Rev. Richard S.J. Wyzykiewicz of St. Helena Church, who is known for his kindness, memory, boisterous laugh and wry sense of humor, celebrated his Golden Jubilee, 50 years of priesthood, on June 6.
Bishop Felix Lazaro, Bishop-Emeritus of Ponce, Puerto Rico, who just recently celebrated his Diamond Jubilee, 60 years of priesthood was in attendance along with several Piarist priests and priests of the archdiocese.
“I love the people of St. Helena’s Parish and I enjoy working with the children and living in community with my fellow Piarists,” Richard said.
Richard, 77, was born in Pennsylvania to of Steve and Dorothy Wyzykiewicz, both of whose fathers immigrated from Poland.
He served as an altar at his parish throughout high school and then entered the Piarist Father’s Formation Program in 1961. He was sent by his superiors to study at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1966 and his masters in theology in 1971. Richard was the last and the 13th man ordained as a priest on June 5, 1971 at Our Lady of Ransom Parish, the Archbishop of Philadelphia.
Fr. Richard taught math and religion at Calasanctius School for Gifted Children in Buffalo, which was operated by the Piarist Fathers, from 1971 to 79 and 1983 to 1987 and served as the director of the high school there for seven years. He also taught math and religion at his alma mater, Devon Prep from 1979 to 83 and 1987 to 2015, and was the school’s principal from 1987 to 1992. He was chaplain for 12 years to the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur and for 24 years to the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Also, he served as the Provincial of the Piarist Fathers Province of the United States from 1988 to 1999.
On Aug. 13, 2015, Fr. Richard arrived at St. Helena as Parochial Vicar, Rector of the Piarist Community, director of Religious Education and Adult Sacramental Preparation and Chaplain of St. Helena School and Msgr. Scanlan High School.
His hobbies include reading and sports. Fr. Richard was a member of Boy Scout Troop #3 from 1954 to 1957 and served as a Boy Scout Chaplain in Buffalo from 1983 to 1987 and in Philadelphia from 1987 to 2011.