The Kronkowski Sisters
We are the last of the Kronkowski family. All three of us are in our late 80’s. Prayers and Masses for the deceased are not as popular with the young generation; we feel so thankful that the Marian Center is so nice, and you so graciously accepted all our brother’s priestly items from his Chapel.
The Memorial Garden will mean so much to us as our brother [Fr. Leonard Kronkowski] was the oldest of us six children. He entered St. Joseph Seminary at age fourteen. Sixty years ago when entering, things were much different. Seminarians were only allowed two weeks vacation a year. So, we young kids did not get to know our brother until he retired in his late 80’s. Priesthood was his whole life. Saying Mass was his greatest joy! He was ordained a priest at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C. on February 5, 1955 [This shrine was not declared a “National Shrine” until November, 20, 1959 and was elevated to “Minor Basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1990]. Fr. Leonard celebrated his first Mass at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, our home parish in Cheboygan, Michigan, on February 13, 1955. He was assigned to the Diocese of Gary, Indiana. Where he served faithfully for fifty years.
In the 1970’s, he was in a terrible car accident. One person was killed, and he was pulled from his car and given twenty-four hours to live! The accident was caused by a person running a red light. He survived the twenty-fours, and after one month in a body cast and eight months in the hospital, he returned to active duty as a parish priest and served for many years.
When his health started to fail, he was placed on senior status by his Bishop. His wish was to return to Michigan and be near his family. He had his little Chapel in his room in our house, and he said Mass in his wheelchair. In humor, Fr. Leonard referred to his large parish of three!
He enjoyed being home and especially not having to go to a nursing home. We were able to have a nurse and caregiver care for him at home. Arthritis had set in to his broken bones, and after many trips to the hospital, he died a peaceful death at home. Father Leonard died on October 20, 2012 at the age of eighty-eight, and he was laid to rest at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Cheboygan. May he rest in peace!
The money he had set aside for his nursing home, if needed, was not used as he was cared for at home. This is the money we would like to be used for a Memorial Garden in his memory and for all priests living and deceased, so that they will be remembered.
Gratitude, love and prayers