Father John Kuchinski: Helping others in faith

Father John Kuchinski was recently transferred to St. Mary’s Church in York, where the bi-lingual priest hopes to help others through life’s struggles.

Presented by: Our York Media
Written by: Anthony Machcinski
Father John Kuchinski poses in front of St. Mary’s Church in York. (Photo by Caleb Robertson/Our York Media)

The casket of a 6-year-old boy sat at the foot of the altar of St. Francis Xavier Church in Gettysburg as Father John Kuchinski struggled through the service.

He knew the young boy and his family. They were parishioners. After Mass, he took a deep breath and began to pray.

“Any experience of loss or evil is something that challenges belief,” Father Kuchinski says. “The best and only answer is just prayer – to pray for the strength and grace to get through it. You know you can’t take away the pain of loss, but you can be present to people and remind them they’re not alone.”

***

Growing up, the Kuchinski family volunteered at the church and attended Lenten fish fries.

“My family instilled that there’s nothing more important than faith,” Father Kuchinski says. “We have a limited time on earth. We needed to do everything we could to give back and volunteer.”

We have a limited time on earth. We needed to do everything we could to give back and volunteer.

quotecircle
Father John Kuchinski

During his freshman year at Lancaster Catholic High School, he decided to go into the priesthood.

“It just struck me that this might be what God is asking me to do,” he says. “The faith had been such an important part of our lives, and I wanted to help others in their faith.”

***

Father Kuchinski was ordained in June 2016 and spent three years in Gettysburg. This June, the diocese transferred him to St. Mary’s Church in York, where the bi-lingual priest hopes to continue making a difference in his parishioners’ lives.

“One of the difficult things is we don’t see the immediate result of the work we do,” Father Kuchinski says. “But sometimes you get a note from someone, or you run into them in a store and they tell you that something you said struck them. That’s the little reminders from God that your work isn’t fruitless.”

After all, his parish isn’t just a group of people who listen to him on Sundays.

“Once you’ve been in the parish for a while, you know people,” Father Kuchinski says. “They’re not strangers. They become part of your family. I’m excited to make St. Mary’s part of my family.”

Get Neighbors of Our York in your inbox: Every Thursday at 9 a.m., we’ll email you a full version of the latest “Neighbors of Our York” profile. You subscribing lets us know you like and value what we’re doing.