On December 20, 2012 in age of 84, 65 years of vocation and 58 years of priesthood, Father Joseph M. “Joe” Lachowski, C.M., S.T.D. passed at Flushing Hospital Medical Center, Flushing, Queens, NY. He was a long time teacher and professor at St. John Kanty Prep, Erie, PA, Niagara University, Niagara Falls, NY and others. Since 2006 he was a resident of Ozanam Hall Nursing Home of Queens, Bayside, NY.
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December 26, 2012 6:00-8:30 PM
Gardenview-Stobierski Funeral Home
161 Driggs Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
(opposite to St. Stanislaus Kostka Church)
December 27, 2012 11:00 AM
St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, Brooklyn, NY
December 28, 2012 10:00 AM
St. Joseph Church, Ansonia, CT
Church Wake: 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
December, 2012 following the Mass in Ansonia
Vincentian Community Plot
St. Michael’s Cemetery, Derby, CT
Father Joseph “Joe” Michael Lachowski, C.M. was born in Ansonia, Connecticut, March 16, 1928 as son of Walenty and Walentyna (Piotrowska). Survivors include 9 nieces and nephews, and 21 great-nieces and nephews. Father Joe was predeceased by his 3 sisters: Mary Adamski, Jane Poslusny, and Martha Lachowska, as well as niece Maryann Poslusny.
He attended St. Joseph Parochial School, Ansonia High School, and graduated from St. John Kanty Prep in Erie, PA, in 1945. He was received to the Congregation of the Mission in the Polish Vice-Province in the USA on June 14 1947. After World War II candidates for priesthood in the Vice-Province could not attend the seminary formation in Poland. Instead, they undertook formation courses together students from US Eastern Province in St. Joseph Preparatoty Seminary, Princeton, NJ, St. Vincent’s Seminary, Germantown,PA, and Mary Immaculate Seminary, Northampton, PA, where he completed his studies in Philosophy and Theology. He was ordained a priest on May 27, 1954.
His first assignment, right after ordination, was in St. John Kanty Prep, Erie, PA again. He was here for two years as English and biology teacher, music director and student director. In the same time he studied at Gannom University, Erie. After graduating with Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in 1956, Vice-Provincial, Fr. Paul Kurtyka CM recognizing his talents sent him to Rome to continues his theological education At St.Thomas University (Angelicum). In 1957 he received Licentiate of Sacred Theology (S.T.L) and in 1958 doctorate in Sacred Theology (S.T.D.) presenting the dissertation on “The Concept of Redemption accord to St. John’s Gospel”, published the same year. Then Father returned to Erie. For over fifteen years at St. John Kanty Prep he shoed his numerous talents in various disciplines. Father Joseph fluently spoke English, Polish, French, Italian, Latin and Greek, taught Science being and head of the Science Department. But mostly he is remembered as Music Director. Born and raised in a family that had made music part of their way of life, his commitment to music made him unforgettable by dozens of students who were trained and music so effectively, that even decades after graduating from the school whenever they sing in the church or elsewhere they think about Fr. “Joe” as the person who made them singers. And his congregations remember well his autoharp.
In 1975, when New England became autonomous Province of the Congregation Father Joseph was elected provincial counselor and hold the position until 1978. Also in 1975 he moved North-East of Lake Erie to Niagara Falls, NY. In a perfect match of skills and interests, he brought his musical spirit to faculty and students of Niagara University, staffed by Vincentians, one of the largest Catholic universities in the USA. For eight years (1975-1983) Father Lachowski was full time Visiting Professor of religious studies at Niagara University and what sounds obvious, he was Community Chapel organist and moderator of Glee Club.
Over the years, Father Lachowski continued his academic pursuits in religious and scientific areas. He authored 8 articles in New Catholic Encyclopedia and in 1960-1980 he made 25 book reviews in the Catholic Biblical Quarterly (CBQ).
Since 1974 he was active member of Catholic Biblical Association of America. For his scientific activity Father was honored by: National Science Foundation (NSF) grants, to Penn State University in 1966; to University of Southern California in 1967; to University of Portland, Oregon in 1968; to St. Joseph College, Maryland in 1969 and to University of Iowa in 1973.
August 1, 1983 New England Province opens their first formation house, novitiate – De Paul House of Studies in Whetersfield, CT for two candidates (Thomas Creaser and Nello Baracchini). Fr. Lachowski was appointed Internal Seminary Director (Novice Master). Besides the Whethersfield House was closed September 30, 1985 Father continued to hold the position being moved to Provincial House in West Hartford, CT. Additionally, from 1983 to 1987 Father was professor at Holy Apostles College and Seminary, Cromwell, CT.
In 1987, Father moved to St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish in Brooklyn, NY, as Parochial Vicar. Besides his priestly functions, he worked with the school children’s choir and played the organ at Masses. In retirement, he chose to remain at St. Stan’s and was chaplain of the St. Aloysius Club, Fatima Society and the Golden Age Club. Despite growing restrictions due to age and infirmity, he continued his lifelong enjoyment of music and sports, and maintained his spiritual vocation. On the occasion of centenary of the parish, Father Lachowski published a book “St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish and School Centennial 1896-1996″
In 2006, when his infirmity worsened he moved to Ozanam Hall Nursing Home of Queens, Bayside, NY. Many people who met him there highlighted his patience, calmness and simplicity. Whenever it was possible Father Joe participated in liturgical events in St. Stanislaus church, Brooklyn. Regularly parishioners visited him in Bayside, even few days before he passed away. And always, he was cheerful and in high spirit.
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Condolences from the C.M. Province of Poland