Holy Name Roman Catholic Church

Listening to God's Whisper . . .



Monsignor Arnold Gaus

Your former pastor, while still in the womb of his mother, seemed to be destined to carry the name Arnold at his birth.  My first cousin, while studying in Rome at a young age, sent his Aunt Margaret, my mother, a prayer card asking her to pray for the future beatification and canonization of the founder of his religious community, the Society of the Divine Word. The founder was Arnold Janssen.   Upon my birth, I was given the name Arnold.

Traveling to Techny, IL seven years ago to bury my first cousin, Fr. Robert Studeny, I told the gathering of the Divine Word Fathers that if they were still waiting for authentic miracles realized by devotion to Fr. Arnold Janssen, the fact that I was a priest should be classified as miracle #1 and still remaining a priest after 38 years would be miracle #2.  I told those 80-90 priests that if Arnold Janssen were ever canonized that I would be in Rome for the occasion.

Arnold Janssen was born November 5, 1837 in Goch, a small city in lower Rhineland, Germany, the second of ten children.  He was ordained August 15, 1861, and developed a deep concern for the mission of the Universal Church. In 1885 the Community was officially established as a religious congregation, taking the name, Society of the Divine Word, dedicated to the proclamation of the Gospel, especially among non-Christians.  Fr. Arnold died January 15, 1909.  At the present time there are more than 6000 Divine Word Missionaries in 65 countries.

Might the parishioners believe that his intercession before God’s throne had some influence in the direction my work has taken in Pandiassou, Haiti over this past quarter century?  It was a profound experience for me to attend the canonization of Saint Arnold, accompanied by my nephew also named Arnold, to this joyous occasion in Rome, Italy.

I was born February 25, 1933 in Johnstown, the son of the late Carl J. and Margaret (Beyer) Gaus.  I attended St. Benedict School and was a 1951 graduate of Johnstown Catholic High School.  Graduating from St. Vincent College in 1955, and ordained a priest on May 23, 1959 by Bishop Howard J. Carroll.  My first assignments as a newly ordained priest were as a Math instructor at Bishop Carroll High School and Assistant Pastor at Holy Name Church.  I was next appointed pastor March 8, 1968 at Sacred Heart Church, Bakerton, PA, while remaining on the faculty at Bishop Carroll.  My next assignment was pastor at St. Patrick Church in Gallitzin, PA. until being assigned to Holy Name in February 1986.

I have also served as a member of the Diocesan Personnel Board and Presbyter Council.  My being Mayor of Tunnellhill Borough (1974-1982) allowed me to be instrumental in the construction of a 35 unit subsidized elderly housing unit, known as Emerald Estates, and remaining as president for the past twenty-two years.

In the late 1970’s I began an intensive effort to establish feeding programs for indigent Haitian children.  In nearly a quarter of a century, more than a million dollars have been raised and sent to Brother Francklin Arman, founder of the Little Brothers of the Incarnation.  Brother Francklin is a visionary leader for the feeding of thousands of Haitian indigents.

The name Monsignor was conferred on me in February 1987.  I am serving my 10th year as a Board Member of the Pennsylvania Highlands Community College.

On September 8, 2004, Mount Aloysius College conferred and Honorary Degree of Social Justice on me in recognition of many years of service to Haitian indigents who suffer from the highest level of poverty in the Western Hemisphere.


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