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A Mass of Christian Burial for the Rev. Robert Struzynski, O.F.M., a former friar at Mt. Irenaeus in Western New York, will be celebrated Dec. 21 at St. Bonaventure University, where he taught for several years.
The 78-year-old Franciscan friar died Dec. 13 at Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J. Fr. Bob was a member of the Order of Friars Minor for 55 years and an ordained priest for 50 years.
A viewing will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. on Dec. 20 at the St. Bonaventure University Chapel, Doyle Hall, with a vigil service at 5 p.m. A viewing is also scheduled from 10 to 11 a.m., prior to the 11 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial at the chapel.
The Rev. Dominic Monti, O.F.M., provincial vicar of Holy Name Province, will serve as principal celebrant, and Fr. Daniel Riley, O.F.M., guardian of Holy Peace Friary at Mt. Irenaeus, will preach the homily. Burial will follow at St. Bonaventure Cemetery, Allegany.
Born May 1, 1935 in Dunkirk, N.Y., to Albert and Bernice Struzynski, Fr. Bob attended a local parish school and graduated from Dunkirk High School in 1952. He earned a bachelor of business administration degree from St. Bonaventure in 1956. Upon graduating, he resigned his ROTC commission as second lieutenant to enter St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary, Callicoon, N.Y., in the fall of that year.
He was received into the Order in 1957 in Lafayette, N.J., where he professed temporary vows one year later. Fr. Bob professed his final vows as a Franciscan in 1961 in Washington was ordained a priest there in 1945.
Upon completing theological studies in 1964, Fr. Bob joined the theology department of St. Bonaventure as an instructor, before going on for doctoral studies at the University of Notre Dame. After earning a doctorate in 1971, he returned to St. Bonaventure, where he continued teaching for another seven years, also becoming involved in campus ministry.
In 1978, in a career shift, he went to Philadelphia, where he helped found the St. Francis Inn soup kitchen and shelter. Then, from 1984 to 1993, he served as a missionary in Jamaica as pastor of Our Lady of the Angels Parish in Kingston. While there, he helped build homes with materials received from Food for the Poor and started a Housecraft Training Institute, a project to help the poor learn to sew to enable them to better earn a living.
Fr. Bob returned to the U.S. in 1993, and was assigned for the next 12 years at St. Patrick Friary in Buffalo, N.Y., where he ministered in the Cephas program, an ecumenical organization serving men and women in prison and on parole. In 2005, he became a member of the fraternity at Mt. Irenaeus, the Franciscan retreat in West Clarksville, N.Y.
In June 2013, he retired from full-time ministry at St. Anthony Friary, Butler, N.J., where he fell ill earlier this month.
Fr. Bob is survived by his sister-in-law, Maryann Struzynski, and nephews Patrick of South Wales, N.Y., and Norman of Forestville, N.Y., as well as several cousins. Condolences may be sent to Mrs. Maryann Struzynski, 103 Trinity Park Lane, East Aurora, NY 14052-9477.
Memorial contributions may be sent to Franciscan Friars-Holy Name Province, Office of Development, 144 West 32nd St., New York NY 10001-3202.
About Holy Name Province
Holy Name Province is the largest of seven entities in the United States belonging to the Order of Friars Minor. With ministries in 12 states along the East Coast, its more than 300 Catholic priests and brothers serve in colleges, parishes, urban ministry centers and a wide variety of social ministries, as well as in overseas missions.
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