February 22, 2009 marked the turning of a new page in the history of St. Joseph’s when the most Reverend Joseph A. Galante, D.D., J.C.D., Bishop of Camden installed Father Pawel Kryszkiewicz as the new pastor of the parish.
Father Kryszkiewicz comes to St. Joseph’s with a broad range of experience having served at parishes in Ventnor, Vineland, Glassboro, Woodbury and Merchantville, among others.
His last assignment was St. Casimir's Roman Catholic Church in Woodbine, where he spent more than two years as priest and administrator.
He was ordained Aug. 28, 1993 in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, and his first assignment was parochial vicar of St. Peter Parish, Merchantville, 1993-98.
In Woodbine, Fr. Kryszkiewicz also served a seasonal parish in the Ocean View section of Dennis Township and a parish in the Goshen section of Middle Township at St. Elizabeth's and presided over a monthly Mass in Polish in Vineland.
He also has served as parochial vicar of St. John Neumann, Sicklerville, 1998-2000; Sacred Heart, Vineland, 2000-05; and Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Berlin, 2005-06.
Fr. Kryszkiewicz was
born in Chodziez,
Poland. He wanted to study medicine, but after his
father’s premature death, he chose the priesthood. "The church was always
a source of strength that not even a doctor could provide," he said.
"A doctor can do only so much. But if you have faith, it's a great
Fr. Kryszkiewicz succeeds reverend Edward J. Lipinski who served as parochial vicar (1972-77, 1978-79) at St. Joseph’s and for the past four years as pastor. Father Lipinski was named pastor by Bishop Galante of Sts. Peter and Paul, Washington Township.
In 2003 the State of New Jersey declared the church building an historical site because of its importance as a center of Polish culture and community in the beginning of the 20th century in South Jersey as well as its architectural beauty. As a result the State of NJ gave the parish a matching fund Grant. A parish fund raising campaign was initiated under the leadership of Fr. Lipinski to raise the necessary funds of $454,000 to match the State's Grant in order to restore the exterior of our beautiful church.
The church’s exterior restoration project, funded equally by the grant from the NJ Preservation Trust and individual donors, is now complete.
As of December 2008, $700,660.77 has been collected in pledges and cash donations from 995 donors. A beautiful memorial Restoration Plaque listing the names of people donating $1000 or more on “in loving memory” of someone is now in place on the Mechanic Street sidewall.
Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of parishioners and friends of St. Joseph’s Church, there is a balance of money remaining in the restoration fund account. Along with future donations, these funds will be used for other needed repairs and the interior renovation project for our church
Fr. Lipinski began the task to restore the three remaining parish buildings to their original architectural beauty and to reunite the past with the present.
Fr. Kryszkiewicz will continue the work of restoring the buildings and follow the path toward Fr. Lipinski’s goal of revitalizing St. Joe's as a cultural and religious link in the life of people of Polish Heritage who mostly live now in the suburbs. While maintaining the customs and traditions of the Polish people, he assumes Fr. Lipinski’s role as "gatherer," as one, who continues to preach the message of Jesus "in season and out of season" in this beautifully restored place of worship.