DERBY – Father John S. Sledziona, a member of the Congregation of the Mission, died unexpectedly on March 31, 2016.
He was born in Derby on Dec. 23, 1942, a son of the late John and Dorothy (Smeider) Sledziona. He attended St. Michael School in Derby and graduated in 1960 from St. Joseph Seminary High School in Princeton, N.J. He did his philosophical and theological studies at Mary Immaculate Seminary in Northhampton, Pa.
Father John was ordained a Vincentian priest on May 30, 1970. From 1970-78, he was a professor of English and religious studies, as well as an administrator, at St. John Kanty Prep in Erie, Pa. While there, he completed studies for his master’s degree in English in 1972. In 1978, he became the vocation director for his congregation’s New England Province.
From 1980-86, Father John was an instructor at Bishop Brady High School in Concord, N.H., becoming principal in 1982. In 1987, Father John became the pastor of St. Peter’s Parish in Concord, and remained there until he was elected provincial of the New England Province on Aug. 22, 1996, a position he held for the next nine years.
In February of 2006, Father John became pastor of St. Stanislaus Parish in New Haven, and in the fall of that year, he was named director of ongoing clergy formation for the Diocese of Manchester in N.H. Most recently, he had ministered as director of seminarian formation and co-director of permanent deacon formation.
In addition, Father John was president of the National Conference of Visitors of the United States for three years. He served on the editorial board of the Vincentian Studies Institute. He was a member of the governing council for the National Organization for the Continuing Education of Roman Catholic Clergy.
He was a Niagara University trustee and, in 2013, received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree for his faithful service to Niagara University, the Congregation of the Mission and the Catholic Church. Father John also served for many years on a Vincentian translation project.
He is survived by his brother Richard and a nephew, Brian Sledziona.
Donations in his name may be made to NEPCM Charitable Trust; 234 Keeney St., Manchester, CT 06040.
A funeral Mass was celebrated on April 4 at St. Michael the Archangel Church in Derby. Burial was in St. Michael’s Cemetery in Derby.