Paul Strittmatter, Reverend Father
(1946 - 2010)

Paul Strittmatter Reverend Father

Iowa, United States of America
July 12, 1946

March 30, 2010

Glory of God Parish Ministry Family - Sisters and brothers, nieces, nephews Family - all those in parishes he served Family/Brotherhood - Society of Jesuits Family - Rosebud Reservation aka "The Rez" Friendships - old and new Debate - almost any topic was fair game Social Justice Wry observations Celebrations Scrabble - merciless opponent Cribbage - ditto Art - esp Vermeer Travel - long road trips in cars requiring miracles to get there. Trips to Australia The art of Vermeer Life of Martin Luther (who had also started out as a Jesuit) Study of Religions and Philosophy
This site is dedicated to Father Paul Strittmatter. It offers us the chance to remember him, to share stories, pictures and music, to offer condolences and appreciation.

In lieu of gifts, the family asks that you donate to the St Francis Foundation. Information on this is on the Donate tab.
THE FAMILY OF FR PAUL STRITTMATTER wants to thank everyone who was clearly such a part of his heart, soul and life. Thank you for each sharing your unique, wondrous form of comfort whether it was a handshake, a story, hours of coordination, opening your homes, providing an honor guard, flowers, banners, food, and most especially always remembering that beyond the grief of loss is the knowledge of the Resurrection. We hope you'll check in once in awhile as we all go through this healing journey - and it is a journey, not an event.

P.S. Make room in your hearts for the next priest(s) too - they carry the message of Christ that Paul did - but in different ways - it's all still pointing to the same direction.
It is rare that a man gets to tell his own story for a memorial. However, it happened that he was interviewed just a week before his death about his ministry. That article is reprinted below and offers Paul the chance to tell his own story. For more insight into his childhood and other life events, see the stories section - this, however is about his ministry.

March 24 Creightonian Article on Fr Paul
Sophie Vodvarka Scene Editor March 24, 2010

The Rev. Paul Strittmatter, S.J., spends his days off enjoying the activities on campus. After teaching at Creighton and living on the Rosebud reservation, he became a parish priest for three towns in Iowa. Though his presence on Creighton’s campus is limited, the Jesuit wisdom of the Rev. Paul Strittmatter, S.J., relates to students unsure of the direction of their lives.

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do until I was 38,” Strittmatter said. “There’s a lot of time to figure it out.”

Strittmatter previously taught at the university, but generally is now only on campus on his day off.

“I like just talking to people,” he said. “The students are very much the same now, they’re very good students. It’s a very nice environment to spend time in. I have all the advantages of living here without working here.”

He originally became a Jesuit because he didn’t want to become a diocesan priest.

“I did a lot of reading on the 16th century and learned about the Jesuits that way,” Strittmatter said.

Strittmatter has been a Jesuit for 45 years, and for the past 13 he has been a pastor in three towns in Iowa — Dunlap, Woodbine and Mondamin — with his opinion of pastoral life changing as well.

“My past is full of contradictions like that,” Strittmatter said.

Before becoming a pastor, Strittmatter spent 13 years on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. These years, in addition to Strittmatter’s Jesuit training and open-minded personality, have “brought a dimension to the parish that we’ve never had before,” said Dolores V. Klein, one of Strittmatter’s Dunlap parishioners.

“He broadens the minds because of the experiences that he talks about,” Klein said.

When Strittmatter gives Mass, he greets each parishoner as he or she enters and leaves the church.

“If he happens to see someone across the street coming to mass, he’ll wait for them,” Klein said. “He’s always concerned about how people are.”

Strittmatter is an avid reader and “is extremely intelligent,” Klein said. “He’s up on different things, and he does a really good job.”

Strittmatter said he enjoys the life of a parish priest combined with the Jesuit freedom

and ideals.

“[Pastoral life] combines teaching and counseling, and I have the privilege to get to know people on a long-term basis. It’s nice to marry people you’ve baptized,” Strittmatter said.

Strittmatter is an active member of the communities in the three towns for which he is a pastor and “is always present,” Klein said.

“I had back surgery a couple months ago, and he came to visit every week. He made me feel so much better. He said ‘don’t forget, you have to think first before you do anything,’” Klein said.

Strittmatter puts the needs of the community first, even when it requires extra education on his part.

