CENTRAL FALLS —The Reverend Anthony D. Iwuc, 93, Pastor Emeritus of St. Joseph Parish, Central Falls, Rhode Island, died Tuesday, March 30, 2021.
Born in South Attleboro, Massachusetts, Father was the 7th of 10 children of Bronislaw and Adolfina (Zamoida) Iwuc. He was predeceased by his brothers, Frank, Joseph, Stephen and Edward and his sisters Stella, Lottie, Jane and Jessie. He is survived by his older brother, Charles Iwuc of South Attleboro, Massachusetts, and several nephews and nieces.
Father Iwuc was educated in Attleboro Public Schools, Saint Joseph School in Central Falls and St. Raphael Academy in Pawtucket.
Early on, Father Iwuc was recognized for his keen intelligence and exceptional memory and as a diligent and earnest student. He received a 3-year scholarship to St. Raphael Academy, received a general excellence medal, and athletic letters in baseball and basketball.
In preparation for the priesthood, he studied at Our Lady of Providence Seminary in Warwick, at St. Mary College and SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary, both in Orchard Lake, Michigan. In the Seminary, he served as Deacon Prefect of Studies. He was ordained a priest on May 30, 1953 at the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul, Providence, by the Most Reverend Russell J. McVinney.
Father Iwuc served at Our Lady of Czenstochowa Parish, Coventry, first as assistant pastor (1953-56), then as administrator (1956-70), and as pastor (1970-72). In 1972, he was appointed pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Central Falls, and remained there until his retirement in July 2005 as Pastor Emeritus.
In addition to his parish duties, Father Iwuc served also as Dean of the Blackstone Valley Deanery XI (1978-82); diocesan Director of the Holy Name Society (1983-2005); member of the Council of Priests (1999-2005); member of the Priests’ Personnel Board (1997-99); and as member of the diocesan College of Consultors (1995-2002). In 1974, he received the “Man of the Year Award” from the Orchard Lake Schools National Alumni Association and was elected its President. In December 1977, Father Iwuc was made an Honorary Canon of the Diocese of Lomza in Poland. In 1981, he received the “Fidelitas Medal”, the highest honor granted by the Orchard Lake Schools.
Father organized pilgrimages to Rome, Poland, the Holy Land, Fatima, Lourdes and Mexico. Father was present in Rome for the election of Pope Saint John Paul II and, for years organized the annual Polish Pilgrimage at LaSalette Shrine in Attleboro, Massachusetts. He organized the construction of Our Lady of Czestochowa School in Coventry. Father renovated and modernized the interior of St. Joseph’s Church, and also purchased a new organ for the Church.
Father Iwuc also was responsible for the purchase of the former Central Falls Congregational Church, which is now the St. Joseph’s Church Parish Center. He organized the annual Polish Parish festivals, and also the annual Pulaski Day Memorial at Roger Williams Park in Providence. He conducted the annual census of St. Joseph’s Parish on foot — going house to house to meet the families. Father had great compassion for the elderly, sick and less fortunate. Every year at Christmas, Father would go house to house with St. Nicholas for a visit of cheer and singing polish songs. Father was a champion for the Holy Rosary.
Father Iwuc spent a very active ministry with membership in national and local groups: The Polish Roman Catholic Union of America, Polish National Alliance, Polish American Historical Association, Polish American Priests Association, Kosciuszko Foundation, Polish-Hungarian World Federation and Affiliation, Polish American Guardian Society.
A Concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial was offered for the repose of his soul on Thursday, April 8, at St. Joseph Church, Central Falls. Bishop Thomas J. Tobin served as the main celebrant.