Most Reverend Walter Paska, D.D., J.C.D. (1923-2008)

Bishop Walter Paska, retired auxiliary bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia, fell asleep in the Lord on August 16, 2008. Bishop Paska was born in Elizabeth, NJ on November 29, 1923. He studied at St. Basil College in Stamford, CT, St. Charles Seminary in Catonsville, MD, Fordham University in New York, and Catholic University in Washington, DC. Bishop Paska was ordained to the priesthood on June 2, 1947 in Philadelphia, PA.

In 1952, he obtained a master’s degree in Medieval English Literature from Fordham University. He is a former teacher at St. Basil Prep School and St. Basil College, both in Stamford, CT. In 1975, he earned a Doctorate in Canon Law from Catholic University. He had served as a Professor of Canon Law at Catholic University and as a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Redaction of the Code of Oriental Law from 1975-1978. From 1979 to 1984, Bishop Paska was the rector of St. Josaphat Seminary in Washington, DC.

He has held various pastoral assignments including Hempstead, NY, Brooklyn, NY; Chester, PA; Elizabeth, NJ; and Stamford, CT. When he was ordained as Auxiliary Bishop on March 19, 1992, he served as pastor in Cherry Hill, NJ and Williamstown, NJ. Later he served as rector of Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Philadelphia, PA.

Bishop Paska has served in various administrative roles. He was the first chancellor and vicar general of the Eparchy of St. Nicholas in Chicago from 1969 to 1971. He has served as vocations director of the archeparchy and as judicial vicar of the archeparchy from 1975 until 2006.   

In 1963, Bishop Paska was named Prelate of Honor by Pope Paul VI and given the ecclesiastical title of Monsignor.  Most recently, he served as Defender of the Bond of the Metropolitan Tribunal and was working on a translation of Ukrainian Church history.

Vichnaya pahmyat!

Photo – Then-Msgr. Paska visiting our parish school ca. 1972