Lawrence Pafchik, OFM
1914 – 2004
Fr. Lawrence Pafchik, OFM, was born Sept. 10, 1914 in New York City and baptized John Stephen Francis. He attended St. Bonaventure College, Allegany, N.Y., from 1934 to 1936, when he was received into the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J. He professed first vows in 1937, made his solemn profession in 1940 and was ordained in 1942.
His first assignment was as parochial vicar of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in New York City. He next served as chaplain at St. Anthony Hospital, Woodhaven, N.Y., before assisting at St. Anthony Parish, Union City, N.J. Fr. Lawrence then went to St. Thomas Church, Beach Haven, N.J., where he assisted for four years.
In 1950, he joined the Province’s Mission Band and was stationed at St. Bernadine of Siena Friary, Loudonville, N.Y. Two years later, he enlisted in the United States Navy, serving five years as chaplain. Fr. Lawrence returned to the Mission Band in 1957 and was stationed at St. Joseph’s Parish, East Rutherford, N.J. In 1969, he served as chaplain at St. Clare’s Hospital, New York City. Nearly 13 years later, he became chaplain of the veterans hospital in West Haven, Conn., where he ministered for 11 years. In 1993, he joined the infirmary team at Holy Name Friary, Ringwood, N.J.
He died there on Feb. 17, 2004. Fr. Lawrence was 89 years old, a professed friar for 66 years and a priest for 61 years.