Florian A Walczyk, OFM
1937 – 1997
Fr. Florian Walczyk, OFM, was born on April 6, 1937 in Flushing, N.Y. He attended Bishop Loughlin High School, where he was an outstanding student. His scholarly ways endured throughout his seminary training. He was received at St. Raphael’s Friary, Lafayette, N.J., in 1957, taking the name Florian, the patron saint of firefighters, in honor of his father. He professed temporary vows one year later, made his solemn profession in 1961, and was ordained in 1964.
He earned degrees in religious education from The Catholic University of America and did graduate studies in French at St. Bonaventure University, Catholic University, Case Western Reserve University, and took language classes in Paris. Fr. Florian taught French for short periods at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, N.Y., and St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., and was also proficient in Polish and German.
Most of his priesthood was spent in urban ministry: at St. Francis Chapel in Providence, R.I., St. Francis of Assisi Parish in New York City, and Our Lady’s Chapel, New Bedford, Mass. Subsequently, he was assigned to St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J., and, finally, to Sacred Heart Friary in East Rutherford, N.J. A man of immense physical presence and commanding intellectual and social talents, Fr. Florian was an impressive gentle giant. Although never trained formally, he was an accomplished musician both on the piano and organ.
He died on Dec. 17, 1997 at St. Mary’s Hospital, Passaic, N.J. Fr. Florian was 60 years old, a professed friar for 39 years and a priest for 33 years.