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Fr. Eugene Matthew Rzeczkowski, O.P.

Fr. Eugene Matthew Rzeczkowski, O.P.

Oct 18, 1939 - Apr 1, 2024

Fr. Eugene Matthew Rzeczkowski, O.P. - Obituary


ORN: OCTOBER 18, 1939 PROFESSED: NOVEMBER 7, 1963 ORDAINED: JUNE 5, 1969 DIED: APRIL 1, 2024 Fr. Eugene Matthew Rzeczkowski, O.P., was born on October 18, 1939 in Central Falls, RI, the son of Eugene Ludwig and Bernice (née Pipka) Rzeczkowski. He was baptized on February 8, 1942 at St. Thomas’ Church in Providence, RI, and attended grammar schools in Rhode Island and Maryland, ending with St. Thomas the Apostle School in Washington DC. He graduated from Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington in 1957 and from Providence College in 1961. After a year of study as a Fulbright Scholar in Physics at Technische Hochschule in Munich, Germany, he entered the novitiate at St. Joseph Priory in Somerset, OH in 1962, receiving the religious name Matthew. Fr. Rzeczkowski made his first profession on November 7, 1963, and went on to St. Stephen Priory in Dover, MA, to study Philosophy, receiving his MA in 1966. He studied Theology at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC, making his solemn profession in 1966 and receiving his Licentiate in Sacred Theology in 1970. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 5, 1969 at St. Dominic’s Church in Washington, DC, by Most Rev. Edward John Herrmann, Auxiliary Bishop of Washington. Fr. Rzeczkowski’s first assignment was to Ohio Dominican College in Columbus, OH in 1970 to serve as chaplain and instructor in Theology. In 1973, he returned to Washington to study Library Science at Catholic University, obtaining his M.S, in 1974 and serving as Assistant Librarian at Dominican House of Studies until 1983. Fr. Rzeczkowski returned to Columbus, OH from 1983-85 to work as theology librarian at the Pontifical College Josephinum, and then back to Washington, DC to be managing editor of The Thomist and business manager of the library from 1985-97, when he was appointed Archivist of the Apostolic Nunciature. In 2000, Fr. Rzeczkowski left the Nunciature in order to work again in the Library of the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception. Among the many thousands of books that he read or ordered, shelved and even reshelved was his own translation of Jacek Salij’s “Dominican Legends: A Cloud of Witnesses from Poland.” This was published in 2008. We pray that Father Matthew is among that cloud of witnesses today! Wake begins at 7:00pm on Friday evening at Saint Dominic’ Church, 630 E Street, SW, Washington, DC,. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday morning at 10:30am with burial at Mount Olivet Cemetery to follow at Noon.