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Fr. Melchior Toczek, ofm

January 4, 1923 - March 13, 2011

Fr. Melchior Toczek, ofm – whose baptismal name was Ladislaus – was born in Cleveland, Ohio on January 4, 1923, to Stanislaus and Victoria (nee Radon)
Toczek. After his minor seminary training he entered the novitiate on August 19, 1942, and received the religious name of Melchior, which he kept for the rest of his life. He professed first vows a year and a day later, and made solemn vows into the hands of Provincial Minister Wenceslaus Krzycki OFM on August 20,1946. Melchior was ordained a priest in Teutopolis, Illinois, on June 24, 1949, by Bishop William A. O’Connor. After his year of “sacred eloquence” (that famous “fifth year”), Melchior studied at Notre Dame University, taught two years at Quincy College, studied a year at Catholic University in Washington, and then was back at Quincy College for two more years. Following a two-year stint in parish work at St. Anthony’s in Columbus, Nebraska, he was back at teaching at Corpus Christi High School in Chicago for a year. Then he spent three years as the chaplain of Louisiana State Training Institute, residing at St. Paschal’s in West Monroe. Beginning in 1962 Melchior taught science at Hales Franciscan High School in Chicago for seven years. After that he was back in West Monroe for a short period and then came back to Hales for two more years. He returned to parish work in 1971 and served at St. Roch’s in Indianapolis, St. John’s in Joliet, St. Mary’s in Madison (IL), St. Stan’s in Cleveland, and Immaculate Conception in Omaha until in 1988 he became one of the chaplains at the county hospital in Oak Forest, Illinois. In 2000 he did supply ministry out of St. Jude’s Parish in Cleveland. He loved working outdoors especially when he was stationed at Oak Forest. He was known to have such compassion for the patients he visited so much so that many times he would intervene on their behalf to the nursing staff. He was a man always ready to serve whenever called night or day. In 2001 Melchior retired to Our Lady of Angels Friary (which in February of 2011 was renamed Blessed Giles Friary) at Villa West in Sherman, Illinois, to which he was attached for the rest of his years even though he lived his last days at St. Joseph Home in Springfield. St. Joseph Home took excellent care of him, and they really became attached to him. He would always have a warm smile for them. The past year he was no longer able to communicate clearly or to recognize faces. When he was first moved to Villa West it didn’t take him long to find something to do. He became very active in gardening in and out of the facility. When his health started to decline he began repairing rosaries and would send them to the missions. His act of charity caused others to come and assist him, and even today a group meets every Thursday to make rosaries for the missions, all thanks to Melchior’s efforts. He was a delight to be with and always would come up with a smile to begin the day. He could appear stern and somewhat formidable, but he was a friendly fellow with a warm spirit. He was ready to speak his mind, but was sensitive to the needs of others.
Melchior is survived by his sister Joanne in the Cleveland area and his nieces and nephews. May Fr. Melchior rest in peace!

Memorial Information

Free Will Baptist Church


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Services are pending in Cleveland, Ohio

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