Right Rev. Emeritus Anthony M. Rysz

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Bishop Anthony M. Rysz, 90, died Friday, March 20, in Geisinger Community Medical Center emergency room after being stricken ill at home. His wife of 46 years is the former Marie Bednash Rysz.

Bishop Rysz was the son of the late Aniela Szmyd Rysz and Joseph Rysz. Born in Old Forge, he was educated in local schools and attended the University of Scranton. During the Second World War, he served with the Fifth Amphibious Force of the Pacific theater with the United States Navy. Long involved in church activities and organizations, his calling prompted him to enter Savonarola Theological Seminary of the Polish National Catholic Church.

He was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on Oct. 19, 1950, by the Right Rev. John Misiaszek, and was assigned as assistant to St. Stanislaus Cathedral. In February 1954, he was assigned to the pastorate of Holy Mother of Sorrows Parish, Dupont, and was elevated to the rank of senior priest on Nov. 11, 1964, by the Prime Bishop, the Most Rev. Leon Grochowski. In February 1968, he assumed the pastorate of St. Stanislaus Cathedral and received Episcopal consecration on June 26 of the same year. He served on various commissions of the church, including the United Polish School Societies, Clergymen's Aid Fund and Seminary Board. He was the personal secretary to the first bishop of the Polish National Catholic Church, Francis Hodur, and his successor, Leon Grochow-ski. From 1959 to 1966, he spent many months as the consignee for Aid to Poland under the American Polish National Relief Program.

Bishop Rysz was actively involved in the International Bishop's Conference of the Union of Utrecht, of which the Polish National Catholic Church is a member. Additionally, he was the chairman of the Commission on Dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church and had participated in numerous ecumenical celebrations, both here and abroad. He was the editor of God's Field, the official newspaper of the Polish National Catholic Church and a contributing writer to that publication. He was actively involved in programs which encourage the participation of younger people in the life of the church. In recent years, he served as pastor of Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Nanticoke.

He is also survived by a sister, Josephine R. Kwiatkowski, Taylor; and two brothers, Theodore, Scranton; and Walter; nieces and nephews.

He was also preceded in death by a sister, Celia Ambrose.

He will lie in state on Tuesday from 4 to 8 p.m. in St. Stanislaus Polish National Catholic Cathedral, 529 E. Locust St., Scranton. The funeral Mass will be on Wednesday at 10 a.m., celebrated by the Most Rev. Dr. Anthony A. Mikovsky. Interment will follow in the parish cemetery.

Donations in the bishop's memory may be made to the Clergy Pension Fund, the St. Stanislaus Elementary School PTO or St. Stanislaus Renovation Fund.


Published in Scranton Times on Mar. 22, 2015
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