Rev. Matthew J. Strumski
August 22, 1922 – August 3, 2019
Reverend Matthew J. Strumski, age 96, Pastor Emeritus of the former St. Casimir’s Church, Warren, RI passed peacefully August 3, 2019. Father Strumski was the longest ordained Catholic priest in Rhode Island at the time of his death.
Known for his impassioned work and abiding devotion to his community, Father was born in Providence, RI to John and Frances (Baniukiewicz) Strumski, immigrants from Polish Lithuania. He attended Providence public schools and was a graduate of Our Lady of Providence and Orchard Lake Seminaries. He was ordained in 1948 in Fall River by Bishop James Cassidy.
Father Strumski was a Navy Pacific and Marine Corp Chaplain during the Korean War. As a civilian, he later joined Missionary Loan at Marquette. He was appointed Novitiate Chaplain at the monastery of Blessed Sacrament Fathers in Wakefield, and then served as an assistant pastor in several Pawtucket parishes. Father was then appointed pastor of St. Casimir’s Parish in Warren, where he devotedly cherished his 33 years of service. Father Strumski found a peaceful retirement at St. Antoine’s in North Smithfield. As a resident, he enthusiastically assisted with Mass, homilies and led the congregation in praise and singing.
He was a vibrant storyteller and a talented artist; practicing sketching, drawing and creating wonderfully detailed illustrations. His studio walls were covered with many original works of his art. He also designed and created church bulletins and his own Christmas cards.
He was passionate about Mystic Little Rose Ferron, known as the Woonsocket Wonder Worker. When they met, she predicted he would become a priest. Father Strumski personally conducted two Blue Army of Fatima Peace Crusades in churches throughout South Korea. Three times he had the honor of an audience with Pope John Paul II during which they bonded over their common Polish heritage.
Father Strumski, lovingly known as Uncle Matt was the brother of the late Wanda Russas and John Higgins.
He leaves behind his beloved and devoted sister, Helen Gattinella of Providence, and many nieces, nephews and their families. He was filled with passion for God’s work, and his life was a true expression of that love.
A prayerful visitation will be held on Thursday, August 8, 2019 at 9:00 am in St. Mary of the Bay Parish Church, 645 Main St., Warren followed by a Concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial 10:00 am. Relatives and friends are invited. Internment with Military Honors will be in St. Francis Cemetery, Pawtucket. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to Our Lady of Providence Seminary, 485 Mount Pleasant Ave., Providence, RI 02908. Arrangements are in the care of the Wilbur-Romano Funeral Home, www.wilbur-romano.com.
Our Lady of Providence Seminary
485 Mount Pleasant Avenue, Providence, RI 02908
- Prayerful Visitation Thursday, August 8, 2019
- Concelebrated Funeral Mass Thursday, August 8, 2019
- Burial with Military Honors Thursday, August 8, 2019
Rev. Matthew J. Strumski
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Dania Baniukiewicz - Tarnowski
August 11, 2019
Father Strumski is a first cousin to my Dad and he sponsored me to stay on USA in 1975. I am grateful for his help and he always believed in my strenght and ambition. My very first day in New York August 10 , 1975 will stay in my memory forever when Father Strumski greeted me at the JFK and took me sightseeing to Manhattan topping it off with Broadway shows. Last time he visited with me in FL he said that all his dreams for me came true and he could not be more proud. It is a sad day for me and my husband to fathom loss of our beloved cousin. Rest in peace till we meet again!