Father Eugeniusz Kamiński, MIC
(05.23.1936 - 01.30.2017)
Father Eugeniusz Kamiński, MIC, son of Konstanty and Marta nee Dzikowska, was born May 23, 1936, in Stajęczyny, parish of Osiek on Vistula, in Lipno district of the Diocese of Włocławek. In 1941, his father was executed by the occupying powers for helping Polish refugees. From 1945-51, Eugeniusz studied at the primary school in Sąsieczno and then continued his education in a high school in Lipno, finishing there his eighth year. In 1952, he was admitted to the Palatine Fathers Lower Seminary in Chełmno, but it was closed down the very same year by the Polish State authorities. From 1953-56, he went to a night middle school for working persons in Torun. After finishing middle school, he was admitted to the novitiate in Skórzec and made his first religious profession on Aug. 15, 1957. In 1957-58, being already a member of the religious house in Głuchołazy, he continued his high school studies in a high school for working persons in Nysa, where he later obtained his certificate. In 1958-60, he did his two-year course of philosophy in Warsaw-Praga, and then served as a sacristan there in 1960-61. From 1961-66, he stydied at the Major Seminary in Włocławek. On Aug. 15, 1963, he made his perpetual profession in Stoczek Klasztorny, and was ordained to the priesthood on June 17, 1966, in Ciechocinek by Bp. Antoni Pawłowski, the Ordinary of Włocławek.
Following the ordination, from 1966-70, he served in Głuchołazy in pastoral ministry and catechization. In 1970, he was transferred to Skórzec, where he took over similar duties. In addition, he was from 1971-81 the parish vicar, and later, from 1975-81, also the local superior. In 1981-87, he was the house superior, house treasurer, and the postulancy moderator in Stoczek Klasztorny, as well as the parish administrator, director of vocations, and a member of the provincial committee on formation. The provincial council also put him in charge of preparations for the coronation of the image of Our Lady of Peace. John Paul II performed the coronation on June 19, 1983, on Jasna Góra. Transferred to Grudziądz, he served from 1987-99 as the pastor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish at Mickiewicz Street, and then, from 1990 to 1999, as the Grudziądz house superior and treasurer. While in the office, he initiated and completed the construction of a filial chapel in Wielkie Lniski. From 1999-2001, he ministered at the shrine of Our Lady of Licheń, and then from 2001-05, was the pastor of Korzystno, residing in Grzybowo and serving as the 1st counselor and local director of vocation there. Following his transfer to Elbląg in 2005, he assisted with pastoral work there and also was the 2nd house, becoming in 2008 the chaplain of the Dr. Aleksandra Gabrysiak Hospice under the invocation of St. George in Elbląg. In 2011, he was transferred to the Grudziądz religious house’s residence at Kościelna Street, and appointed its rector and treasurer. The Ordinary Bishop also appointed him the rector of St. Francis Xavier Church, which duties he carried to the very end of his hard-working life. Father Eugeniusz died at the hospital in Grudziądz, on Jan. 30, 2017. His funeral will take place in Grudziądz on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017. May he rest in peace.
