Heinrich Kurz only fulfilled his childhood dream when he was old: he was born and grew up in Munich, where he worked as a pastor for decades, but he chose the parish of St. Georg in Oberndorf for his retirement. “It was my dream since childhood to live in the country,” said Kurz on the occasion of his 65th jubilee as a priest. Now, almost six years later, Pastor Heinrich Kurz died in Ebersberg. He was 95 years old.
Growing up in Munich, his father badly paid as a “beer guide”, Kurz experienced the rise of the Nazis, the seizure of power and the horrors of the Second World War as a small boy. At the age of 15 he became an air force helper, “I was practically a child soldier then,” he remembers decades later. After the war, Kurz made the decision to become a priest, and at the end of 1945 the adolescent began the seminary in Freising. Incidentally, one of his fellow students later went a long way in the church hierarchy: Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI Emeritus, was ordained a priest with Kurz on the same day, June 29, 1951. Even later, the friends from the university were still in contact, and he visited the head of the Catholic Church in Rome several times, even after his resignation.
Kurz himself took over the services in the Munich parish of St. Luke in 1966, initially temporarily in a large garage before a new church building was completed. Until he moved to Oberndorf, he looked after the local community in the west of Munich. At the age of 72, Pastor Kurz actually wanted to retire. He didn’t quite manage to let go. Kurz also held masses in Oberndorf, usually twice a week, as long as his strength allowed.
St. Georg in Oberndorf was immediately drawn to Kurz, he once said years ago: “I’ll stay there,” he thought to himself when he saw the whitewashed church for the first time, it was in 1998 and he’s lived ever since in the parish of Oberndorf with its baroque little church. Celebrating mass at this gem is “simply beautiful”, you can literally feel a spiritual presence.
In the Church of St. George, which Heinrich Kurz had valued so much, the funeral rosary will also take place on Tuesday, June 28 at 7 p.m. and on Wednesday, June 29 at 10 a.m. the soul service. The funeral will then take place on Friday, June 1st at 9.45 a.m. at the Westfriedhof in Munich.