KOKLOWSKY, ALBERT, S.T.

KOKLOWSKY, ALBERT, S.T. (23 Feb. 1916-1 Apr. 1983), called 'the slum priest,' advocated for AFRICAN AMERICANS in the community and in the Diocese, as pastor of OUR LADY OF FATIMA CHURCH (1963-69) during the HOUGH RIOTS. Koklowsky was born in Newark, NJ, to Kasper and Mary Comski Bajol. He attended parochial schools, St. Joseph Minor Seminary in AL (1929) and the Catholic University of America (1930s), interrupting his studies for mission work in Pensacola, FL (1937). In Washington, DC, Koklowsky was ordained 18 May 1944 into the Order of the Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity. His first charge was Holy Rosary Parish, Newark, NJ (1944). From 1946-53 the priest did missionary work among rural residents around Maysville, NC, and served as auxiliary military chaplain to a nearby U.S. Marine base, then continued mission work in Philadelphia, MI (1953-58), and Puerto Rico. While in HOUGH, Father Koklowsky purchased and rehabilitated homes for needy residents. The activist fasted for 7 days in 1967, supporting striking nonprofessional employees of ST. LUKE'S HOSPITAL MEDICAL CENTER. Koklowsky also founded the ecumenical HOPE, Inc. to acquire low-income housing.

After his tenure at Our Lady of Fatima, Koklowsky was assigned to Sacred Heart Chapel, Lorain, OH, primarily an Hispanic parish. He left in 1972, serving in Puerto Rico, Mexico, and at Our Lady of Victory Parish, East Los Angeles, CA (1981). Koklowsky died in Orange, California.


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