Father Jorge Predko
(07.15.1934 - 04.04.2016)
Father Jorge Predko was born on July 15, 1934, in Kamień Koszyrski, which at the time belonged to Poland, but now belongs to the Ukraine. During World War II, his family took refuge in England, and it was there that Fr. George spent his childhood and made his intellectual formation. Having discerned his religious vocation in the context of serving Polish immigrants, he entered the Marian Novitiate in Hereford, and on Dec. 8, 1953, made his first vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience, followed three years later by his perpetual profession. From 1955 to 1960, he studied theology at the Angelicum University in Rome. On July 3, 1960, along with Fr. Francisco Jaworski, MIC, he was ordained a priest at the Benedictines’ Church of St. Anselm in Rome, by Cardinal Luigi Traglia. From 1960 to 1962, he worked on his Licentiate Degree in Church History at the Gregorianum. On Oct. 2, 1963, he arrived in Balsamão to do research for Fr. Casimir Wyszynski’s beatification cause, but he soon became involved in educational work at the Marian Fathers’ minor seminary, where he served as Prefect of discipline (1963-1966 and 1969-1970) and rector (1966-1969), in addition to teaching history, geography, physics, chemistry, and Latin. In 1970, Fr. Jorge was transferred to England, where he worked pastorally among the Polish immigrants and assisted at the Divine Mercy Apostolate until 1979. In 1979, Fr. Jorge returned to Portugal and went back to work at the minor seminary in Balsamão. Later he was transferred to Fatima and in 1983 was one of the co-founders of the Marian House of Studies in Telheiras, Lisbon, where he served as Rector of the Major Seminary and curate of the church Our Lady of the Gates of Heaven. Between 1987 and 1989, Fr. George was pastor in Chacim and Gebelim. Later, he was named Superior of the Portuguese Vicariate and was working again in Telheiras, Lisbon. On Sept. 10, 1993, was elected the first Superior of the newly created Portuguese Vice-Province of Santa Maria (erected on June 27, 1993, by the Superior General Fr. Adam Boniecki, MIC). In 1999, Fr. Jorge is reelected Superior of the Vice-Province, he held this post, along with the post of the Telheiras House Superior until 2005, when it he was transferred to Fatima House. From 2005 to 2010, Fr. Jorge was Superior of the Fatima House, where he lived until 2015, when he was transferred to the convent in Balsamão at the end of the year. In early March Fr. Jorge broke his pelvis bone and was admitted to the Bragança Hospital for surgery, but his health began to worsen, and he died around 4:00 a.m. on Apr. 4, 2016.
Father Juozas Petraitis, MIC
(07.16.1922 - 04.03.2016)
Father Joseph Petraitis, MIC was born on July 16, 1922 in Milgaudžiai, Lithuania. He has stated that when he was 8 years old and a “shepherd boy”, he first felt a strong desire to become a priest. He was the son of a Lithuanian farmer. He told the story of his Godmother once taking to Church on a weekday to see if he would be able to make the 7 kilometer walk there and back on Sundays for Mass. He was thrilled to finally be able to attend his first Sunday Mass. He had never heard organ music before and he felt like he was in heaven. His schooling was halted for two years beginning in 1936 because his father had no money to pay for it. He began planning to walk to a Capuchin Monastery 100 kilometers away. Fortunately, he was then able to continue school and he entered the seminary in 1941. After one year, he moved to another seminary but he then had to flee Lithuania along with his mother, sister and two brothers to a refugee camp in northern Germany. He was able to continue his studies at a seminary which was still open in Bavaria. He studied philosophy and German there. Then, along with the other seminarians, he was sent to Italy to complete his studies. He met the Congregation of Marians in Italy in 1945 and made his first vows on October 11, 1947. He was then able to join his family in America. They had been sponsored to come there by an Aunt living in Brooklyn, N.Y. After professing his final vows as a Marian on October 11, 1950, he was ordained to the priesthood in Joliet, Illinois near Chicago on May 22, 1952. He spent 11 years working in the U.S. including six years as the Provincial Secretary. In 1963, he was sent to Argentina to the Marian mission there. He worked as the Parochial Vicar in the Marian Parish in Rosario and in then in Avelleneda. He then served as the Parish Priest in Avellaneda for 17 years. In July, 1984, he was transferred to Adelaide in Australia to work among the Lithuanian Immigrants. He also had a ministry to the Hispanic Catholics in the Diocese. He edited a Bulletin for the Lithuanian Immigrants which was published every two weeks. He died in the Mary MacKillop Nursing Home in Kensington, South Australia near Adelaide on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 3, 2016 at 19:45. Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord. May he rest in peace.
