“An empty stomach has no ears. One must be fed before one will listen”Arnold Gaus
Monsignor Arnold L. Gaus, the founder of Kindred Journey Fund, Inc., was born on February 25, 1933 in Johnstown, PA. He was the son of Carl and Margaret (Beyer) Gaus and was one of eight children. Msgr. Gaus and his large family resided in Geistown and attended St. Benedict Catholic Church. Msgr. Gaus went to Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown, PA. He then went on to study at St. Vincent College and Seminary in Latrobe, PA. He was ordained on May 23, 1959 and he first served at Holy Name Church in Ebensburg, PA where he also taught mathematics at Bishop Carroll Catholic High School from 1959 to 1970. From 1968 until 1972 he served as the Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Bakerton, PA. He was Pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Gallitzin, PA from 1972 to 1986 where he also served two terms as Mayor of Tunnellhill Borough and was founder/president of a 35-unit subsidized housing project. He was elevated to the status of Monsignor in 1987, and served as Pastor of Holy Name Parish, Ebensburg for 27 years until his retirement in 2012 at the age of 80.
In 1978 Msgr. Gaus founded “Kindred Journey Fund. Inc.”, a Haiti Apostolate for the poorest of the poor. Over 40 years, he raised in excess of $4 million for Haitian children’s nutritional needs and clean drinking water and made dozens of trips to Haiti. For this humanitarian effort, Msgr. Gaus was awarded two honorary degrees: Doctor of Social Justice, from Mount Aloysius College in 2004; and Doctor of Humane Letters from St. Francis University in 2009. Also recipient of the Humanitarian Award, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown in 2007. Other accomplishments include: Original Committee Member establishing Ebensburg Area Ambulance Association; Board of Directors, Penn Highland Community College; Board of Directors, Adult Day Care for Cambria/Bedford Counties; Board of Directors, Diocesan Medical Retirement Plan; Member of the Justice & Rights Commission, PA Catholic Conference, a Fourth Degree member of Knights of Columbus Prince Gallitzin Assembly. Since 2013, Msgr. Gaus remained active in ministry as Chaplain at John Paul II Manor where he resided, continuing his Haiti fundraising.
Monsignor Arnold Gaus often reminded us that “An empty stomach has no ears. One must be fed before one will listen”. In other words, before investing effort in education and spiritual development, he clearly understood that the primary focus had to be placed on meeting the fundamental subsistence needs of the local people.
On March 27, 2020 this mentor, spiritual guide, and financial leader peacefully passed away after a brief hospitalization. Msgr. Gaus lived a life of humility, love, devotion, sacrifice, and service to his God, to his community and to the people of Haiti, that will not be forgotten.