December 30, 2014
Monsignor Mario Stortz, the oldest priest in the Diocese of Amarillo, passed away Dec. 30. He was 91 years old.
Mass was celebrated Jan. 2, at Holy Name of Jesus Church, Happy, Bishop Patrick J. Zurek, presiding, with priests of the Diocese of Amarillo concelebrating. Burial was in Happy Cemetery.
Mario Stortz was born on Jan. 25, 1923 in Issime, Aosta, Italy, the last of seven children born to Giuseppe and Goyet Maria Stortz. After attending elementary school and high school in Issime, he emigrated to the United States in 1938, where he attended college in Newton, NJ until 1942 and studied at seminaries in Newton from 1945 to 1948.
Monsignor Stortz was ordained to the priesthood on July 3, 1949 in Turin, Italy for the Salesians of St. John Bosco. After his ordination, he taught boys farming in Italy until the Order discontinued this work. Monsignor Stortz came to the United States under the sponsorship of then-Bishop Lawrence M. DeFalco in 1965, with the intention of finding a place where he could combine his priestly ministry with farming. He entered the Diocese of Amarillo on Sept. 10, 1965 and was incardinated into the diocese on Feb. 10, 1972.
Monsignor Stortz served as administrator of Holy Name of Jesus Church, Happy, from Sept. 13, 1965 to Jan. 5, 1984. He also served as pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Church, Amarillo. In 2000, he was elevated to the rank of Monsignor.