Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of July 3, 2006
Scripture scholar translated poem
Fr. Aloysius Rekowski died in Toronto at 84
Fr. Aloysius Rekowski
By RAMON GONZALEZ
WCR Staff Writer
Father Aloysius Rekowski, a popular Redemptorist missionary who preached missions in Alberta during the 1950s and 1960s and lived in Edmonton for the past few months, died unexpectedly in Toronto June 17. He was 84.
"He was a missionary through and through," recalled Redemptorist Brother Cyril Brinsek. "He was very devoted and dedicated to his work."
Brinsek met Rekowski off and on many times in his journeys throughout Western Canada and lived with the priest at Villa Marguerite retirement home.
Loved by the people
Rekowski was loved by the people and got a big send off in Saskatoon before he came to Villa Marguerite a few months ago, Brinsek said. And despite his advanced age, the priest never really retired. He continued giving talks and celebrating Mass at the Grey Nuns chapel. "He was loved by everyone."
Born in Wilno, Ont., Oct. 23, 1921 to Polish parents, Rekowski spend his early years in Barry's Bay district, where he attended school and met the Redemptorists.
He made his first profession with the order in Woodstock, Ont., in 1940 and was ordained a priest in 1948.
He first served the out-missions from St. Gabriel's Church in Athabasca, Alta., from 1946 to 1956 in pioneer-like circumstances among the Polish immigrants and oversaw the building of three small out-mission churches.
From 1956 to 1966 he preached more than 200 missions in English and Polish in Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg.
After completing studies at Lumen Vitae Catechetical Institute in Brussels in the mid-1960s, Rekowski visited Poland for the first time. He also taught at Holy Redeemer College in Edmonton as well as at Notre Dame University in Nelson, B.C. A Scripture scholar, he conducted Scripture courses in all his postings.
During the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s he was part of the staff of the Redemptorist Retreat House in Tacoma, Wash., did adult education for the Archdiocese of Seattle, did parish work in Great Falls, Mont., and for 26 years he served as chaplain in St. Paul's Hospital in Saskatoon.
Epic poem translation
For many years, while stationed at St. Mary's in Saskatoon, Rekowski also did pastoral work and translated a famous epic poem from Kashub into English entitled An 1880 Journey through Kashub Poland. Previously he had written a history of the Kashub people in Canada, Poland and the United States.
In 2005 he celebrated his 60th anniversary of ordination at Villa Marguerite in West Edmonton. He died in Toronto while on holidays following a stroke. He was buried in Barry's Bay June 24.