Isaac Scharbach is shown in prayer while attending Mount St. Joseph High School in Irvington, Maryland. (Courtesy Mount St. Joseph/Catholic Review)
In your charity, please remember this young man and his family in your prayers today, as he is laid to rest.
This beautiful tribute comes from George P. Matysek, Jr. in Baltimore’s Catholic Review:
From the time Isaac Scharbach was a child, prayer was central to his life. 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 Irvington 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 on late afternoons.
Isaac, from a family of nine brothers and sisters, joined the Catholic Church as a child during the 2009 Easter Vigil at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore. Father Albert Scharbach, his father, had been a priest in the Anglican Church, but joined the Catholic Church with his family and was ordained a Catholic priest in 2013.
“As his priest, I gave him Communion daily,” said Father Scharbach, a former pastoral assistant to Bishop Denis J. Madden and the current 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,” Father Scharbach said. “This was evident in his face and his entire bodily posture: peace, joy and an apparent interior ecstasy that communicated there is no place else he would rather be.”
Isaac Scharbach, 21, was killed Aug. 1 when an automobile struck him from behind in Upperco while he was riding his bicycle. The driver remained at the scene, and Baltimore County Police are investigating the crash.
Father Scharbach remembered his eldest son as a “pure soul” who treated everyone with kindness.
“Isaac was always kind, he always thought the best of others and he was always trying to help people,” his father said. “And I mean always, without exception. There are very few other people I can say that about, if anyone.”
A gifted artist, Isaac expressed his faith through the ancient practice of writing religious icons. He spent a week studying with George Cortis, a prominent iconographer, and travelled to Cyprus to study iconography. He also learned about the craft during a week’s stay at the Vatopedi Monastery at Mount Athos, where he began to be mentored by a monk who was the monastery’s primary iconographer, according to Father Scharbach.
“He was invited to spend extended time there to share in the monastic life and study iconography,” Father Scharbach said. “He had arranged to do that this summer, but couldn’t because of the pandemic.”
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him…