Father Anthony Nockunas, MIC
(06.10.1931 - 02.27.2016)
Father Anthony N. Nockunas, MIC, fortified by the Sacraments of the Church, peacefully passed away on Saturday, February 27, 2016, at the Matulaitis Nursing Home in Putnam, Conn., in the 85th year of his life, 66th year of his religious profession, and 58th of his priesthood. He was born on June 10, 1931, in Lithuania. He was one of eight children and grew up on a farm. In his childhood he experienced the Second World War. He saw his country invaded first by the Russians in 1939, then by the Nazis in 1940, and finally by the Russians in 1944, who not only occupied the country, but initiated a wave of repressions, persecutions and exile. Fr. Anthony escaped the occupation and entered the Marian Congregation. He professed his first vows on August 15, 1950, final vows in 1953, and was ordained a priest in 1957.
His first assignment was to teach French at the Marianapolis Preparatory School, in Thompson, Conn. Then he spent many years as an associate pastor in Kenosha, Wisc., Plano, Ill. Darien, Ill., Worcester, Mass., and in Argentina. He spent several years at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy, in Stockbridge, Mass., where he celebrated Masses and heard confessions in several languages. Finally, he was assigned to the Marian House in Thompson, Conn., where he continued to hear confessions and offered pastoral care to the sick and the dying.
Fr. Anthony served the community in many capacities. Besides his priestly duties, Fr. Anthony was a teacher, a member of the provincial council and its secretary, and, a member of the Board of Directors at the Draugas Lithuanian Catholic Press Society. Fr. Anthony had a great devotion to Our Immaculate Mother and to St. Joseph, the patron saint of a happy death, whom he invoked frequently for the dying. Always attentive to the spiritual needs of the faithful, Fr. Anthony was a generous dispenser of Christ’s love and mercy, especially as a confessor and spiritual guide.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.
Father Czesław Wacław Knozowski, MIC
(10.26.1934 - 01.29.2016)
Father Czesław Wacław Knozowski, MIC, son of Julian and Monica née Żurańska, was born on Oct. 26, 1934, in the village of Wąpiersk in the administrative district of Lidzbark within Działdowo county, in the diocese of Toruń of the Warmian-Masurian voivodeship.
Having finishing elementary school in Wąpiersk in 1948, he studied at the minor seminary of the Fathers Missionaries of the Divine Word in Grupa Górna for two and a half years. From the second semester of his 10th grade, he also attended the high school in Nidzica, where he obtained in 1953 his high-school certificate.
Czesław completed his novitiate in Skórzec and made his first profession of vows on Aug. 15, 1954. In 1954-56, he completed a two-year study of philosophy in Gietrzwałd. In 1956-1957, he worked at the Góra Kalwaria religious house helping on the farm. From 1957-1961, he studied theology at the Major Seminary in Włocławek.
He made his perpetual vows in Stoczek Klasztorny on Aug. 15, 1959. On May 21, 1961, he was ordained to the priesthood in the Cathedral Basilica of Włocławek by the Auxiliary Bishop Franciszek Korszyński. From 1961-1962, Fr. Czesław underwent pastoral internship (tirocinium) conducted by the Franciscan Fathers in Krakow.
His first pastoral assignment – from 1962-1964 – was to serve as a youth catechist in Grudziądz. In 1964, Fr. Czesław went to study pedagogy at the Faculty of Theology of the Catholic University in Lublin, from where he graduated in 1967, having earned a Master's degree and Licentiate degree upon defending his thesis, The educational impact of self-governing in the life of Bielańska Democracy at the Marian Fathers’ College in Bielany near Warsaw, written under the guidance of Assistant Prof. Stefan Kunowski.
From 1967-71, Fr. Czesław served in Warsaw–Praga as a youth pastor. Transferred back to Grudziądz in 1971, he became the pastoral center administrator at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, and in 1976 the first rector of the newly established parish at the same church, where he remained until 1983.
