Father Francis Joseph Ruetz

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  • "Frank was a mentor to me at the provincial offices of OECTA..."
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REVEREND FATHER FRANCIS RUETZ, CR It is with great sadness that the Congregation of the Resurrection announces the death of Father Francis Joseph Ruetz on Sunday, December 16, 2012. He was in his 82nd year, 62nd year of religious life and 55th year of ministerial priesthood. Fr. Ruetz is predeceased by his parents Henry and Eleanor Ruetz (nee Schnurr), siblings Kay (Joe) Paleczny, Gerry, Jack, Bert and Bob. He is survived and lovingly remembered by his sister Theresa Tomko; sisters-in-law Joyce, Katie and Fran and cherished by many nieces, nephews, cousins and great- nieces and nephews. Fr. Frank will also be missed by close friends and numerous supporters of his life's work. Fr. Ruetz professed his religious vows in the Congregation on September 8, 1952 in Dundas, Ontario and was ordained to the priesthood on May 31, 1958 in London, Ontario. He began his ministry in Catholic education serving as a teacher at Scollard Hall, North Bay; St. Jerome's College, Kitchener; and St. Jerome's High School, Kitchener; and as chaplain at St. David Catholic Secondary School, Waterloo. After having earned a PhD in Religious Education from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, on scholarship, in 1973, Fr. Frank facilitated faith formation, professional development and spiritual enrichment of Catholic teachers with the Waterloo Catholic District School Board. Most notably, in 1974-75, he was the innovator of the youth spiritual retreat, Mount Mary, where over 50,000 Grade 8 students have participated for the past 30 years. He held a distinguished career for another 13 years as a Faith Development Coordinator with the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association, providing informative and inspiring team building and self-awareness workshops for Catholic educators, across the Province. As a mission of the Congregation of the Resurrection, in 1989 and for 12 years following, Fr. Ruetz established and became Director of the Resurrection Centre for Lifelong Learning assisting the process of faith formation and ministry preparation of the laity to serve in parish communities. For his last 20 years, he created and drew thousands of faith sharing participants to the thriving, worldwide publication, Celebrating the Word, which provides spiritual renewal through prayer, study and reflection on the sacred scriptures. Although Fr. Frank was not a parish priest, anyone who knew him recognized that he was genuine, loyal, inspiring, passionate, supportive and dedicated to his work, his natural family and his chosen family. He will be mostly remembered for his greatest gift - love. Visitation of Fr. Ruetz will take place at St. Louis Catholic Church, 53 Allen Street East, Waterloo, on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 from 2-5 and 7-9 p.m. A Vigil Service will be held at the church at 8 p.m. where there will be an opportunity to share memories of Fr. Ruetz. The Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at St. Louis Church at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, December 19, 2012. Interment at Mount Hope Cemetery, Kitchener. Reception to follow at St. Louis Church Hall. Donations in Fr. Ruetz's memory may be made to the Congregation of the Resurrection for the care of their retired members and forwarded to 265 Westmount Road North, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G7 or arranged through Henry Walser Funeral Home, 507 Frederick Street, Kitchener, ON, 519-749-8467. www.henrywalser.com

Published in the Toronto Star on Dec. 18, 2012
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