the boundless graces that God has in stored in us. As my heart, mind and soul began to heal, Father blessed me even more by showing and speaking of Christ in the Eucharist. It wasn’t until I understood that the greatest love for me was waiting for me in the Eucharist. God’s body, blood, soul and divine divinity was there for me. These are just a few stories why I believe Fr. Kurtis was the right priest at the right time not only for me but a conversion for our entire church family.
Because he serves others rather than to be SERVED. He gives more of himself and ask for nothing in return. He allows us to who we are and as a faithful Shepard finds us only if we stray.