Thursday, September 10, 2020
Isaac Scharbach, who has died at the age of 21, put prayer at the centre of his life even as a child. Family members remember finding the boy asleep on the floor by his open prayer book late at night. Later, his teachers at Mount St Joseph High School in Baltimore recalled frequently seeing the young man alone in the school’s darkened chapel, taking time away from a jam-packed schedule to pray quietly by himself.
Following his death in a road accident, friends and family have remembered Isaac as, in his father’s words, “a pure soul” who treated everyone with kindness.
Isaac Scharbach was born in 1999, the oldest son in a family of nine brothers and sisters. His father, Albert Scharbach, was an Anglican priest until 2009, when the family joined the Catholic Church. Albert was ordained a Catholic priest four years later.
“As his priest, I gave him Communion daily,” said Fr Scharbach, currently the pastor of Mount Calvary Catholic Church in Baltimore. “He always received the Eucharist as if it was his first time receiving, his last time receiving, his only time receiving,” he said. “This was evident in his face and his entire bodily posture: peace, joy and an apparent interior ecstasy that communicated there was no place else he would rather be.
“Isaac was always kind, he always thought the best of others and he was always trying to help people,” his father added. “And I mean always, without exception. There are very few other people I can say that about, if anyone.”