Dear Reverend Fathers,
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
It is with deep sorrow I share the news that Father Michael Kottar, pastor of St. Mary Help of Christians Catholic Church in Shelby and Christ the King Catholic Mission in Kings Mountain, has been diagnosed with a degenerative brain disease and has had to return to family in Pickerington, Ohio, where he can get the care he needs.
Father Kottar’s illness, Creutzfeldt–Jakob Disease, is extremely rare and aggressive, and is caused by a protein abnormality that destroys the brain’s nerve cells. There is no effective treatment or cure.
Father Fidel Melo will serve as parish administrator beginning May 8 until we can appoint a permanent pastor.
I ask you to please pray or offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for Father Kottar, to provide spiritual sustenance and comfort to him, his family and his parishioners at this difficult time.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
To share your thoughts with Father Kottar and his family, please email email@example.com or send mail to:
Violet Springs Health Campus
Attn: Father Michael Kottar
603 Diley Road; Pinkerington, OH, 43147
I would meet up with Father Kottar at the Chrism Mass, at Ordinations, at the Diocesan Retreat, at the Bishop’s Advent Dinner…. He was always Christ-like, always asking about how his one-time parish here in very far western North Carolina was faring. He would ask about people by name. He was available to Jesus to keep this parish open and thriving. Thank you for your accepting the vocation Jesus provided to you, Father Kottar. Thanks for being a priest for all of us. Prayers for you! Hail Mary…
There are a myriad ways to get this disease. It is extremely aggressive. I’m always saying that the Lord’s love is stronger than our weakness, stronger than sickness, stronger than death, strong enough to get us from this world to the next. However, I know that when you are personally going through anything like this – this being super-scary humanly speaking – one tends not to see the forest for the trees right in front of you, meaning that our prayers for Father Michael are that he have the consolation of our Lord Jesus, dearest Immaculate Mary, Saint Joseph, and his Angel Guardian with him. Again: Hail Mary…