WEST HARTFORD – Father Zigford J. Kriss, 84, retired superintendent of Catholic schools for the Archdiocese of Hartford, died on Sept. 5, 2013.
He was born and raised in Bloomfield, the youngest of nine children of the late Joseph and Frances (Przyzanowski) Kriss. He graduated from Bloomfield High School; St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield; St. Bernard's Seminary in Rochester, N.Y.; and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He was ordained to the priesthood on Dec. 20, 1958, in Rome by Bishop Martin J. O'Connor, then-rector of North American College in Rome.
He celebrated his first public Mass at a chapel in the Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore, one of Rome's four major basilicas. Father Kriss's first assignment was to Holy Cross Parish in New Britain. He then completed a graduate degree in education at Trinity College in Hartford, while serving on the faculty and in administration at East Catholic High School in Manchester. In 1973, he was named principal of South Catholic High School in Hartford, where he served until 1979, when he became pastor of St. Stanislaus Parish in Meriden.
On June 1, 1992, Father Kriss was appointed superintendent of Catholic schools, a position he held until his retirement on July 31, 2004. As superintendent, he oversaw 87 schools in towns throughout the archdiocese. During his time as superintendent, he also served as temporary administrator of St. Peter Claver Parish in West Hartford.
His eight siblings, Mary, Leo, Alexander, Joseph, Stanley and Walter Kriss, and Martha Hacia and Florence Havrilvuk, all predeceased him. He is survived by many nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends from 8:30-10:45 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 11, at St. Thomas Seminary, 467 Bloomfield Ave., Bloomfield. Archbishop Henry J. Mansell will be the principal celebrant of a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. in the chapel there. A reception will follow the Mass, and burial will follow in Sacred Heart Cemetery in New Britain.