Father Frederick W. Jackiewicz
Father Frederick W. Jackiewicz
Father Frederick W. Jackiewicz, who died March 30, was warmly remembered as man who loved the priesthood and going out of his way to serve others.

“Although I never had the chance to get to  know Father Jackiewicz, he had a reputation for great kindness to people during his pastoral assignments,” said Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., sharing that just five days before Father Jackiewicz’s death on March 30, he had sent a note congratulating Father Jackiewicz on his 50th anniversary of priestly ordination, which would have been celebrated May 29.

“May he rest in the Risen Lord,” Bishop O’Connell said.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held April 7 in St. Mary of Ostrabrama Church, South River, with several priests of the Trenton Diocese concelebrating.

“Father Fred was a humble, faithful servant of the Lord,” Msgr. Thomas J. Mullelly, diocesan episcopal vicar for clergy and consecrated life and director of seminarians, said of Father Jackiewicz, who retired from public ministry more than 20 years ago following injuries from an accident.

At that time, Father Jackiewicz was serving as pastor of St. Jerome Parish, (now part of Our Lady of Hope Parish), West Long Branch.

Msgr. Mullelly said that in the midst of his great physical challenges, Father Jackiewicz’s “kindness and endurance remain an inspiration to all.”

“With joyful enthusiasm and a kind and gentle spirit, he shared Our Savior, Jesus Christ, with the people through the celebration of the Eucharist, visitation with those who were unable to fully participate in parish life and by working selflessly to build up the family, which is the Church,” Msgr. Mullelly said.

Msgr. Casimir H. Ladzinski, Msgr. Ronald Bacovin and Father Brian McCormick – retired priests of the Diocese –kept in regular contact with Father Jackiewicz. The monsignors said witnessing the unwavering love and care their brother “Freddie” received from his family for 21 years was especially heartening.

“They were tremendous,” Msgr. Bacovin said of the family.

“There’s no question, his family took good care of him,” Msgr. Ladzinski added. “But it was tough to watch,” he said, noting that with each visit, Father Jackiewicz’s declining health was more noticeable.

Father Jackiewicz had resided in St. Lawrence Rehabilitation Center in Lawrenceville for a short time after the accident, but then went to live with his sister and family in South River and remained there until the time of his death.

After sharing about Father Jackiewicz’s love of sports, especially skiing, the monsignors reflected on the passion Father Jackiewicz had for his priesthood.

“He was a faithful priest. He was always there for the people,” Msgr. Ladzinski said.

“He was a very good priest,” Msgr. Bacovin agreed. “He loved his priesthood.”

The two priests, as well as Msgr. Mullelly, Father McCormick, Msgr. Michael J. Walsh, episcopal vicar of Mercer County and pastor of St. James Parish, Pennington; St. George Parish, Titusville, and St. Alphonsus Parish, Hopewell, and retired priest Father Daniel Cahill concelebrated the Mass of Christian Burial. Father Michael J. Gromadzki, pastor of St. Mary of Ostrabrama Church, served as principal celebrant, and Msgr. Mullelly offered remarks during the Mass.

Father Jackiewicz was born in 1944 in Kampala, Uganda. He and his family relocated to the United States in 1956 and settled first in Sayreville and then South River. He was a graduate of St. Mary High School, South Amboy; St. Mary College, Orchard Lake, Mich., and prepared for the priesthood in SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary, Orchard Lake, where he earned a master of divinity degree. He also held a master’s degree in education from the University of Detroit.

Father Jackiewicz was ordained to the priesthood May 29, 1971, by Bishop George W. Ahr in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton. As a parochial vicar, he served in St. Hedwig Parish, Trenton; St. Joseph Parish (now part of Jesus the Good Shepherd Parish), Beverly, and St. Joan of Arc Parish, Marlton. He also was parish administrator in both St. Hedwig and St. Joseph Parishes. In 1987, Father Jackiewicz was appointed pastor of St. Jerome Parish, West Long Branch, and in 1996, was given the added responsibility to serve as Catholic chaplain in Monmouth University, West Long Branch. Father Jackiewicz retired from active ministry after the 2000 accident.

Father Jackiewicz was predeceased by his parents, Waclaw and Maria Jackiewicz. He is survived by a sister, Halina (Vincent) Gostkowski; several nieces, nephews and grandnieces and grandnephews.

Father Jackiewicz was buried in St. Mary Cemetery, East Brunswick.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the St. Jerome Education Assistance Fund, 250 Wall St, West Long Branch, NJ 07764 or the St. Mary of Ostrabrama Building Fund, 30 Jackson St., South River, NJ 08882.