Obituaries, Week of August 5 & 12, 2023

Priest Who ‘Preached Gospel With Kindness’ 

Father Thaddeus A. Grzelak, a retired priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn, was ordained to the priesthood on May 29, 1965, and died on Monday, May 29, 2023, at age 84. 

Father Grzelak served the Diocese of Brooklyn as Parochial Vicar for the Parishes of Our Lady of Hope (Middle Village), Our Lady Help of Christians (Brooklyn), Saint Nicholas (Brooklyn), Holy Family (Brooklyn), Our Lady of the Cenacle (Richmond Hill), Saint Kevin (Flushing), Holy Innocents (Brooklyn), Saint Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr (Ozone Park), Holy Cross (Maspeth), Saint Joseph (Long Island City) and Saint Charles Borromeo (Brooklyn). 

Msgr. Thomas Machalski, pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus parish in Bayside, recalls that Father Grzelak was “immensely popular” in the many parishes where he ministered, “because he was always kind, always upbeat, always smiling. 

“His welcoming personality left an imprint on people.” 

A funeral Mass for Father Grzelak was celebrated by Bishop Robert Brennan on Monday, July 24, at Immaculate Conception Center, Douglaston, N.Y. Burial was at St. John’s Cemetery, Middle Village, N.Y.

Sister Mary Veronica Morrin, a Sister of Saint Joseph of Brentwood for almost 73 years, died June 26, 2023, at age 91 at Maria Regina Residence. 

Mary was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Park Slope. She graduated from Saint Francis Xavier Elementary School and from Bishop McDonnell Memorial High School. In September 1950 she entered the Sisters of Saint Joseph and became known as Sister Mary Lorenzo. 

Her teaching ministry began at Blessed Sacrament School and continued at Saint Athanasius and Our Lady of Victory — all in Brooklyn. 

In 1963, Sister was transferred to Holy Family in Flushing, and in 1964, she joined the Science Department at The Mary Louis Academy. 

She earned a BS and an MS in Science Education from Saint John’s University. 

Sister went on to study School Administration at Fordham University, Hofstra University, and SUNY Plattsburgh. 

Sister Mary Lorenzo was appointed Principal of Holy Name of Mary School in 1969 and subsequently served as Principal of Our Lady of the Snows, Holy Family, and Sacred Heart, North Merrick. 

In 2003, Sister Mary was called to Congregational ministry as Coordinator of Saint Joseph Convent in Brentwood. 

At the Motherhouse, her thoughtful manner, attention to detail, genuine concern, and gracious demeanor were evident. On retiring to Stella Maris Convent, she entered wholeheartedly into life there. 

Sister Mary was waked at Stella Maris on July 9 and in Sacred Heart Chapel the following morning. 

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated by Father Tom Poth, SMM on July 10.