Saint Joan of Arc Catholic Community

We Welcome You Wherever You Are On Your Journey

Saint Joan of Arc

Catholic Community

4537 3rd Ave. So.
Minneapolis, MN 55419
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Phone: 612.823.8205
Fax: 612.825.7028

Father George Wertin: 1939 - 2014

Father George Wertin, pastor of St. Joan of Arc from 1992 to 2005, passed away on Thursday, August 28, 2014.  He had been in poor health for about four years and in recent months his condition declined markedly. 

A Celebration of George’s life will be held in the St. Joan of Arc Gym on Friday, September 5, with visitation at 4 p.m.; a short program at 4:30 and Mass at 5 p.m.  A reception will follow.

George Wertin came to St. Joan of Arc in 1992 and from that time until his retirement in 2005 his leadership made a major impact on the campus and programs and spirit of St. Joan of Arc. He introduced an ever expanding vision of church. He shared the words and thoughts of emerging theologians and spiritual writers; and he modeled collaborative ministry and inclusive community. 

In 1993 George Wertin put together a focus group to explore ways SJA could build an international outreach.  The group connected with Sister Parish, Inc., an organization formed to build connections between congregations in Central America and North America, and from this collaboration came a sister parish relationship between SJA and the Guatemalan community of Tierra Nueva II that continues to this day. He heartily supported our mission as a peace community in a time of war, and actively welcomed our gay and lesbian community during an especially difficult time in our church.

In 1995 George led a $1.2 million Capital Campaign that included increasing the Gym space by 30%; improving the lighting and sound in the Gym; remodeling the Egan Room kitchen; Hospitality Hall kitchen and installing an elevator that made the Church handicapped accessible.

Building community was a major goal for Father Wertin.  During his 13 years as pastor, SJA began the Annual Parish Picnic and launched Cabaret, which celebrates its 20 year anniversary in 2014.  He was a strong supporter and promoter of Small Christian Communities and “Welcome Givers” as well as guest speakers at Sunday liturgies. He promoted and encouraged the music that is a core element of liturgies at SJA.

George Wertin led St. Joan of Arc to new places and new outreach.  When he was appointed pastor of St. Joan of Arc George went to visit his predecessor, Father Harvey Egan, and asked Harvey if he had any advice.  Harvey told George, “Get ready for a roller coaster ride”. 

In his farewell homily to the SJA community on June 25 and 26, 2005 George closed with a quote from Dag Hammarskjold that he felt described his years at SJA: “For all that has been, thanks.  For all that will be, yes.”

George Wertin, the SJA community thanks you for your gifts as priest, leader and friend.  May you rest in peace and the company of angels.