Walter Paska

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Bishop Walter Paska, D.D., J.C.D., retired auxiliary bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia, died Saturday near Philadelphia.

Born in Elizabeth, N.J., on Nov. 29, 1923, son of the late Wasyl and Rosalia Petrovsky Paska, he studied at St. Basil College, Stamford, Conn.; St. Charles Seminary, Catonsville, Md.; Fordham University, New York City; and Catholic University, Washington, D.C. Bishop Paska was ordained to the priesthood on June 2, 1947 in Philadelphia.

In 1952, he obtained a master's degree in medieval English literature from Fordham University. He is a former teacher at St. Basil Prep School and St. Basil College, both in Stamford. In 1975, he earned a doctorate degree in canon law from Catholic University. He served as a professor of canon law at Catholic University and was a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Redaction of the Code of Oriental Law from 1975 to 1978. From 1979 to 1984, Bishop Paska was the rector of St. Josaphat Seminary, Washington, D.C.

He held various pastoral assignments including Hempstead, N.Y.; Brooklyn, N.Y.; Chester; Elizabeth, N.J., and Stamford. When he was ordained as auxiliary bishop on March 19, 1992, he served as pastor in Cherry Hill, N.J. and Williamstown, N.J. Later, he served as rector of Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Philadelphia. Bishop Paska served in various administrative roles. He was the first chancellor and vicar general of the Eparchy of St. Nicholas in Chicago from 1969 to 1971. He also served as vocations director of the Archeparchy and as judicial vicar of the Archeparchy from 1975 to 2006. In 1963, Bishop Paska was named Prelate of Honor by Pope Paul VI and given the ecclesiastical title of monsignor. Presently, he served as defender of the Bond of the Metropolitan Tribunal and was working on a translation of Ukrainian Church history.

Bishop Paska was well-known throughout many Ukrainian Catholic parishes in the area, including St. Vladimir's, Scranton; SS. Cyril and Methodius, Olyphant; and SS. Peter and Paul, Simpson.

The pontifical funeral divine liturgy will be Thursday at 10:30 a.m. in the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, North Franklin Street, Philadelphia, by his Grace, Archbishop Stefan Soroka, Metropolitan of Philadelphia. Interment, Our Lady of Sorrows Cemetery, Langhorne.

Transferal of the body to the church will be today at 1 p.m. with priestly parastas service at 7. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Josaphat's Ukrainian Catholic Seminary, Washington, D.C., where Bishop Paska served as rector. Arrangements by the Fletcher-Nasevich Funeral Home, Philadelphia, www.fletchernasevich.com.
Published in Scranton Times on Aug. 20, 2008