Rev. Victor Maksimowicz, 78, Franciscan pastor, teacher

August 28, 2005|By Sandy Alexander | Sandy Alexander,SUN STAFF

The Rev. Victor Maksimowicz, a Franciscan pastor and teacher, died Wednesday at Washington Hospital Center in the District of Columbia of head injuries suffered in a fall during a heart attack. The resident of the St. Clement Friary in Rosedale was 78.

Father Maksimowicz was born in Scranton, Pa., and entered the Conventual Franciscan Friars at Mount St. Lawrence Novitiate in Becket, Mass., when he was 18 years old.

He professed his first vows a year later and continued his studies at St. Joseph Cupertino Seminary in Ellicott City, St. Bonaventure University in St. Bonaventure, N.Y., and St. Hyacinth Seminary in Granby, Mass. He was ordained a priest June 24, 1954 in Springfield, Mass.

His first assignment was as assistant pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Roman Catholic Church in Bridgeport, Conn. In 1957, he began teaching at Bishop Ryan High School in Buffalo, N.Y.

From 1962 to 1975, he taught Spanish at Archbishop Curley High School in Baltimore.

In 1975, he returned to parish work, serving as assistant pastor at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Athol Springs, N.Y.

He then went to Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Mt. Joy, Pa., where he was pastor of the newly built church from 1978 to 1982.

"The people loved him," said the Rev. Steven Frenier, pastor of the Athol Springs church, who was working at the Mt. Joy parish at the time. "He was just the uniter of the people there."

Father Frenier said that Father Maksimowicz was known for his gentleness and kindness.

Father Maksimowicz served next as pastor of St. Stanislaus Parish in Trenton, N.J., and then, in 1985, back to the Athol Springs parish as pastor.

From 1991 to 2002 he served as pastor of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish in Sharon, Pa.

"He was a kindly, grandfatherly figure," said the Rev. Jeffrey Lucas, the current pastor of St. Stanislaus Kostka. "He wanted to see an active parish, with a strong worship life and a strong social life."

In 2002, Father Maksimowicz became a semiretired associate pastor at St. Clement Roman Catholic Church in Rosedale.

He was an avid fan of baseball, golf and bowling.

A Mass of Christian burial was offered yesterday.

Survivors include two sisters, Mildred Novack, of Moscow, Pa., and Jean Troxler of Martinsburg, W.Va.

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