Father Patrick Peter Paschak,
It is with profound sorrow that the Basilian Order announces the death of the Very Reverend Father Patrick Paschak, OSBM, on Tuesday, November 25, in New York City.
Peter Paschak was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on June 10, 1922, to parents Matthew Paschak and Anastasia (Shalamay). They had immigrated to Winnipeg, in 1914, from the villages of Bokiv and Vilkhivtsi, Austrian Galicia (Western Ukraine), and were wed at St. Nicholas Church the same year. Peter was christened by Father Epiphanius Teodorovych, OSBM, on June 17, 1922. He was one of six children: Michael (died in infancy), Stefan, Damian, Volodymyr (Walter) and Olga. Three of the Paschak children entered the religious life: Stefan and Peter became Basilian Fathers Epiphanius and Patrick respectively; Olga became Sister Servant Epiphania. The children attended St. Nicholas School, today Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Peter entered the Basilian novitiate at Mundare, Alberta, on September 10, 1937. Upon receiving the monastic tonsure and habit, young Peter took the religious name of Patrick. He made his first profession of monastic vows on April 20, 1939 and his Solemn Profession on June 27, 1944. Brother Patrick was among the first Basilian students to study theology in Grimsby, Ontario, where the Basilians had established a new house of studies, in 1942. After completion of his philosophical and theological formation, Father Patrick was ordained to the holy priesthood in Grimsby, on August 2, 1947. His first Solemn Liturgy was celebrated at his home parish of St. Nicholas, Winnipeg. Fathers Epiphany and Patrick Paschak were the first Winnipeg-born Basilians to be ordained priests.
From 1947-1949, Father Patrick served the faithful in the various parishes surrounding Mundare, Alberta. Until 1948, the Basilian missions in both Canada and the United States were under a single administration. In 1948, two seperate 'provinces' were created: the Canadian Province of the Sacred Heart and the American Province of the Assumption. To help the fledgeling Basilian mission in the United States, Father Pat opted to serve in the American Province.
From 1949 to 1959, Father Pat served at St. George's Parish in New York City, New York. From 1949-1954 he served as Principal of St. George's Ukrainian Catholic Academy for boys. He also headed the committee for the contruction of a new St. George's School. In 1959 he was transferred to St. Nicholas Parish, Chicago, Illinois, and in 1962 to Immaculate Conception Parish in Hamtramck, Michigan.
In 1969, Father Pat served as a delegate to the Extraordinary General Chapter of the Basilian Fathers, in Rome. On August 1, 1970, he was appointed Provincial Superior (Protohegumen) of the American Province of the Basilian Order. He served as Provincial Superior for 12 years, until 1982. During his time as Protohegumen, numerous Basilian houses were constructed, notably the residence in Warren, Michigan and the Basilian Library (currently Provincial Headquarters) in Glen Cove, Long Island.
Yet in 1981, Father Pat returned to New York City, to assume the pastorship of St. George's Parish. During his term as pastor, he arranged for the ornamentation of St. George's in traditional Byzantine-Ukrainian style. In 1982, Bishop Basil Losten appointed Father Patrick Vicar General of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Stamford, an office which he held for twenty years.
During the period of Soviet domination of Ukraine, Father Pat spoke on various radio programs, such as "Voice of Freedom" and "Voice of America". After Ukraine became independent, in 1991, Father Patrick invited two successive Ukrainian presidents to St. George's. He had the particular honour to receive both President Leonid Kravchuk and President Leonid Kuchma.
In the 1990s, Father Pat undertook the building of a large apartment complex next to St. George's and was instrumental in the foundation of a Ukrainian museum. On September 28, 1997, he celebrated a Solemn Divine Liturgy of thanksgiving on the occasion of his 50th jubilee of priesthood. More recently, Father helped raise most of the funds for the construction of the Basilian church in Ukraine's capital city, Kyiv.
Over the years, his home town, Winnipeg, was honoured to receive periodic visits from Father Pat. He conducted missions at St. Nicholas and St. Basil's parishes, both cared for by the Basilian Order, of which he was a member. He was present at the centennial celebrations of St. Nicholas Parish, on June 10, 2001, and on December 25 of that same year, he celebrated the Midnight Solemn Divine Liturgy at St. Nicholas. Despite having served over fifty years in the United States, Father Pat never relinquished his Canadian citizenship.
In October 2002, Father Pat enthusiastically accepted the invitation to preach the opening sermon at the Winnipeg Basilian Centennial Mission, which commenced December 1, 2003. Sadly, his failing health did not allow him to preach this message in life; instead, he did so in death, living forever in Christ.
Monastic Parastas and Divine Liturgy was celebrated at St. George's Parish, New York. Subsequently, a Divine Liturgy was celebrated at St. Nicholas Parish, Winnipeg, on Friday, December 5, at 10:00 AM; interment followed at Holy Family Cemetery.
Zi svjatymy upokoj Xryste, vichnaja pam'jat'!