Born in Elizabeth, NJ, on April 17, 1921, Rev. Msgr. Joseph A. Marjanczyk grew up in St. Adalbert’s Polish Parish, attended Jefferson High School, then graduated from Seton Hall University (B.A.) in 1941. He later attended Immaculate Conception Seminary (M.Div.), Darlington, NJ, and was ordained a priest by Archbishop Thomas J. Walsh on May 5, 1945.
“Father Joe” spent his first 27 years as a priest as Parochial Vicar and also as Administrator at St. Valentine Church, where he directed building projects, established the Altar Rosary Society, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, and a Parish Advisory Council, and served as Polish Chaplain and Bloomfield Knights of Columbus Chaplain. During this time he was also Adjunct Professor of Polish in the Master School of Foreign Languages at Seton Hall University for 12 years. In 1972 Msgr. Marjanczyk became Pastor of his home parish of St. Adalbert’s until 1983, when he was appointed pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Bayonne, until he retired as pastor emeritus in 1996.
Always very supportive of Polish causes, Fr. Marjanczyk was involved in numerous organizations, including the Polish Cultural Foundation of NJ (Board of Trustees), NJ Chapter of the Pope John Paul II Foundation (Founding President), the Polish Army Veterans (National Chaplain), and the Polish American Immigration and Relief Committee of Greater New York (President).
On the national level, Msgr. Marjanczyk chaired the 25th anniversary celebrations and remodeling of the Polish Chapel in the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC, in 1986. Since 1989 he was designated as the Polish Apostolate representative to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Office of Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees. He also advised the Polish Heritage Room Committee of the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, DC.
Msgr. Marjanczyk’s decades of commitment to Church and community have been recognized by numerous prestigious awards including the Officer’s Cross of Polonia Restituta by the Polish Government in Exile in London (1988), the Officers’ Gold Cross, Republic of Poland, Order of Merit by President Lech Walesa (1991), Grand Marshal of the General Pulaski Memorial Parade in New York City (1993), and the “Pride of Polonia” Award at the annual National Polish Apostolate Day held at the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Doylestown, PA (1997).
Rev. Msgr. Marjanczyk passed away on November 5, 2008. His love for the church and his Polish heritage was outstanding. May he rest in peace!