Name: Father Ken Kuntz
Years ordained: 31
Current assignment: Pastor — Saint Mary’s of Iowa City
How did you know you were being called to the priesthood? I felt the “attraction” in grade school, but in junior high, rejected it. In high school, my dad asked me one time if I ever thought about being a priest. I said “NO WAY!” — but something (or someone?) within me said: “Maybe you need to give Dad’s question some thought.” From then on, I felt the desire to pursue a possible vocation.
Aside from your ordination Mass, what was your most memorable Mass? One time, I was concelebrating Mass at St. Peter’s in Rome (at the “Altar of the Chair”). For some reason, I ended up standing next to the presiding celebrant at the altar. At first I thought “WOW! I hope my sister gets a picture of this!” But then I thought “What if they want me to read part of the Eucharistic Prayer?” — which was in Latin. No sooner did I have that thought when the Master of Ceremonies placed the Missal (book) in front of me. In a state of “inner panic,” I solemnly slid the book to the priest next to me, who thankfully read the prayer in perfect Latin. Had I attempted it, since my Latin is less than stellar, they probably would have called in the Swiss guards!
What is most rewarding about being a priest? I love preaching, celebrating the sacraments and providing pastoral care for the people.
What is most challenging about being a priest? Preparing homilies is always a challenge. Thankfully (for the sake of the people), I adhere to the advice that there’s no such thing as a bad SHORT homily!
What is your favorite Scripture passage? I find John chapter 6 to be a favorite of mine. It’s the powerful discourse about Jesus being the Bread of Life.
What is your hobby? It’s not really a hobby, but I love to eat — especially if I haven’t prepared the food myself! I also enjoy walking, reading and learning more about the liturgy.