The founder of St. Peter’s Kitchen at the former Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Rochester, Father Richard Czerwien, SSCC, died unexpectedly at the Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen, Texas, on May 19, 2007. He was 66.
Father Czerwien entered the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary in 1978. He earned a master’s degree in pastoral theology from Washington Theological Union and was ordained in 1983. Before making his religious profession, he had earned an undergraduate degree in business and his CPA. He then earned his master’s degree in science education and taught in Chicago.
He also served in pastoral ministry in Fall River, Mass., and in the jail ministry for youths in Brownsville, Texas.
Prior to ordination, he served an internship at Ss. Peter and Paul Parish and was its pastor from 1984 to 1988. The soup kitchen, which he founded in 1981, continues its mission today based on the strong volunteer base he established early on.
Father Czerwien is survived by his sister, Elaine King of Bethesda, Md.; his brothers, Gerard of Chicago and Arthur of Pensacola, Fla.; and the members of his congregation.
A funeral liturgy was celebrated at Queen of Peace Parish in Harlingen, where Father Czerwien served at the time of his death. The Mass of Christian Burial was May 26, 2007, at St. Joseph’s Church, Fairhaven, Mass., with burial in the congregation’s Sacred Hearts Cemetery.