“A few years ago, a woman’s dying wish was for me to sing the Latin Mass at her funeral, so I learned it for her,” Strittmatter said.

In addition to attending community events in Iowa and at Creighton, Strittmatter enjoys reading about history and collects prints from Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. Admittedly behind on technology, Strittmatter said that instead, “I’ve been reading from the great books of life"

Guest Book Wall (What is this?)

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Guest Book (23 entries)
Paul and my family arrived on the Rosebud the same month. We became close and Paul baptized my children and married my daughter. After we moved he would stop in Chillicothe on his way to Kansas City or Texas. His first homily on the Rosebud was delivered with a stray dog listening from 20' in front of the alter. When the dog got up and left, Paul ended the lesson. He and I shared many connections and the world will be a much poorer place without him.
Mike Lair (Friend)
June 7th, 2010
We will never forget.We met father Paul at my mothers funeral.We was such a kinda person.He helped us cope with her death and mother and my son's death.

When I was in the hospital having skin grafts,he was there to help .He came to out house to baptize our grandson so I could be there.
In 1993 when out daughter Sandy died, he drove from South Datota to Dea Moines, Iowa on Dec. 22th to bury her .He came from S. Dakota per her request .Then he had to return right home for Christmas.
Father Paul's family is as special and kind as he is, and was. His Mother Rosemary designed a memorial for Sandy and on it was a very touching saying. ( she who we love and lose is no longer where she was, she is now whereever you are. )
Father Paul we will always be thankful for your presencee in out lives!!!!''

The Lumadue family
Lionel & Alice
Dan Mike,Susan,Judy,Andy.Brian,& Richard

thank you for the walks the talks the hugs,,,,,
Alice Lumadue (Friemd)
April 17th, 2010
Was looking for something else and saw this posting,I'm sorry to read this but am glad to see all the good things mentioned.I am from Johnstown Pa and had an uncle who was a priest at St Vincent College,a Benedictine Founded College in Latrobe,Pa.My family settled in Western Pa in 1829 in Carrolltown,just wondered your origin.
tom strittmatter (Would like to know?)
April 13th, 2010
Fr. Paul we miss you and your hugs so very very much. Stephen and I are lucky to have had you in our life.

"May God Bless You, And All You Love, Always And For Ever"
Lydia Caldeira Stephen Kight (Parisioner/Friend)
April 12th, 2010
Thank you so much for setting up this web site.
It is another way to reach people who knew Paul.
He will always be in my heart,
Barbara Seagren (sister)
April 11th, 2010
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"Prayers and remembrance as we approach another Easter. Peace."
Marti Rose
March 26th, 2016
"We were blessed to know you, and you have helped our family so much. We love you and will never forget you!"
Caitlyn Jensen-Biehl
April 21st, 2010
"Father crisscrossed so much of my families life from talking in the classroom at the catholic school, working on TEC, to serving together on the parish council. The family we have baptisms, first communions, confirmation, marriage, and trips to Creig"
Marti Rose
April 9th, 2010
"Father Paul leaves us a legacy of Love that most of us can only aspire to. Father's caring and compassion for all persons will live on in the lives of all he touched through his example of tolerance, acceptance and respect for each individual. Live "
Gale Renz
April 8th, 2010
"Father Paul was the coolest priest that I ever met. I loved listening to his homilies and attending his mass. He made me feel special and my daughter, Lexi, feel special too. He always had a hug for us. I will miss him and the hugs"
Robin Olmstead
April 7th, 2010
"We will remember Father Paul's Christmas Homily and his singing of 'Silent Night.' He has gone to his Heavenly reward. He was so good at Bob and Ruth's funeral and all noticed the eagle flying above. We will be looking for the eagle again"
Mary Jane and Barney Zehner and Murphy
April 6th, 2010
"May you rest in peace Father Paul.We love you you!!! Love Kaylee,Katlyn, Kelsey & Johnny Tremel"
Kerri Tremel
April 6th, 2010
""May your family find comfort in the work you did serving the Lord, and know you have been called home by the Father.""
Diane Butler
April 2nd, 2010
"We do not grieve like those who have no hope... St Paul"
Anna Gregerson
April 2nd, 2010
"May he rest in peace knowing that he did the best that he could.."
Ellen Johnson
April 2nd, 2010

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