Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of September 15, 2008
Redemptorist Fr. Joseph Kot had a ‘true pastor’s heart’
Fr. Joseph Kot
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
Redemptorist Father Joseph Kot didn’t know when to stop working. He moved to Edmonton in 2002 with the idea of slowing down. It didn’t work.
In his retirement, Kot would celebrate Mass regularly at Norwood Extended Care and in various parishes in the city whenever there was a need.
“I would say he died with his boots on (because) he just kept working,” says Father Michael Brehl, superior of the English-speaking Redemptorists of Canada. “He wasn’t getting paid for most of what he did. He was just doing it because he saw there were needs and he knew he could make a difference.”
A gentle passing
Kot died peacefully Sept. 4 at Villa Marguerite, the Redemptorists’ retirement home. He was 80.
“He was a well-trained, well-educated and very intelligent man but I’d say what really marked him is he had a pastor’s heart,” Brehl said.
Kot was born in McTaggart, Sask., on June 13, 1928, one of six children. He received his early education at Tagg country school and McTaggart and Weyburn High schools. Graduating from the University of Saskatchewan with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1951, Kot went to work for a survey company.
It was in Grande Prairie in 1955 that he met the Redemptorists and decided to join them. Kot took his first vows on Sept. 15, 1957 and was ordained a priest June 17, 1962.
He was then sent to study religious education, became a teacher and taught chemistry at Holy Redeemer and theology at Notre Dame University in Nelson, B.C. Kot also served as director of Redemptorist students at St. Paul’s College in Winnipeg, member of the leadership team of the Redemptorists of Canada and parish pastor in Grande Prairie and Saskatoon.
He moved to Clement House in Edmonton in 2002. In 2005, Kot joined Villa Marguerite, the Redemptorists’ retirement community at the former Grey Nuns Regional Centre, from where he helped out in various parishes.
Father Stan Liska, who did his novitiate with Kot at Holy Redeemer College in the late 1950s, described Kot as “a wonderful guy” with a good heart.
“He was a good, down-to-earth priest, very helpful to the people,” he said. “And he loved sports, especially baseball. The Blue Jays have an intercessor in heaven now.”
Kot would normally join his brother priests for a game of bridge after supper. On Sept. 4 he didn’t. He complained about pain in the lower abdomen and retired to his room. Liska and others played cards for about 90 minutes and then he decided to go to Kot’s room to check on him. He was already dead.
A huge heart
“The biggest thing you can say about him is he had a huge heart for people,” Brehl continued. “He was (also) a man of prayer. His prayer was basically ‘Your will be done, Lord.’”
A funeral Mass for Kot was held Sept. 9 at St. Alphonsus Church in Edmonton.