Cover photo for Fr. Justin Ratajczak's Obituary
Fr. Justin Ratajczak Profile Photo

Fr. Justin Ratajczak

February 2, 1949 — October 25, 2023

+ Fr. Justin (Leonard) Anthony Ratajczak, OFM Conv. was born in Baltimore, MD, on February 2, 1949, and died on October 25, 2023 in Columbia, MD. He was the son of the late Leonard and Agnes (nee Guraleczka) Ratajczak. In addition to his Franciscan family, he leaves his brother Timothy Ratajczak. He is predeceased by his sisters, Denise and Jeanine.

Having grown up around the Franciscans as a parishioner and elementary school student at St. Casimir Parish in Baltimore, and having worked for a time in the family grocery store, Friar Justin entered the Novitiate of the Conventual Franciscans in Ellicott City, professing first vows on August 15, 1968. He then studied at St. Hyacinth College in Granby, MA (earning his B.A. in Philosophy in 1972), during which time he professed Solemn Vows on August 15, 1971. He then completed his M.Div. at St. Anthony-on-Hudson Seminary in Rensselaer, NY in 1977. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 7, 1977.

Fr. Justin's first assignments were in the high school apostolate. From 1977 to 1982, he taught at Cardinal O'Hara High School in Tonawanda, NY. He then taught at St. Francis High School in Hamburg, NY, until 1987.

He then transitioned to the parochial ministry, serving at St. Anthony of Padua, Fairfield, CT (1987-88); St. Stanislaus, Sharon, PA (1988-97); and St. Clement Mary Hofbauer, Baltimore MD (1997-2002). He was beloved at All Saints Parish in Boswell, PA, where he served as Pastor from 2002-2010. Fr. Justin' last Parochial assignment was as Pastor of the Church of the Annunciation in Baltimore, from 2010 to 2016. Due to illness, he was transferred to St. Joseph Cupertino Friary in Ellicott City, MD, before being moved into skilled nursing care at Lorien Health Services in Columbia, MD.

Viewing will take place on Monday, October 30, from 5pm-7pm at the Church of the Annunciation (5212 McCormick Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21206), with a Franciscan Wake Service at 7pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, October 31 @ 11am, also at the Church of the Annunciation. Internment will follow @ 1:30pm, at St. Stanislaus Cemetery, Baltimore. Memorial Donations may be made to the Franciscan Education Burse, 12300 Folly Quarter Rd., Ellicott City, MD 21042.

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