ENFIELD – Vincentian Father Julian A. Szumilo died at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford on April 7, 2014. He was 90 years old and had been a priest for nearly 64 years.
Father Julian was born on Jan. 9, 1924, in Buffalo, N.Y., the son of the late Anthony and Waleria (Kurzynska) Szumilo. He attended St. Cazimir’s School in Buffalo and graduated from South Park High School there in 1942. Following high school, he began his studies at the Vincentian-run Niagara University in Niagara Falls, N.Y., where he completed two years of study in one year and where he first considered becoming a priest.
He entered the novitiate at St. Vincent Seminary in Philadelphia in September 1943 and pronounced his perpetual vows on Sept. 12, 1945. He pursued philosophical and theological studies at Mary Immaculate Seminary in Northhampton, Pa., and was ordained to the priesthood on June 3, 1950.
His first assignments were as parochial vicar at St. Stanislaus Parish in New Haven from 1950-53 and then at St. Michael’s Parish in Derby from 1953-57. He was then named rector and superior at St. John Kanty Preparatory School in Erie, Pa., from 1958-61 before returning to St. Michael’s Parish in Derby to serve as parochial vicar and superior.
In 1964, Father Julian was assigned to St. Vincent’s Mission House in Utica, N.Y., and spent the next five years conducting parish missions and retreats. Beginning in 1965, he also simultaneously served as an auxiliary chaplain at Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome, N.Y.
In 1969, he returned to St. Stanislaus as pastor and remained there until 1974. From 1975-81, Father Julian served as provincial for the New England province of his order, the Congregation of the Mission.
In 1981, he became parochial vicar at St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish in Brooklyn, NY.
From 1984-87, Father Julian was assigned to St. Vincent’s Mission House in Whitestone, N.Y. While there, he received his certificate in clinical pastoral education from the Connecticut Valley Hospital in Middletown. From 1987-93, he was a priest-chaplain at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford and, for a time, served as director of pastoral care.
The next year, Father Julian was named parochial vicar back at St. Stanislaus, and then went to Holy Trinity Parish in Lisbon, Maine, as parochial vicar until 1999. He then was asked to assist at the Vincentian provincial house in Manchester.
In 2001, he became chaplain at St. Joseph’s Residence in Enfield, a home for the elderly operated by the Little Sisters of the Poor. He served as chaplain until his retirement in 2009, and then continued to live there until his death.
Father Julian was predeceased by his parents and his sisters, Emily Kolber, Eleanor Puchalski and Florentine Wandel. He is survived by many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
His funeral Mass was celebrated on April 12 in the chapel at St. Joseph’s Residence. Interment in St. Michael’s Cemetery in Derby followed.
Donations in Father Szumilo’s name may be made to NEPCM Charitable Trust, 234 Keeney St., Manchester, CT 06040.