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† Fr. Richard CZERWIEN sscc (USA-East)


   The Rev. Richard Czerwien sscc, 65, died unexpectedly, Saturday, May 19, 2007, after a brief stay at Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen, Texas. The son of the late Catherine and Casimir Czerwien, Father Richard is mourned by his sister Elaine A. King ofBethesda, Maryland, and two brothers Gerard Czerwien of Chicago, Illinois, and Arthur Czerwien of Pensacola, Florida.

    Father Czerwien entered the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts in 1978 and attended Washington Theological Union, earning a Masters Degree in Pastoral Theology. He was ordained in 1983. Before making his religious profession, he earned an undergraduate Business degree and CPA and went on to earn a Masters in Science Education. He was a grammar school science teacher in Chicago, Illinois. In addition, he taught at St. Walter’s Parish Grammar School and was known for his willingness to provide support to students who struggled academically.

    Father Czerwien served in the diocese of Rochester, NY; Fall River, Mass.; and Brownsville, Texas. In Rochester, where he interned at Sts. Peter and Paul Parish prior to his ordination, he founded St. Peter’s Kitchen in 1981. This ministry continues its significant work today through the strong volunteer base established early on by Father Czerwien. Later, from 1984 to 1988, he was pastor at Sts. Peter and Paul.

    In the time he served in the Diocese of Fall River, he is remembered for his active participation in parish life at St. Joseph’s Parish in Fairhaven, where he especially enjoyed his involvement in religious education. While he served in the Diocese of Brownsville, he assisted young people who were incarcerated.  In this ministry, he not only shared his pastoral presence but also his encouragement to those he sustained to complete their high school studies by enrolling in the GED program that was available.

    After a wake and Funeral Liturgy, attended by over 300 people, at Queen of Peace Parish in Harlingen, Texas, where Father Czerwien served, his body was brought back to Damien Residence in Fairhaven, Mass. A Christian wake and prayer service was held Friday, May 25, 2007 at Damien Residence and his Mass of Christian burial was on Saturday, May 26, 2007 at St. Joseph’s Church, Fairhaven, Mass., followed by burial in the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts Cemetery.