FR. VINCENT PACZKOWSKI, SDB (1955-2018)

Fr. Vince Paczkowski

    (Silver Spring, Md. – July 23) – Fr. Vincent Paczkowski was called home to the Lord, from Surrey, B.C., on the afternoon of July 21 after an illness that appeared in May and required chemotherapy. That, however, did not help his condition, and earlier in July he had it discontinued.

Fr. Vince had just taken up a new assignment at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Surrey in November 2017. He was 63 years old and had been a Salesian almost 43 years and a priest for 32 years.

Vince was born in Jersey City, N.J., to Vincent and Hedwig Paczkowski on April 28, 1955, and grew up in Secaucus, N.J. He entered Salesian Junior Seminary in Goshen, N.Y., in 1970. Years later he recalled, “What led me to become a Salesian was when I went on a Salesian vocation retreat, it was the way the Salesian priests and brothers interacted with us especially during recreation time. Their joy and friendliness had an impact on me.”

After his high school graduation, Vince entered St. Joseph’s Novitiate in Newton, N.J., in 1974. He made his first religious profession in Newton on September 1, 1975.

Bro. Vince taught briefly at Salesian High School in New Rochelle, N.Y., and Mary Help of Christians School in Tampa and on the staff of Don Bosco Retreat Center in Haverstraw, N.Y. Following theological studies at the Pontifical College Josephinum from 1982 to 1986, he was ordained at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Pelham, N.Y., on May 25, 1986.

Almost his entire priestly ministry was in parishes as youth minister and assistant pastor: Mary Help of Christians in Manhattan (1986-1995), St. Thomas the Apostle in Harlem (1995-1997), St. Anthony of Padua in Elizabeth, N.J. (1997-2005), Corpus Christi Church in Port Chester, N.Y. (2007-2014), and Our Lady of the Valley (2014-2017). Of this he wrote in 2015, “The ministry that satisfied me the most was my work with youth in theater in a parish setting. I had the opportunity to do this for 18 years, and often I look back at it with great satisfaction.”

Fr. Vince was also on the retreat team at Don Bosco Retreat Center in Haverstraw from 2005 to 2007.

At the time of his 25th anniversary of ordination, in 2011, Fr. Vince wrote: “My vocation as a Salesian priest has given me the opportunity to serve God’s people, particularly the young. Throughout these past 25 years, God has shown me in many ways that He has chosen me for this particular mission.”

July 24, 2018 - 11:59am
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