From 1983-87, he was the superior and treasurer of the religious house in Zakopane-Cyrhla as well as the rector of the chapel. In 1984, he became the first pastor of the newly established parish of the Divine Mercy in Zakopane-Cyrhla.
In 1987, he was transferred to Licheń, where he served from 1987-2002 as vicar of the St. Dorothy’s Parish. From 2002, Fr. Czesław worked as a preacher and confessor at the Shrine of our Lady of Licheń.
He died on January 29, 2016, at a hospital in Konin. May he rest in peace.
Father Antoni Łoś MIC
(03.07.1944 - 01.20.2016)
Father Antoni Łoś, son of Marian and Maria née Apiecionek, was born on March 7, 1944, in the Rusaki village of the Udział parish, in the Głębokie district of the Vilnius province. His parents owned and worked on their own farm. From 1948, they had to work on a collective farm (kolkhoz).
Antoni finished elementary school in 1957, and did one year of junior high. In 1958, his parents moved the entire family to Poland. They took up residency at Góra Kalwaria. There, in 1962, Antoni obtained his high school certificate. In July 1962, he was admitted into the Congregation of Marian Fathers.
His first profession of vows took place on August 15, 1963, upon which he was sent to study at the Seminary in Wloclawek. Having completed two years of philosophy, he went to study theology in Lublin, which he finished in 1969, with a Master's degree in theology, having defended his thesis, The Hour of Christ in Jn 2:4 as interpreted by the Fathers of the Church.
Antoni made his perpetual vows in Skórzec on August 15, 1969. Transferred to the religious house in Stoczek, he served as a catechist. In 1970, he was ordained in Olsztyn first the sub-deacon and then the deacon.
On September 5, 1970, Bishop Bronisław Dąbrowski, FDP, Secretary of the National Conference of Bishops in Poland, ordained him to the priesthood at the parish church in Góra Kalwaria. That year Fr. Antoni was transferred to Licheń to perform catechetical-pastoral duties there; then, in 1971 he went to Skórzec, and in 1974 to Grudziądz.
The Provincial Council granted his request for transferring permanently to the London House of the Eastern Rite. He arrived there in December 1975, and joined the community of the Eastern Rite House, where he was entrusted with the duties of treasurer and house councilor.
In 1978, Fr. Antoni asked to be transferred from the Belarusian House to the Congregation’s English Province, to work among the Polish immigrants. In 1979, he resided at the Washington House, while studying spirituality and deepening his knowledge of English. From 1981 to 1993, he served as the Novice Master in our English Province.
In mid-1993, he petitioned for permission to work in Belarus, which was granted by his superiors. Consequently, he joined his confreres from the Polish Province serving in Belarus. He served as a pastor and 2nd house councilor in Druya, with a residence in Rosica. In 2000, he was moved to the residence in Zhodino as the residence rector, pastoral assistant, 2nd house councilor in Barysau, and also pastor in Krupki. In 2005, he was transferred again to the religious house in Druya, as the parish vicar and 2nd house councilor. In 2012, following the closure of the religious house in Druya, Fr. Antoni was transferred to the religious house in Licheń as a pastoral assistant at the Shrine of Our Lady of Licheń.
He died on January 20, 2016. May he rest in eternal peace.
