Rev. Eugene J. Lutz, CSV died on Tuesday, June 11, 1996 at 2:50 p.m. at the Villa Desiderata in McHenry, Illinois. He was 75 years old.

After graduating from Lane Tech High School in Chicago in 1938, Gene joined the United States Marine Corps and fought in World War II. He was captured as a prisoner of war by the Japanese at Wake Island in 1941 and remained a prisoner until 1945. After his discharge from the Marines, Gene entered the Viatorians in 1948 and professed his first vows on August 15, 1949. He subsequently received a B.A. in Civil Engineering from Marquette University and a Masters Degree in Civil Engineering from the Catholic University of America in 1955, where he also studied theology from 1950 through 1955. He was ordained a Viatorian priest on June 5, 1954. Gene’s early years as a Viatorian were spent in Springfield at Cathedral Boys’ High School and Griffin High School, where he served in 1950-51 and from 1955-1963. After two years of teaching at St. Patrick High School in Kankakee from 1963-1965, Gene became the retreat master and director of the Viatorian Retreat House at Pistakee Bay in 1965. Subsequently renamed the Villa Desiderata, the retreat house and its ministry was the focus of Gene’s ministry and love for 31 years. Countless student retreats, 12 Step Retreats and Lake and McHenry County families were the recipients of Gene’s gentle ministry and spiritual insight. His tireless efforts to witness to the hope and love of the Lord Jesus present today was a gift to all who crossed the doors of the Villa in McHenry. In late 1995, Gene was diagnosed with terminal cancer of the lung and brain and he lived out his remaining days in his beloved Villa Desiderata.

Visitation was held on Friday, June 14, 1996, from 2:00 to 9:00 p.m. at St. John the Baptist Church in Johnsburg (McHenry), Illinois. The Funeral Mass was celebrated on Saturday, June 15, 1996 at Church of Holy Apostles, 5211 W. Bull Valley Road, McHenry, Illinois. The Funeral Mass was held at 10:30 a.m. with visitation prior to the Funeral Mass beginning at 8:30 a.m. Burial was at the Viatorian Community Plot at Queen of Heaven Cemetery.

In addition to his Viatorian brothers, Gene is survived by three sisters, Yvonne Barraza, Mary Clarke and Hazel Bell Keough and a brother, Thomas Lutz.

Remember Father Lutz in your prayers and gather together in local communities to remember him in Eucharist.

Taken from letter to the Viatorian Community on June 13, 1996 from the Provincial, Rev. Robert M. Egan, CSV