For us in YOUTH 2000 New England, Charles holds a great place in our hearts. Before he moved to Minnesota a couple of years before his death, Charles was a strong witness of God's holiness to YOUTH 2000 in New England. He was one of the first leaders up here in New England. He served at the retreats with so much reverence and love. He did the work of five leaders all on his own, with great dedication. I remember seeing Charles at YOUTH 2000's and seeing such a peaceful serenity on his face, whether it be while he was at prayer, serving at Mass, or just hanging around with friends. He always had kind words to say. He was always very quiet and recollected. Because he is such a great example of Holiness to us at YOUTH 2000, we have named an award in his honor. At our second annual Family Day and Awards Dinner to thank all of our staff members for their service over the past year, the highest honor that was given out was the Charles Untz Award given to Theodore Booth, another young man of holiness. Let us always strive to be holy, in the example of Charles and all the Holy Souls which have succeeded in finding the pearl of great price.
May the soul of Charles Untz and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.
Charles, our good friend, pray for us.
March 20,2000, the Feast of St. Joseph, one of our good friends in YOUTH 2000 died after being hit by an automobile. We are sure that we lost Charles to the Kingdom of Heaven! Here is the text of an article written about Charles by Archbishop Harry J. Flynn in The Catholic Spirit, a catholic newspaper of Minnesota.
Young man's gifts will continue to inspire family, friends
by Archbishop Harry J. Flynn
During this past year I had the great privilege of celebrating Mass on the occasion of the golden jubilee of Father Bernard Reiser, pastor of Epiphany Church in Coon Rapids.
Among the servers were two brothers, Charles and Bryant. Charles was about 17 years old at the time and his brother a few years younger. I was impressed by their attentiveness and impressed by their demeanor. In fact, in the sacristy, I asked Charles if he would be interested in the priesthood. he responded positively.
The Untz family is an extraordinary family. Every morning Mr. and Mrs. Steven Untz, the parents, and Charles and Bryant, the sons, would be at the 6:30 Mass at Epiphany parish. Last Monday, the feast of St. Joseph, was no exception. There they were at the 6:30 Mass.
Later that day, Charles was killed by an automobile on his way to work at his part-time job at a turkey farm across from his home. The following morning, Mr. and Mrs. Untz were at Mass at Epiphany Church, but this time accompanied by only one son, Bryant. Charles was in Heaven.
I had the opportunity of reflecting with friends of the Untz family and Father Thomas Wilson, the associate pastor of Epiphany parish.
Everyone who had the opportunity of reflecting with others about this extraordinary young man agreed that Charles possessed spiritual maturity, prayerfulness and virtue far beyond that of his 18 years of age, which he reached only two weeks ago. He displayed this in his love for the Church and in a special love for Our Lady and the Holy Father, his constant prayer before our Lord and the Blessed sacrament and devoted service to community and youth activities.
Like every day of his life, Charles was honoring a commitment on that Monday morning. Whether it was his job, chores at his own family's hobby farm, assisting with YOUTH 2000 retreats, leading his Boy Scout Troop or serving 6:30 a.m. Mass at Epiphany, Charles was a man who honored commitments. And, he did so with dedication.
Those who knew him and worked with him were amazed at the level of reliability and consistency in such a young man.
Father Wilson told me that he had known Charles for three years and never knew him to miss a commitment. He had a personal integrity, but his spirituality was even more impressive.
He began praying the Liturgy of the Hours, the Church's prayer, in his early teens, a habit that takes many years in the seminary to develop. he was known to have spent entire nights on YOUTH 2000 retreats in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, kneeling with only the Scriptures in his hands.
His interior life seemed to have been demonstrated on the exterior with a sense of peace and presence that only one who is truly in tune with God can show. The image of Charles and his family kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament in prayer in the very early hours of the morning at Epiphany Church will live with many from that parish forever.
That prayerful presence of the young man was noticed by most as he served Mass. He loved the Sacrifice of the Mass and looked forward to serving the 6:30 Masses every other week, (alternating weeks with his brother, Bryant.)
It was there that people began to realize that Charles was different. Not just because he was a little older than most servers, but because he had a presence about him that can' t be taught.
Charles Untz certainly had what it would take to be a priest-love of God, love of the Church, love of people and a desire to serve. On the occasion when I met him, I had the privilege at one time of speaking with him about a possible vocation to the priesthood. Father Tom Wilson, the associate at Epiphany, often spoke to him. Father Bernard Reiser, the pastor of Epiphany, would speak to him on other occasions about a vocation to the priesthood.
From a spiritual, social, and emotional standpoint, he seemed like an excellent candidate. He felt as though he were called to the priesthood, but he struggled with just how that would happen. He was accepted at St. John Vianney Seminary and would have done very well there or in any other seminary to which he might have been called.
Charles Untz was a young many- a young man of service who served well in his 18 years and would have served well for many years as a priest. What a great mystery all of this is. His death brings sadness to all of our hearts and in a special way to the hearts of his wonderful parents and brother, to Fr. Reiser and Fr. Wilson and to a host of his family members and his good friends.
But his death also reminds us of the reality of the Communion of Saints. The ties that bind us in the Church do not end with bodily death. Bodily death will cancel out no one. Any one of us can look at the untimely death of the young man and wonder out loud to God: "Why Charles? He was so good. He could have done so much."
And the Lord's silent reply would be: "He can do more good from here." The good friend of Epiphany parish and the possible future priest is gone from this earth, but he lives on in the Body of Christ.
So many live with precious past memories of a virtuous and prayerful young man, but we still look forward to a life of unity with him in the Mystical Body of Christ, which knows no earthly limitations. God is good always to His Church.
The precious gift of Charles Untz in this world for 18 years and two weeks is ample proof of the goodness of God.
My heart goes out to his good parents and to his brother, Bryant, and to Fr. Reiser and Fr. Tom Wilson, and I hold them all in prayer. Let all your memories, Mr. and Mrs. Untz, and Bryant, and Fr. Reiser and Fr. Wilson, sustain you and console you.
There are many memories but one which should give you the most consolation would be the occasion when Charles received his Eagle Scout Award. he was asked what he wanted to do. " Become a Saint," he said.
A tribute to Charles Untz from Boy Scout Troop-524
The Scout Law
Charles was trustworty. He was trusted by others and was a very responsible scout.
Charles was loyal to his family, his fellow Scouts and Scouters. He was especially loyal to his faith in Jesus Christ.
Charles was helpful. He always pitched in to help without being asked and in a very quiet manner.
Charles was friendly. He was a good friend to have.
Charles was courteous. He was very courteous to others, manners were a part of him.
Charles was kind. He had the quality of sincere kindness, always having a nice thing to say.
Charles was obedient. He lived the Boy Scout Oath and Law to the fullest. He was obedient to God's laws.
Charles was cheerful. His smile was quiet and came from his heart. He lived a life of cheerful service.
Charles was thrifty. He could make a soap box derby car out of metal scraps and he did a good job!
Charles was brave. He shared his faith in Jesus with many. This takes great courage to do.
Charles was clean. He wore his Boy Scout uniform neat and proudly.
and last because it was his foundation...
Charles was reverent. His love of Jesus made Charles who he was, it would shine in his personality.
Now may the Great Scoutmaster of all Scouts be with us until we meet again.