Father Ireneusz Meller, MIC
(01.03.1935 - 01.03.2016)
Father Ireneusz Meller, MIC, son of Francis and Henrietta née Lipowska, was born on January 3, 1935 in the Dzierzęga village of the Duczymin Parish, in the Przasnysz District of the Diocese of Płock. He completed his elementary school in 1950 in Duczymin, and finished his 8th grade at the Nidzica High School. In 1951 he was admitted to the Marian minor seminary in Warsaw–Bielany, where he finished his 9th grade in 1952, and then asked to be admitted to the novitiate, at the end of which he made his first profession of vows on Aug. 15, 1953. He did the last two grades (10th and 11th) at a high school in Góra Kalwaria in 1954-56, and went to study philosophy at the Warsaw seminary (1956-58). Then he spent a sabbatical year in Stoczek Klasztorny, where he made his perpetual profession of vows on Aug. 15, 1959. After making his perpetual vows, he was sent to study at the seminary in Włocławek. In 1961, his studies were interrupted for a year, and he was sent to Głuchołazy. In 1962, he was transferred to the religious house in Vilnius as a sacristan. From 1964 to 1967, was studied at the Major Seminary in Siedlce. He was ordained to the sub-diaconate on Dec. 17, 1966, to the diaconate on Feb. 18, 1967, and to the priesthood on May 20, 1967, at the cathedral in Siedlce by Wacław Skomorucha, the Auxiliary Bishop of Siedlce.
Skórzec was Fr. Ireneusz’s first assignment after ordination, where he worked as a catechist and assistant in pastoral work. In 1971, he was transferred to Głuchołazy to serve as a catechist and assistant in pastoral work. In addition, the local community elected him the local superior’s vicar, while the Provincial Superior appointed him the house treasurer.
In 1978, he was transferred to Warsaw to serve as a catechist at the religious house on Wileńska Street, and in 1981, he was sent to the house in Jegłownik–Elbląg, where he was appointed a vicar. In 1982, he was transferred to Elbląg as the parish vicar. In 1983, he became the 1st councilor of the Elbląg house. For 23 years Fr. Ireneusz served in various parishes as a catechist, especially of children.
In 1990, he was transferred to Warsaw-Stegny and appointed a chaplain at the Institute. While serving there, Fr. Ireneusz obtained in 1994 a new location for a chapel. In 1999, the Primate of Poland, Cardinal J. Glemp consecrated that chapel.
The director of the Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology petitioned the Provincial Superior for extending Fr. Ireneusz’s assignment with that Institute due to the pastoral methods of interacting with the patients that the latter developed. In May of 2011, the Institute authorities petitioned for another extension of Fr. Ireneusz’s appointment to the office of chaplain at the Institute, which he fruitfully carried out for more than 25 years.
In the last weeks of his life Fr. Ireneusz struggled with an incurable disease. He died on Jan. 3, 2016, on his 81st birthday. May he rest in peace.
Brother Charles Frederick Wells, Jr., MIC
(05.23.1927 - 09.09.2015)
On September 9, 2015 (Memorial of St. Peter Claver) at the Marian Fathers’ residence in Stockbridge, Mass., weakened by an advanced age, Br. Charles Frederick Wells, Jr., MIC, passed away at the age of 88. Fortified by the Sacraments of the Church and surrounded by the prayers and care of his confreres and hospice nurses, Br. Fred peacefully breathed his last and entered the Father’s house. A veteran of the concluding days of World War II, Br. Fred left his family in Richmond, Va., and entered the Congregation of Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception in 1955. After a six-month postulancy and one year of novitiate, Br. Fred professed his first religious vows in 1957 and final vows on February 2, 1960, the feast of Mary’s Purification and Our Lord’s Presentation in the Temple.
An accountant by profession, immediately after his first profession, Br. Fred assumed the position of the head accountant at the Marian Helpers Center, which he held and fulfilled diligently for over 24 years. Musically talented he uplifted many hearts to God and imbued them with beauty. In addition, possessing a good deal of common sense and a great sensitivity to matters spiritual and pastoral, Brother Fred not only served the community in various ministries, such as: Provincial Councilor, local Superior, Assistant Novice Master and a local treasurer, but also the inner city poor, the homebound, the prisoners, and the elderly.
Gregarious by nature, his desire was to build people up and bring them hope and joy. To accomplish this task Br. Fred shared the Lord’s love for them through the tenderness of his heart, humor, material and spiritual blessings. May the Lord Jesus welcome Br. Fred into the company of His Immaculate Mother, St. Joseph and all the holy men and women who share in the Banquet of Eternal Life.