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Obituary: Rev. Edward Jach

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Fr. Edward Jach, priest, of the Siena Woods Support Community, Dayton, Ohio, USA, died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on June 7, 2018 in Dayton, Ohio, USA, at the age of 86 with 67 years of religious profession.

Fr. Ed was a teacher, school chaplain, pastor and dedicated many years to Marianist formation.

Edward Martin Jach was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on November 10, 1931. He was the fourth of five children (3 brothers and 1 sister) born to Angeline (nee Worzala) and Peter Jach. In 1945, He graduated from St. Hedwig’s grammar school in Milwaukee and was one of the first to enroll in Don Bosco High School which had just been established by the Marianists in the south side of Milwaukee.

Fr. Ed’s vocational journey began when Bro. Anthony Sobocinski innocently asked him why he was studying Latin. Fr. Ed’s response planted a seed, “I responded that I might want to become a priest. Well, that’s all the brothers needed. On the last day of school, I finally asked Bro. Joe Konitzer for the necessary papers to start the novitiate.”

In August of 1949, Fr. Ed entered Marynook Novitiate in Galesville, Wisconsin. He professed his first vows on August 15, 1950. He graduated from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, in 1953 with a bachelor’s degree in history. He later received a master’s degree in Christian spirituality from Creighton University in 1976.

Fr. Ed’s first teaching assignment was at St. Mary’s High School in St. Louis, Missouri, which he held for four years. In the autumn of 1957, he was assigned to his alma mater Don Bosco High School for a half year and then moved on to Provencher Collegiate in St. Boniface, Manitoba, Canada, where he taught until 1959. He made his perpetual vows in 1959.

Having felt a calling to the priesthood since his youth, Fr. Ed had requested and was approved to attend seminary at Regina Mundi in Fribourg, Switzerland, from 1959-1964. Fr. Ed was ordained
in 1964.

His first assignment after ordination was to return to Don Bosco High School where he was chaplain and religion teacher until 1968. He was then called to serve in formation at both St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, and Marynook Novitiate in Galesville, Wisconsin. From 1971 to 1977, Fr. Ed continued his formation work as the director of the Chaminade Community House in San Antonio, Texas, while also serving as a part-time campus minister at St. Mary’s University. Sr. Laura Leming recalled, “My favorite memories of Fr. Ed were from my earliest days as an FMI when he was working with the SM aspirants. He was so warm, well read in spirituality and down to earth. He was a true pastor. He presided at my first vows and I will always be grateful for his accompaniment in my early days being an FMI.”

In 1978, Fr. Ed began his long career in parish ministry at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Helotes, Texas. He served as the pastor for the growing parish for more than ten years. He was instrumental in building the Parish Community Center in 1984 and in initiating the process for building a new church.

In 1990, Fr. Ed was assigned to St. Francis De Sales Parish in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he served as pastor for 20 years. Fr. Tim Dwyer wrote, “Fr. Ed was definitely a ‘people person.’ He was a warm and caring pastor, an effective and collaborative team member and a good community man. He combined a deep religious spirit with an earthly sense of humor. In later life, he faced numerous medical challenges with resilience and indomitable courage.”

In 2010, Fr. Ed began his path to retirement with a sabbatical in Texas before taking on the chaplaincy for the Siena Woods healthcare center in Dayton, Ohio. Bro. Bob Wiethorn noted, “The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Fr. Ed is his total availability. He was always ready to respond to any request. He was a man who did simple things with great love as Mother Theresa
called us to do. He certainly loved well and was loved in return.” Fr. Ed remained as an active and beloved member of the Siena Woods Community until his death.

In his remarks at his Diamond Jubilee, Fr. Ed wrote, “The one gift that stands out for me was becoming a teacher. It was the path to self-growth and to living so many of the mysteries of Christ… As I review these notable events in my life, I am grateful to my family and friends and the many brothers who were part of my life… ’For the Glory of the Most Holy Trinity, the Honor of Mary, and the salvation of my soul’ best describes how my life as a Marianist has been fulfilled these past 60 years. My life and my Marianist vocation are very beautiful gifts. I couldn’t ask for more.”

Fr. Rudy Vela recalls, “Fr. Ed was a Marianist of ‘all heart.’ His warm and genuine smile always spoke of welcome and joy. He knew how to love and be loved. His Milwaukee upbringing filled him with a sense of family. Texas taught him the beauty of the abrazo and Cincinnati taught him how to practice justice and to welcome all.”

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