Funeral arrangements, memories shared for priest

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Those who want to pay their respects to the leader of Richmond Catholic Community will have opportunities to do so in Richmond and Indianapolis.
The Rev. Kevin Morris, 63, died Tuesday afternoon at the scene of a motor vehicle crash in the 3800 block of West U.S. 40 in Richmond. Morris was the pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish and Seton Catholic Schools.
Visitation offered by Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish for Morris will be from 4-8 p.m. Sunday, March 17, at Holy Family Campus, 815 W. Main St., Richmond. A Reception of the Body Service will take place from 4-4:15 p.m., and the Vigil Service will be from 7-7:45 p.m.
Beth Van Der Burgt, who is an active member of St. Andrew Church, said Morris was a wonderful pastor.
She worked with him as the Sacristan at Mass for almost 6 ½ years as she set up all that was needed for their Liturgy. She also coordinates those needed to help at Mass and the decorating of the church space.
“Father Kevin was a very humble authentic man,” Van Der Burgt said. “He became more than just a pastor for me, but a true genuine friend. Father Kevin had a great sense of humor, and had shared many wonderful stories with me. He loved to laugh and make others laugh! He was an avid Colts fan and many of us played in his league with him for fantasy football and baseball.”
Van Der Burgt said Morris had experienced great loss in his life prior to becoming a priest. He had been married and lost his wife to ovarian cancer. She said he shared some of those experiences with parishioners.
“I witnessed many great genuine acts of kindness from him to others in their times of need,” she said. “I will truly miss him.”
Van Der Burgt said Morris had been experiencing some illness recently, and on Tuesday a few hours before the accident, he had told her his foot was healing and he was on the mend.
“We had a great 10-minute conversation after Mass yesterday morning. We both mentioned how happy we were that the sun was out. He had a full day ahead and went on his way. Every time he came into the Sacristy I would ask him how he was, and he always always responded, ‘I am blessed.’ That is how I feel to have had him as part of my life for the last 6 ½ years.”
Wayne County Sheriff Randy Retter said preliminary investigation indicates that Morris was eastbound on U.S. 40 driving a green 2010 Ford Focus when his vehicle crossed the center line into the path of oncoming traffic. Morris was pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of his death has yet to be determined and is under investigation by the Wayne County Coroner’s Office, Retter said. Read more about the crash in our previous article.
Indiana’s broader Catholic community will also be able to pay its respects to Morris on Monday in Indianapolis.
On Monday, March 18, visitation will be from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, 1347 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis. The Funeral Mass will follow at 10:30 a.m. at the cathedral.
Parking will be limited at the Catholic Center and at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral, so those attending are encouraged to carpool and are encouraged to park on either Meridian, Pennsylvania or Illinois streets, both north and south of 14th Street, or at Knights of Columbus Hall at 1305 Delaware St.
The Rite of Committal will take place immediately after the funeral at Washington Park East, 10612 E. Washington St., followed by a meal at Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara Catholic Center, 1400 N. Meridian St.