MARYKNOLL, N.Y. – Maryknoll Father Joseph S. Pulaski, a native of Meriden, died on Nov. 8, 2013, at Mission St. Teresa’s Residence in Ossining, N.Y. He was 94 years old and a Maryknoll priest for 66 years.
After ordination on June 15, 1947, Father Pulaski was assigned to the Yeungkong mission, Maryknoll’s first mission site in the Kwangtung province of southern China. He studied the Cantonese language, and was assistant pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Kwangtung, which administered an institute for the blind and an orphanage for more than 70 children. In 1949, Chinese Communist troops took over the area and, within two years, expelled the Maryknoll missioners from the country.
In 1951, Father Pulaski returned to the United States to serve at Holy Spirit Church in Perth Amboy, N.J., and then he became involved in mission education and promotion work in the St. Louis, Mo., area. In 1953, he was assigned to Japan, where he served for 21 years in various parish assignments and as chaplain of Kusatsu Hospital (1968-74). He then worked in Hawaii until his retirement in 1985.
Born in Meriden on Oct. 11, 1919, he attended St. Stanislaus School and graduated from Meriden High School in 1938. He studied for the priesthood at St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield for two years and joined Maryknoll in 1940. He completed his studies at Maryknoll Junior Seminary in Clark’s Summit, Pa., and at Maryknoll Seminary in Ossining.
Father Pulaski is survived by his sisters-in-law, Virginia Pulaski of Newington, and Genevieve Pulaski of Meriden, along with many nephews and nieces.
A funeral Mass was concelebrated on Nov. 14 at St. Stanislaus Church in Meriden. Burial followed in St. Stanislaus Cemetery. Memorial donations in Father Pulaski’s name may be made to the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, P.O. Box 302, Maryknoll, NY 10545.