Fr. Waclaw Jamroz Dies
Involved in Radio and Television for Polish Community
Chicago, IL (October 9, 2009) – Fr. Waclaw Jamroz, pastor of Our Lady of the Snows Parish near Midway Airport, died Thursday, October 8, 2009 in the parish rectory at 4810 South Laramie Avenue in Chicago, of self-inflicted injuries. Fr. Jamroz was 44 years old.
Fr. Jamroz became pastor of Our Lady of the Snows in August of 2004. He was approaching the end of his six-year term as pastor of Our Lady of the Snows and was very happy to be starting a second term there. Most Rev. Gustavo Garcia-Siller, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago and the vicar for the area that includes Our Lady of the Snows, described Fr. Jamroz as a “very dedicated priest” who visited the sick and anointed the dying with a particular sense of pastoral care.
After only two years at Our Lady of the Snows, Fr. Jamroz began a ministry to the Spanish-speaking of the parish, and Bishop Garcia-Siller described as “remarkable” his ability to work in two cultures that were not his own. “He was very present to all during our cluster and deanery gatherings,” and he made Chicago his church,” the bishop noted.
His close friend and fellow priest, Fr. Antoni Bury, pastor at St. Bruno Parish, said Fr. Jamroz had many friends and communicated very well with all types of people. “He was a kind priest and his parishioners loved him,” said Bury, who believes Fr. Jamroz’s friendliness explains why he enjoyed his work in communications.
A native of Piatkowa, province Nowy Sacz in Poland, Fr. Jamroz was ordained a member of the Order of the Salvatorian Fathers in 1992 in Bielsko Biala in Poland. After earning a Masters degree in Theology, Fr. Jamroz was assigned by the Salvatorian Fathers to their Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Merillville, IN.
Between 1993 and 1996, in addition to his work at the shrine, Fr. Jamroz was involved in several radio and television broadcasting efforts aimed at the Polish-speaking community. Fr. Jamroz had a very strong devotion to the Blessed Mother and to the rosary. He created the Catholic radio program, Holy Rosary Radio, which he hosted weekdays on radio 750AM and which was broadcast to four states. He pioneered a religious program on Polish television, Polvision in Chicago, called The Word of Life that aired at 7 p.m. on Sundays, during which he discussed each Sunday’s Gospel readings.
In 1995, he produced a program for Polish television that presented the history of several Chicago churches, and he also produced a series of radio cassette and compact disc recordings of rosary meditations and religious songs.
In 1997, Fr. Jamroz was appointed associate pastor of St. Camillus Parish on South Lockwood Avenue in Chicago, where he served for three years. He was the associate
pastor of Our Lady of the Snows Parish for three years beginning in 2000, before serving briefly at St. Symphorosa Parish on South Austin Avenue in Chicago. In December 2005, Fr. Jamroz completed the process of incardination, by which he became a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Visitation for Fr. Jamroz is planned for Tuesday, October 13, from 5 to 9 p.m. at Our Lady of the Snows Church, 4810 South Leamingon Avenue in Chicago. A funeral Mass with Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago, presiding is planned for Fr. Jamroz for Wednesday, October 14, at 10:30 a.m. at the church.
Fr. Jamroz is survived by his father, a brother and a sister in Poland and a sister in Germany.