Rev. Ray Kirtz, OMI

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Rev. Ray R. Kirtz, OMI, 90, died on August 12, 2022, at the Dammert Geriatric Center in Belleville, IL.

Fr. Kirtz was born to the late Fred and Sadie (Fortney) Kirtz in Wabasso, MN, on December 17, 1931.  He professed his first vows as a Missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate in 1953 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1958.

His ministry included missions in the Philippines.  He also served as pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes (Pine River, MN), Holy Cross Parish (Orr, MN), St. Catherine’s (Sisseton, SD), and Immaculate Conception (Nett Lake, MN).  His latter assignments included serving on the Oblate Preaching team at King’s House of Retreats in Belleville, IL and at Christ the King Retreat House in Buffalo, MN.  He also served as an Associate Pastor at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish (International Falls, MN).  He continued his retreat ministry at Christ the King Retreat House in Buffalo MN until he retired.  He retired at the Benedictine Living Community in Belleville, IL where he resided at the time of his death.

Fr. Kirtz was preceded in death by his parents; and by his brothers and a sister.  Surviving him are many nieces, nephews, and cousins.  He is also in the prayerful remembrance of his approximately 3,500 fellow Oblates of Mary Immaculate in over 60 countries.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made for the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, 9480 N. DeMazenod Drive, Belleville, IL 62223.  Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

Visitation:  Friends may visit from 10:00 to 11:15 a.m. Thursday, August 18, 2022, at the Benedictine Living Community Chapel (726 Community Drive, Belleville, IL 62223) at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, Belleville, IL.

Funeral:  A Mass of Christian burial will be at 11:15 a.m. Thursday, August 18th, 2022 at the Benedictine Living Community Chapel (726 Community Drive, Belleville, IL 62223) at the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows, Belleville, Il.

Burial will be at St. Henry’s Oblate Cemetery in Belleville, IL.



8 Comments on Rev. Ray Kirtz, OMI

Nemesio Agustin said : Guest Report Dec 11, 2022 at 5:24 AM

Rest In Peace Father You were the one that shaped my young life. Became my best model of humility. I was your alter server in the parish of Lambayong Sultan Kudarat My condolences to the family.

  • Sugar Land
  • Tx
Cathy Kirtz Kisselburg said : Guest Report Aug 27, 2022 at 4:13 PM

What a special gift Fr. Ray was to all his family and his parish I’m sure . I am wish I had known him better, but his visits to California were always a special occasion as a child and adult . I know he is with his family, all the saints and God!

  • Covina
  • Ca
Julie Kirtz said : Guest Report Aug 27, 2022 at 4:09 PM

Fr. Ray was a wonderful Uncle and one of my father's beloved brothers. I admire his life-giving generosity and mind. I just pulled his book "All Creation Works Together" off my bookshelf, so will honor him with one of his own quotes: "We need to get beyond fears of the unknown and live in the known reality of Creation. Faith and science both agree everything in Creation seems to exist to promote life in its many forms." Thank you Fr. Ray. Julie Kirtz

  • Washington
  • DC
Terri Anderson said : Guest Report Aug 19, 2022 at 11:24 AM

Fr. Ray was not only my uncle but also a mentor that I came to know and trust throughout most of my life. He was kind, caring and compassionate and very thoughtful in helping me through some of my life's hardest challenges. No judgement, just his own deeply philosophical views. He did pretty well making the rounds at the holidays to make sure he got us all in for visits in some way. I love the life he had. He will be missed by all of us. Rest in peace Fr. Ray.

  • Hutchinson
  • MN
David kirtz said : Guest Report Aug 17, 2022 at 2:53 PM

Fr ray was the greatest uncle a man could have. He was the last of the kirtz clan that my dad was in. When he visited we would visit the forest or the ocean and talk about how nature and God are one and the same. You will be missed father ray. Thanks for you visits, and all the love you gave to us all he family tree he researched so extensively was sent to me by my dad, Alvin kirtz, and

  • gold hill
  • Oregon
Melissa Kirtz said : Guest Report Aug 17, 2022 at 8:43 AM

I will miss Fr Ray's logical, thoughtful and sage advice. I could talk to him about anything. Rest in peace, Uncle Ray.

  • Litchfield
  • MN
Steven Kirtz said : Guest Report Aug 16, 2022 at 8:29 PM

Will miss our short visits

  • Olivia
  • Mn
Ann Eckberg said : Guest Report Aug 16, 2022 at 6:34 PM

Fr. Ray was my beloved uncle. He is the last of my dad's siblings to return to his eternal home. His compassion for his fellow humans, wisdom, and kind spirit will be missed by all of us, his nieces and nephews. Rest in peace, Fr. Ray.

  • Gaylord
  • MN

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