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Sr. Janet Kurtz, CSJ

April 5, 1942 - February 4, 2023
Nazareth, MI


Mass of Christian Burial

Wednesday, February 8, 2023
10:00 AM EST
Live Stream
Holy Family Chapel
2929 Nazareth Road
Kalamazoo, MI 49048

Sister Janet will be welcomed home on Wednesday at 9:30 am. This event will also be available on livestream.

Meeting ID: 849 2117 3236
Passcode: 892881


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Sisters of St. Joseph
2929 Nazareth Road
Kalamzoo, MI 49048
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Taylor's Florist and Gifts
215 E. Michigan Ave.
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-6256
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Janet Kurtz was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, on April 5, 1942, the third of four children of Raymond and Gertrude (O’Hara) Kurtz. She was a member of St. Mary of Redford Parish in Redford, Michigan, at the time of her entrance into the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Nazareth on September 1, 1960. Janet received the name Sister Marie Raymond at her reception on July 2, 1961, but later returned to her baptismal name. She pronounced first vows on August 17, 1963, and final vows on August 17, 1966.

Sister Janet earned a B.A. degree in Sociology from Nazareth College and a M.A. degree in Guidance and Counseling from Eastern Michigan University. Jan’s ministry began in 1967 at Holy Maternity of Mary School in Dowagiac, Michigan, where she taught fifth a sixth grade and then at St. John School in Davison where she taught third, seventh and eighth grade. Next she taught at Immaculate Heart of Mary School and St. Casimir School. Later she did parish work and then became principal from 1973 to 1977. For the next two years she ministered at Groundwork for a Just World as a member of the Peace and Justice Team. Wanting to have a hands-on experience of the peace and justice issues, Jan moved to Cristo Rey Community Center where she was the Assistant Director and Coordinator of the Lansing Diocesan Migrant Program. Jan moved to Peru and from 1983-2004 (and again in 2010). She was dedicated to parish ministry. In 1988, the Spirit called her to prison ministry with TB and AIDS patients in Lurigancho, Peru’s largest prison. As violent as the crimes were, Jan discovered inmates gentle sides, and a loving and caring relationship developed and grew. In the mid-nineties Jan moved to Miguel Castro Castro Prison where she worked with accused and presumed terrorists. Again, relationships developed to the point of them protecting her life on several occasions. In both prisons she saw the face of Christ as well as the ugliness of abuse. They became her school of life. Returning to the United States in 2004 and again in 2010 was an experience in culture shock and the pain of leaving loved ones. It was also an opportunity for reverse ministry on both sides of the equator!

Jan was always grateful to the Congregation, her family and friends for the opportunities to grow spiritually and professionally throughout her life. Her life with the Latinos, both here and especially in Peru, marked her life forever. She always believed and expressed how they gave more to her than she could give to them. She sought to live out our call to the MORE by fidelity to our charism of unconditional love and reconciliation. The love she had for others and her passion for peace and justice will continue in those whose lives she touched. Once she returned to Nazareth, she continued living out these gifts by receiving and distributing shopping packages to sisters during COVID restrictions. May she now enjoy eternal rest and peace.

May She Rest in Peace!