Wisconsin Rapids Deanery

of the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin

Father Chester J. Osowski 

Father Chester J. Osowski, age 92 and a priest for 66 years, died on Thursday, December 31, 2015, at his home in Wisconsin Rapids.

Father Osowski was born on March 11, 1923, in the Township of Sharon in Portage County, the 11 of 14 children born to Florian and Matilda (née Bushman) Osowski. He attended Bruski Elementary School. He pursued studies for the priesthood by enrolling at St. Bonaventure Minor Seminary in Sturtevant, Wisconsin; he graduated in 1940.

In the fall of 1940, he joined the Franciscan Order and spent a year in the novitiate at Pulaski, Wisconsin. He then studied philosophy at St. Francis College in Burlington, Wisconsin, and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1945, followed by four years of studying theology in Cedar Lake, Indiana, and Green Bay, Wisconsin. Father Osowski was ordained a priest at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in Green Bay by Bishop Stanislaus V. Bona for the Order of Friars Minor, Assumption Province (known as the Pulaski Franciscans).

Father Osowski’s first assignment was as an assistant at St. Mary of the Angels Parish in Green Bay. On June 20, 1951, he was named pastor of St. Sebastian Church in Sturtevant, as well as professor of Latin, Polish and ancient history at St. Bonaventure Minor Seminary in Sturtevant.

On June 20, 1954, he was named pastor of the newly established St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Saginaw, Michigan, where he labored to help build a school, convent and gymnasium that served as a temporary church. In 1963, he returned to St. Mary of the Angels Parish in Green Bay as the pastor. On May 23, 1967, he took up the work of the Home Mission Band with primary residence in Lake Geneva. As a Home Missionary, he conducted many parish missions, retreats and 40-hour devotions.

On September 2, 1969, Father Osowski exclaustrated from the Pulaski Franciscans with the intention of becoming a priest of the Diocese of La Crosse. It was at this time that he became an assistant at St. Joseph Parish in Black River Falls while also serving as the administrator of St. Kevin Parish in Melrose and St. Malachy Parish in Roaring Creek.

He was fully incardinated into the Diocese of La Crosse on September 15, 1972, and was assigned as associate at Immaculate Conception Parish in Eau Claire. On June 26, 1974, he was assigned as pastor of St. Anthony Parish in Loyal. On July 1, 1980, Father Osowski became the pastor of St. Florian Parish in Hatley for exactly two years until he became the pastor of St. Peter in Stevens Point.

On January 14, 1987, he became the pastor of St. Casmir Parish in the Township of Hull and St. Mary Parish in Torun. On May 26, 1987, he returned to St. Anthony Parish in Loyal as pastor and remained there until March 6, 1990, when he became pastor of St. James Parish in Vesper and St. Francis Parish in Arpin.

On July 1, 1996, Father Osowski, in addition to his other pastoral responsibilities, was also assigned as pastor of Holy Rosary Parish in the Township of Sigel in Wood County until obtaining the status of a senior priest on June 8, 2000.

As a senior priest, Father Osowski took up residence at St. Philip rectory in Rudolph, Wisconsin, and helped out at numerous parishes. Since January 2015, he resided at Arborwood Lodge Assisted Living in Wisconsin Rapids.

Father Osowski was preceded in death by his parents, six sisters (Regina, Frances, Joanna, Teckla, Esther and Theresa) and six brothers (Roman, Nick, Leo, Henry, Francis and Stanley).

He is survived by one brother, Edward, and by many nieces and nephews, great- and great-great-nieces and nephews, and a host of cousins.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Tuesday, January 5, 2016, at St. Peter Parish, Stevens Point. Bishop William Patrick Callahan of La Crosse will be the main celebrant and Father Derek J. Sakowski will be the homilist. Burial will be at St. Adalbert Cemetery in Rosholt following the funeral luncheon.

The visitation will be on the day of the funeral from 8:30 a.m. until the time of the funeral Mass, in the St. Faustina Room at St. Peter Church. Online Condolences may be sent by sent by visiting www.pisarskifuneralhome.com.

The Diocese of La Crosse and the family are being assisted by Pisarski Funeral Home in Stevens Point.

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