Obituaries, Week of April 20, 2024

Father Richard Zuk, priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn who was released from diocesan assignment to serve as prison chaplain of the Federal Correctional Complex in Florida, died on April 3. 

Father Zuk was born on Oct. 12, 1973, and ordained to the priesthood on June 4, 2005. He served the Diocese of Brooklyn as administrator of the parishes of St. Joseph in Jamaica and St. Clement Pope in South Ozone Park, while in residence at Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Jamaica. 

He also served as parochial vicar of the parishes of Blessed Sacrament in Jackson Heights, St. Anastasia in Douglaston, and St. Matthias in Ridgewood, and as parochial assistant of St. Kevin in Flushing and Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Ozone Park. 

Father Zuk also served as prison chaplain to the Metropolitan Detention Center, Brooklyn. He was a member of the Priests’ Purgatorial Society. 

“Father Richard Zuk was a very dedicated and faithful priest. He was dedicated to spreading the good news of Jesus Christ,” said Father Cezariusz Jastrzebski, pastor of St. Joseph Church in Jamaica. 

“He was very friendly and open to the different cultures at the parish, and worked on collaboration between the two cultures at St. Joseph,” Father Jastrzebski added, referring to the Polish and African American and Caribbean populations that predominate in the parish. 

“He was a problem-solver. People miss him and his sense of humor.” 

A funeral Mass for Father Zuk was celebrated Tuesday, April 16, at Immaculate Conception Center, Douglaston. Bishop Robert Brennan was the principal celebrant. Msgr. John Strynkowski was the homilist,and special concelebrants were Father Patrick J. Keating, Father George Poltorak, and Msgr. Joseph Calise. Burial followed at St. John Cemetery, Middle Village.