Rev. Henry Zapotocki

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July 31, 2012

The Rev. Henry E. Zapotocki, 91, died Tuesday, July 31, 2012 at St. Mary's Villa, Roaring Brook Township, Pa.

Father Zapotocki was a son of the late Joseph Michael and Anna R. Jendrzejewski Zapotocki and was born in Wilkes-Barre on June 17, 1921. He received his early education at St. Stanislaus School and graduated from Coughlin High School. Father attended the University of Scranton and completed his studies for the priesthood at Saint Peter's Seminary, London, Ontario while receiving his B.A. in philosophy from the University of Western Ontario. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 22, 1948 in Saint Peter's Cathedral, Scranton, by the Most Rev. William J. Hafey, D.D., late Bishop of Scranton.

Father Zapotocki was first assigned for the summer of 1948 at Camp Saint Andrew, Tunkhannock. In September of that year, he became assistant pastor of Saint Francis Cabrini, Carverton. He also served as assistant pastor of Sacred Heart, Peckville, and Saint Thomas Aquinas, Archbald, serving concurrently at Camp Saint Andrew as assistant director. He was appointed Administrator of Sacred Heart Church, Mayfield, on November 24, 1952, and received his first pastorate at Saint Thomas Aquinas, Archbald on September 17, 1953. Father served there until his appointment as pastor of Our Lady of Victory, Tannersville on September 9, 1968, where he remained until his retirement and appointment as Pastor Emeritus on July 6, 1999.

Father Zapotocki was awarded an M.S. degree in education from the Graduate School of Pastoral Counseling at Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y. When Father received this degree in 1969, it was the only graduate program of its kind in the U.S. The aim and scope of the program was designed to meet the multitude of psychological and sociological problems encountered by today's priest in his pastoral role.

Father served the diocese as a guidance counselor at Pocono Central Catholic High School, Cresco. He was very active with the Knights of Columbus and was appointed State Chaplain, the first Diocesan Priest to hold that position. He received the Distinguished Service Award from the Archbald Council Knights of Columbus 2644 for his faithful service to them as their chaplain for over 12 years. Father was also faithful friar of the Fourth Degree Assembly, Archbald Council, and Chaplain of the Fourth Degree Exemplification Team of the Fourth Pennsylvania District, Calvert Province. After Father's retirement, he continued serving by celebrating Mass at Our Lady of the Villa Retreat House in Swiftwater.

He is survived by a brother, Joachim; niece Charity Good and her husband, Michael, who cared for Father, and many other nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Joan Niemenski and Zita Zapotocki.

A Pontifical Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by the Most Rev. John M. Dougherty, D.D., Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Scranton, on Monday at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of Victory Parish, Tannersville. Viewing will take place at Our Lady of Victory Parish, 327 Cherry Lane Rd., Tannersville, on Sunday from 3 to 6:30 p.m. A Vigil Mass will be celebrated at 7 p.m. Sunday evening at Our Lady of Victory, Tannersville, with the Rev. Thomas D. McLaughlin, Dean, presiding. Viewing will also take place Monday morning, prior to the 11 a.m. Funeral Mass. Interment will be in St. Mary of the Maternity Parish Cemetery, Forty Fort.

Father was a very generous and charitable person. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Villa of St. Joseph, 1600 Green Ridge St., Scranton, PA 18509, a home for retired priests.

Published in Times Leader on Aug. 3, 2012
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