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Fr. Walter Stefanski, Archdiocesan Priest for Five Decades, Dies

Chicago, IL (May 22, 2006) – Fr. Walter Stefanski, pastor emeritus of St. Pancratius Church died on Wednesday, May 17. He was 92 years old and was a resident of St. James Manor in Crete at the time of his death.

Fr. Stefanski was a Chicago native who graduated from Quigley Preparatory Seminary and the University of St. Mary of the Lake Mundelein/Seminary. Ordained in 1940, he served for seven years as assistant pastor at St. Casimir, now closed. He then became assistant pastor of St. Joseph Polish Parish, 48 th and Hermitage, where he served for 13 years. At that time, there were five parishes with the St. Joseph name in Chicago each with a particular ethnic designation of French, German, Polish, Lithuanian and Slovak.

In 1960, Fr. Stefanski was made assistant pastor of St. Andrew Parish in Calumet City, and in 1966 he became pastor of St. Joseph in Chicago Heights, a parish that is now closed. After serving there for three years, Fr. Stefanski became pastor in 1969 of St. Pancratius, on Chicago’s southwest side. He was pastor there until his retirement from active ministry in 1985.

Visitation for Fr. Stefanski will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 23, at St. James Manor, 1251 Richton Rd., Crete. Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago, will be the main celebrant at a funeral Mass for Fr. Stefanski at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 23, at St. Agnes, Church, 1501 Chicago Rd., Chicago Heights.

Interment will be in Resurrection Cemetery in Justice. Fr. Stefanski is survived by his nephew, Fr. Gery Stefanski, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

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