The world lost a cherished pastor, a devoted brother/uncle, a dependable friend, and a zealous fan of the Notre Dame Irish and the Indianapolis Colts when Father Kevin J. Morris died in the Lord on March 12, 2019. He was born on October 28,1955 in Bitburg, Germany to Joseph F. and JoAnn (Mortimer) Morris, both of whom pre-deceased him.
Blessed by his Catholic faith since birth, Kevin attended elementary school at Holy Spirit in Indianapolis and St. Columba in Columbus, IN. He served as manager of the basketball team at Cathedral High School, evidence of his love of athletics at all levels, and graduated in the class of 1973. He went on to college at Indiana University/Purdue University in Indianapolis and earned his bachelor’s degree in business in 1977. He worked as an accountant at Jenn-Air, Corp. in Indianapolis.
In 1980, he entered the Sacrament of Marriage with the love and light of his life Carol (Bixler) Morris. He was her steadfast support throughout her ten-year battle with cancer. Kevin lost his soulmate in July of 1990, a grief that never left him but would shape his special ministries to the sick, the dying, and the grieving.
Having heard the call to serve earlier in life, Kevin entered discernment and theological studies at St. Meinrad School of Theology in 1992. Father Kevin was ordained to the priesthood on June 7, 1997 by Archbishop Daniel Buechlein, OSB. He offered his first Mass at St. Gabriel, Connersville, followed by a Mass at St. Therese of the Infant Jesus (Little Flower) Indianapolis where he and Carol had lived as parishioners.
Father Kevin found great camaraderie, friendship, and acceptance within the brotherhood of archdiocesan priests and from the leadership of the three archbishops he served: Archbishop Daniel Buechlein, Cardinal Joseph Tobin, and Archbishop Charles Thompson.
His unique experience as a widowed Catholic priest, his quick wit, wry sense of humor, and deep human compassion made him particularly relatable to the parishioners and staff of the two Catholic communities he served. He was called to the pre-Cana and marriage ministry and was appreciated for the deep understanding he offered couples in the everyday-ness of living their Christian marriage vows. He happily officiated at many marriage ceremonies.
In 1997, Father Kevin was appointed associate pastor of the Richmond Catholic Community parishes of Holy Family, St. Andrew, and St. Mary, Richmond. From 1999 to 2012, he was the pastor of St. Susanna in Plainfield where he blossomed as a priest and developed the foundation of his ministry to an active, hospitable and growing parish. The schoolchildren of St. Susanna, many of them now young adults, credited him with lighting the fire of faith in their souls and nurturing it toward active participation in the church.
He then returned to the Richmond Catholic Community as pastor of the three parishes, while serving as chaplain of Seton Catholic High School. In 2016, the Richmond Catholic Community formed one parish, renamed St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, and Father Kevin remained the pastor there until his death.
Countless friends, family members, distant relatives, current and former parishioners will miss Father Kevin’s legendary thoughtfulness in cards and notes, quick phone calls, small gifts and other kind gestures. He was beloved for his own humanity, his comic relief, and his daily efforts to bring the love and mercy of God to all.
Family survivors are his brother Michael (Toni) Morris, sisters Patrice Morris, Terri Morris (Tim) Downs, Angela (Jaye) Jump, and Laure Morris (Steve Taksar), nieces Claire and Emma Morris, Brooklyn Bowling, Grace and Caroline Downs, Katie (Keegan) McCamment, and Caitlyn Carol Valentine, nephews AJ Morris, Patrick Kraft, Samuel and Eli Taksar, and Michael Valentine, great-nieces and nephews Nora and Nolan McCamment and Emmie and Eli Valentine, mother-in-law, Emma Bixler, brother-in-law David Bixler, sister- and brother-in-law Mary Catherine and Jim Valentine, uncle Dan (A’Donna) Mortimer, aunts Doris Wedge and Joyce (Bernard) Tencleve, and many loving cousins. Kevin was pre-deceased by his parents, his wife, his beloved father-in-law Jerome Bixler and brother-in-law Michael Bixler. The family gratefully recognizes the kindness and compassion of Kevin’s longtime friend Mary Ann (Peach) Holbrook for her expert care of him through a recent illness and her loyal support in many other profound ways.
May the Risen Christ come to receive his faithful servant Father Kevin Morris!
Visitation and Services:
Sunday, March 17
Holy Family Church of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, 815 W. Main St., Richmond
4-8PM Visitation
7-8PM Vigil Service
Monday, March 18
Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral, 1347 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis
8:30-10:30AM Visitation
10:30AM Mass of the Resurrection celebrated by Archbishop Charles Thompson
Immediately followed by Rite of Committal, Washington Park East Cemetery, 10612 E. Washington St., Indianapolis
Flanner Buchanan at Washington Park East is assisting the family with arrangements.
The family requests that memorial contributions to honor Father Kevin’s life be directed to one of the following:
Pre-Cana Ministry, Office of Marriage and Family Life, Catholic Center, 1400 N. Meridian St. Indianapolis, IN 46202
Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, 240 S. 6th St. Richmond, IN 47374
Immigrant Welcome Center, 901 Shelby St. B300, Indianapolis, IN 46203 or