Fr. Marcel Sokalski, OFM Conv., was born in Dickson City, PA, on September 25, 1932, and passed away on January 2, 2019. He was the son of the late Anthony and Balbina (née Machnik) Sokalski. In addition to his Franciscan family he leaves his nephew Dean Cafora. His brother Wojciech Sokalski and sister Jean Cafora predeceased him.
Fr. Marcel entered the Francis Friar Conventual Novitiate entered Mt. St. Lawrence Novitiate in Becket, MA on August 14, 1950. He professed his Temporary Vows on August 15, 1951 and he professed his Solemn Vows on August 15, 1954. He was ordained to the priesthood at St. Michael Cathedral, Springfield, MA on May 23, 1959.
Fr. Marcel dedicated himself to secondary school teaching for the first 38 years of his priestly life. Using his Masters’ degree in English, and his hobby in photography, he mentored his students in their Yearbook production. He served as a teacher at Bishop Ryan High School, Buffalo, NY from 1960 to 1966. Accepting a transfer to Cardinal O’Hara High School in 1966, he remained there until 1977. Moving to Archbishop Curley High School, Baltimore, MD in 1977 he taught full-time for the next five years. In 1982 he received his last teaching assignment which lasted from1982 to 1998 to Kolbe Cathedral High School, Bridgeport, CT.
Moving into the pastoral apostolate, Fr. Marcel became the Parochial Vicar of Most Holy Trinity Paris, Brooklyn, NY from 1998 to 2001. He worked at the Provincial House in Ellicott City from 2001 to 2003. From 2003 to 2006 he was assigned to be to Parochial Vicar to three parishes in Johnstown, PA. In 2006, Fr. Marcel received his last assignment. He moved to the Fr. Justin Rosary Hour Friary, Hamburg, NY, where he assisted in the ministry of the Rosary Hour. During his time there, the friary became a Senior Friar Residence and he was able to work as he was able. Sister Death called him home on January 2, 2019.
Fr. Marcel will lie in state at St. Francis of Assisi Parish on January 4, 2019 from 3 to 7 PM with a Franciscan Wake Service at 7 PM. On January 5, 2019, a Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Church, 4263 St. Francis Drive, Hamburg, NY 14045 at 10 A.M. Visitation will take place from 9 AM to 9:45. Memorial Donations may be made to the Franciscan Education Burse, 12300 Folly Quarter Rd., Ellicott City, MD 21042.
Funeral arrangements are by Lakeside Funeral Home, Hamburg, NY.
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