Father Frank Kurucz '98 (Archdiocese of Chicago) St. Michael, Orland Park, IL
Submitted by: Steve Messina
Father Frank launched virtual Mass immediately during the pandemic. His sincere and thoughtful understanding that through these trials and tribulations, keeping the Mass as a central piece of our lives was imperative. St. Michael is a parish which was dropped into a pandemic in the midst of the beginning healing stages of unthinkable circumstances that shocked the community last December. These two very different, but very emotional times have been guided by the genuine faith of a great man. What Father Frank has done in the past 10 months is nothing he could have learned at USML, but his caring outreach makes him more than a hero. He has met every challenge as an opportunity for connecting better to Jesus. His hope is inspiriing.
Knowing Father Frank from his days at St. Cajetan and our work together with the Archdiocese, he is the true definition of a positive impact on faith. His recognizable laugh reverberates around the school. The joy he brings to the priesthood is reason alone to engage more with parish outreach. When seeing his faith in action, it makes me proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with him as someone from St. Michael and as a Catholic. The example he sets of giving all to the Lord, through action, singing voice, talents and treasures reaffirms my hope in our Church and the faith my wife and I are sharing with our children.
Father Frank Kurucz exemplifies the virtues of a pastor in a time where those virtues must be shared outside the parish walls as earnestly as the Gospel. Recognition of this award truly makes a statement of not keeping our lanterns under bushel baskets. It is a message that, for as much as 2019 and 2020 has brought to this parish community, there is hope manifested in the simple, straightforward and caring concern of Father Frank, guided by the Holy Spirit. A fervent supporter of our Catholic school, this award would allow opportunity for all our students and the entire community to share just how grateful they are to this humble priest. It would also give opportunity to further inspire Father Frank in everything he does, for those individuals he will bring into the faith, those whose faith he has solidified further and all together, who will continue to make St. Michael shine as a beacon in the Archdiocese of Chicago.