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 From Father Matthew's Desk

In Memoriam ~ Rev. Msgr. Michael W. Matusak

Born November 4, 1949

Ordained a Priest of Jesus Christ May 3, 1975

Died October 13, 2019

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It is with great sadness that I share that Msgr. Michael Matusak passed away suddenly and unexpectedly last Sunday. He came to us as pastor of St. Gertrude and St. Anthony churches in 1986 and served as the first pastor of Church of the Good Shepherd from its founding in 1989 until being reassigned in 1997. During that time his love of God, his presence, his leadership, his joy, his sense of humor, and his hard work and sacrifices were all apparent. He was thankful for all of those same things in all of you. In his last bulletin article here, he said "I remember coming to the parish on June 3rd, 1986 as a stranger and now I will leave on July 1, 1997 being able to call you friends."

Father Mike's journey has crossed mine and my family's own on several occasions. He served as Parochial Vicar at St. Barbara in Harrison City where my mom and grandparents were parishioners and assisted at my parents' wedding. He was part of the committee that vetted me when I applied to Seminary and was the first pastor I was assigned to as a seminarian in summer of 2008. I learned much from him in that short time, and he always spoke fondly of the parishioners here and his time as pastor.

I was saddened to hear about the public allegations of clergy abuse made against Father Mike. As difficult as it may have been, he recognized the importance of transparency when those allegations were made public. Too often the pain of those impacted by clergy abuse have been silenced. With a long investigation ahead, he also recognized the need for present and stable leadership in the parishes of Uniontown, so he resigned his pastorates and retired on July 1, 2019. The results of an
18-month-long investigation were not shared with the Diocese.

His Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Oct. 18 at the St. Joseph Chapel of the Christ Our Shepherd Center, Greensburg.

We commend Father Mike to Jesus, the Good Shepherd, and pray that God would give him eternal peace and rest.

Hear with favor our prayers, which we humbly offer, O Lord, for the salvation of the soul of Michael, your servant and Priest, that he, who devoted a faithful ministry to your name, may rejoice in perpetual company of your Saints.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(From The Roman Missal, Masses for the Dead, For a Priest)

The best closing words I can give are Father Mike's own, from his goodbye in 1997. He was grateful to call us friends and I think Father Mike would feel the same about our community today:

"To sum it all up A GREAT PARISH FAMILY growing together with one another and God. So to each and everyone of you I say simply but sincerely THANKS A BUNCH and GOD BLESS EACH ONE OF YOU!!! Please keep me in your prayers."