Letter from the Archbishop — Health update

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

 May God bless you! How grateful I am to you, the faithful of the Archdiocese of Louisville, and the priests, deacons, and religious who serve you. Your thoughtful and kind cards and messages have been a source of great encouragement for me as I continue to reside in North Carolina and receive treatment for cancer at The Duke Cancer Institute.  

 This week was a special joy because I received a visit from Father Terry Bradshaw, pastor of the Basilica of Saint Joseph Proto-Cathedral in Bardstown, the day after the wonderful and festive celebration of the 200th anniversary of the dedication of this historic Proto-Cathedral. 

 Of course, Father Terry filled me in on the beautiful Eucharistic celebration. He also brought me the longest birthday card that I have ever received! It was a 37-foot scroll with signatures from virtually all the faithful of the parish of Saint Joseph. I certainly miss not being home and especially regret not being part of the celebrations that mark us as a people of God with a history, not just the 200 years but going back to Jesus Christ, which is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 

 Let me give you a little update on my treatment. I now have completed four infusions of chemotherapy, which marks the halfway point. I should complete these cycles in early October. At the same time, I have begun to receive infusions for immunotherapy, which my oncologist tells me is the more successful path in dealing with the type of cancer I have. I continue to have great stamina and energy, and my oncologist encourages me to be as active as I can be. Because I am prone to infection, however, I need to stay somewhat isolated and away from crowds. The plan is for an October surgery to remove the prostate and bladder and then the great opportunity of my returning home. I can’t wait! 

 As the activities of this fall season begin to increase, there will be more times when I regret not having the opportunity to visit with you. Please be aware of my continued prayers for you. Thank you for allowing me to count on your prayers. 

 Sincerely yours in our Lord,

 Most Reverend Joseph E. Kurtz, D.D., Archbishop of Louisville

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