A funeral Mass for Father James E. Wuerth was celebrated March 10 at Most Blessed Sacrament Church in Louisville, Kentucky. Father Wuerth, former pastor of St. Wenceslaus Parish in St. Louis and a member of the Missionaries of Holy Family, died March 7 at age 78.
Born in Louisville, he attended Holy Family Seminary in St. Louis and was ordained in 1971.
He served in the dioceses of Corpus Christi and Brownsville, and in the archdioceses of Los Angeles, San Antonio, Louisville and St. Louis. In Los Angeles, he served as a hospital chaplain. He was in parish ministry elsewhere. His knowledge of Spanish helped him in his service in Texas.
In St. Louis, he also taught at Holy Family Seminary and served his community in leadership roles. He served as pastor of St. Wenceslaus from 2000-15 when he retired. He lived at Nazareth Home in Louisville at the time of his death.
Father Wuerth was a musician who often played the organ and piano and led choirs at parishes. He told The Record, the diocesan newspaper in Louisville, that his service along the Texas-Mexico border showed him the suffering of immigrant families. “We all have the dignity of God, not by nature of our government, but by the nature of who we are as sons and daughters of Christ,” he said.
Survivors include three sisters, Ruth Ann Wuerth, Lucille Tangel and Mary Frances Wright; and three brothers, Bob, Joe Paul and Bill Wuerth.