QUEENS, N.Y. – Vincentian Father Joseph M. Lachowski passed away on Dec. 20, 2012, after 58 years of priestly service. He was 84 years old and a resident of Ozanam Hall Nursing Home in Bayside.
He was born on March 16, 1928, in Ansonia, the son of the late Walenty and Walentyna Lachowski.
Survivors include nine nieces and nephews and 21 great-nieces and great-nephews. Father Lachowski was predeceased by his three sisters, Mary Adamski, Jane Poslusny and Martha Lachowska.
He attended Ansonia High School and graduated in 1945 from St. John Kanty Prep in Erie, Pa. He entered the Congregation of the Mission and went to St. Joseph’s Preparatory Seminary (Princeton); St. Vincent’s Novitiate in Germantown, Pa.; and Mary Immaculate Seminary in Northampton, Pa., where he completed his studies in philosophy and theology.
He was ordained as a Vincentian priest on May 27, 1954. He was assigned to teach English and biology at St. John Kanty Prep, where he also served as the music director and student director. At the same time, he worked at Gannon University in Erie toward a Bachelor of Arts degree, which he received in 1956.
Father Lachowski received his Licentiate of Sacred Theology and, in 1958, his doctorate of sacred theology, both from St. Thomas University (Angelicum) in Rome. He then returned to Kanty Prep where, for more than 15 years, he shared his numerous talents. He fluently spoke English, Polish, French, Italian, Latin and Greek, was the music director, taught science, and served as head of the Science Department.
Father Lachowski then became a full-time visiting professor of religious studies at Niagara University, where he also was the community chapel’s organist and moderator of the Glee Club. In 1983, he became the director of the Vincentian House of Studies and novice master for Vincentian candidates for the priesthood in Wethersfield. He also taught at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell.
Father Lachowski was a member of the Catholic Biblical Association of America, for which he reviewed 25 biblical books. He wrote eight articles for the New Catholic Encyclopedia and received several National Science Foundation grants to support his development as a science teacher.
In 1987, Father Lachowski was appointed parochial vicar of St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish in Brooklyn, N.Y. He also worked with the school’s children’s choir and played the organ at Masses. In retirement, he was chaplain of the St. Aloysius Club, Fatima Society and Golden Age Club.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Dec. 28 at St. Joseph Church in Ansonia. Burial followed in the Vincentian Community Plot at St. Michael’s Cemetery in Derby.