The Reverend Apolonius Krajewski, known to many as "Father Paul" son of the late Felix Krajewski and Veronica Fila, was born on April 18, 1917 in Passaic, NJ and passed away, peacefully, on Wednesday March 6, 2019 at Merry Heart Assisted Living Center in Succasunna, NJ. He was 101.
As a young boy he migrated with his family to Poland. Having completed his high school and college education in Plock, Poland, in response to his priestly vocation, he diligently pursued his philosophical and theological studies in the Diocesan Seminary of Plock.
With the outbreak of World War II, his theological studies were interrupted in 1939. In as much as he was an American Citizen, the young student was arrested by German authorities and interned in Bavaria, Germany. Thanks to President Roosevelt's Repatriation Act, he was released with other Americans. He retraced his steps back to the land of his birth, and once again he established his residence in Passaic, NJ.
Father Paul completed his theological studies in SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary, Orchard Lake, MI. Cognizant of his many efficient abilities, the seminary faculty bestowed upon him the responsibilities of a Seminary Prefect. Immediately after the completion of his theological studies, he was nominated to teach as a member of the faculty of St. Mary's High School, Orchard Lake, MI.
His Excellency, the Most Reverend Thomas H. McLaughlin, recognized Father Paul's scholastic abilities, recalled him from Orchard Lake to pursue curriculum of higher studies. At the Catholic University, Washington, D.C., he completed a three-year post graduate course both in Sociology and Theology.
Due to Right Reverend Monsignor Francis P. Kowalczyk's fatherly solicitude and personal interest, Father Paul was accepted by the Paterson Diocese. On February 24, 1945, he was ordained by the Most Reverend Thomas H. McLaughlin in St. John the Baptist Cathedral, Paterson, NJ
Father Paul had a series of three brief assignments as parochial vicar at Sacred Heart, Rockaway (May-Dec 1945), St. Joseph, Passaic (Dec 1945-June 1946) and St. Simon the Apostle, Green Pond (June-Oct 1946). He then "returned home" to Passaic for a 13-year stint as parochial vicar at Holy Rosary. In July 1959, Bishop James A. McNulty named Father Paul pastor of St. Bernard Parish in the Mount Hope section of Rockaway Township. He remained pastor in Mount Hope for 33 years until his retirement under Bishop Frank J. Rodimer in 1992. St. Bernard's is one of the smallest and quietest parishes in the Diocese. Situated just north of the Rockaway Townsquare Mall, much of the territory of the parish is public land, including parts of Picatinny Arsenal, county park land and the Newark Watershed. Perhaps, though, after the excitement, danger, drama and uncertainty of his early years, Father Paul deeply appreciated a quieter life. In retirement, Father Paul lived for many years in Mount Arlington, and then, more recently at Merry Heart Nursing Home in Succasunna.
Father Paul is survived by his devoted niece, Sister Barbara Mackiewicz of Brooklyn.
Father Paul's Life Celebration will include visiting on Monday March 11, 2019 from 3:00-6:00 PM at St. Therese RC Church, 151 Main Street, Succasunna, NJ. Vespers will be celebrated on Monday evening at 6:30 PM. A funeral Mass will be offered Tuesday March 12, 2019 beginning at 10:00 AM also at St. Therese Church. Father Paul will be laid to rest at Our Lady of Czestochowa Cemetery, 654 Ferry Road, Doylestown, PA following Tuesday's Mass.