Brother Paul (Cyril) Slaby, OFM, 86, a professed Franciscan friar for 65 years, died on Wednesday, Sept. 27 at Holy Name Friary, Ringwood, N.J.
Paul was born in Coaldale, Pa., to Stephen and Mary (Zaleha) Slaby, on June 29, 1920. He was baptized in the Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Coaldale on July 4, and graduated from St. Mary’s High School, in 1938. After attending Niagara University for a year, he entered St. Joseph Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., where he studied for one year.
Paul was received into the novitiate in Paterson, N.J. , on Aug.12, 1940, receiving the religious name of Cyril Vincent. On Aug. 13, 1941, he professed first vows there before Jerome Dawson. He pursued philosophical studies at Croghan, N.Y., and Butler, N.J., then theology studies at Holy Name College in Washington, D.C., where he professed his final vows before Bertrand Campbell on Sept.17, 1944.
Paul was ordained a deacon in October 1945, but then, as the time approached for his ordination to the priesthood, he expressed hesitancy in taking this step. Upon completion of his theological studies in 1947, he was assigned to work at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, Mass.
In April of 1949, while assisting at St. Anthony Shrine, Paul became ill. He required hospitalization and was diagnosed with mental illness. During the years that followed, he was admitted to various healthcare facilities for treatment and therapy.
Paul assisted for a few years at St. Joseph Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., from 1951 to 1954, and at Holy Name College, Washington, D.C., from 1975 to 1984. In 1976, he returned to the use of his baptismal name. From 1996 to 1997, he resided at St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J. Paul moved to Holy Name Friary, Ringwood, in October 1997, where he lived until his death.
Paul’s Wake was held on Thursday, Sept. 28, in the Cortona Chapel of Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J. The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Sept. 29 in the Cortona Chapel. Kevin Mullen, provincial councilor, was the principal celebrant and Francis Soucy, guardian and director of Holy Name Friary, preached the homily. Interment followed at God’s Acre Cemetery in Ringwood.
Paul was the nephew of the late Lambert Zaleha. He is survived by his brother, Frank. Condolences may be addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Frank Slaby, 90 Anderson Road, Milford, NJ 08848.