The Very Reverend Robert James Kus
Twelfth Pastor of St. Mary
Fr. Robert James Kus was born in Cleveland, OH on March 30, 1943. His father, Bob Sr., was a Bohemian-American Army Captain, and his mother was an Irish-American R.N., Florence Elizabeth “Pat” Foley Kus. Because his mother died on the day he was born, Fr. Bob lived for six years in Maple Heights, OH with his paternal grandparents. At age six, he went to live in Cuyahoga Falls, OH with his father and new mom, Mary Jean. Eventually he had a brother and two sisters.
Bob attended Maryknoll Junior Seminary in Clarks Summit, PA for high school and graduated in 1961 with dreams of one day becoming a missionary priest. God had a long and winding vocational journey for him, however.
After receiving his Diploma in Nursing (RN) from Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital School of Nursing, Fr. Bob received his BA in Sociology from Cleveland State University, his Ph.D. in Sociology from The University of Montana, and a post-doctoral M.S. in Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing from The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Fr. Bob was a professor at The University of Iowa from 1982-1992 as well as Visiting Teacher at The University of Texas at Austin and Visiting Researcher in Hungary and Czechoslovakia.
Fr. Bob graduated from St. Meinrad School of Theology in St. Meinrad, IN in 1998 and was ordained as part of the “Magnificent Seven” at St. Michael the Archangel Church in Cary, NC by Bishop F. Joseph Gossman on June 27, 1998. He celebrated his First Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Michael’s the following day.
Fr. Bob served as Parochial Vicar at St. Mark Parish in Wilmington, NC from 1998-2000 and Pastor of St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Wake Forest, NC from 2000-2006.
Fr. Bob came to St. Mary Parish on July 11, 2006. Often called “The Energizer Bunny” because of his fast pace and great energy, Fr. Bob’s greatest challenge as Pastor of St. Mary Parish has been coping with the phenomenal parish growth, the same issue he faced at St. Catherine’s. During his time at St. Mary’s, the parish has adopted a sister parish in the mountains of Honduras, founded the St. Mary Health Center, established The Upper Room 1871, and began many other ministries.
On the diocesan level, Fr. Bob has served on the Building & Real Estate Commission, the Bishop’s Annual Appeal Steering Committee, and is the Foreign Mission Director for the Diocese of Raleigh.
Fr. Bob would like to be remembered for his sense of joy and love of the people, bringing a missionary spirit to the parish, and a being a champion of the underdogs of society, especially new Hispanic immigrants.
Fr. Bob dreams of being a missionary priest in a Spanish-speaking country in “retirement” and resuming his hobby of stained glass art, gardening, and writing books on his life experiences.