Many parishioners attended to thank him for his service and to wish him health. He will be missed. There probably will never again be a pastor at St. Augustine's who will have the parishioners shouting, "Amen" as if they were Baptists.
This coming Wednesday there will be a different sort of party, a celebration in honor of Fr Leonard J Kostka, C.PP.S. who was ordained 70 years ago on September 8, 1940. It will be in the St. Augustine Church basement from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Here are some notes from an e-mail sent to SJC employees:
Father Len was born on March 1, 1914 in Chicago. His father, looking for work, moved the family to Detroit soon after Father Len’s birth. He grew up with 2 sisters and 2 brothers. An avid sportsman, he played football, basketball and baseball in high school as well as in college. When his teacher tapped him on the shoulder and asked him to consider becoming a priest, he did just that. He arrived at Saint Joseph’s College in 1931 to begin his studies. He graduated from SJC in 1935. He continued his studies at St. Charles Seminary in Carthegena, Ohio where he was ordained on September 8, 1940. He is currently the oldest priest in the Cincinnati Province of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood by both chronological age and service as a priest.
After a stint in the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant chaplain which took him to Norfolk, San Francisco, and Guam, he became a parish priest in Iowa. In 1948, he returned to SJC and has been with us since. He served as chaplain and religion professor until his retirement in 1987. He also helped out in various area parishes.
In 1984 he was asked to become the administrator for St. Augustine Parish in Rensselaer. He served as associate pastor under Fr. Andy O’Reilly, Fr. Ken Alt and Fr. Mark Peres. He continues to perform his priestly duties as he visits the sick, helps to bury the deceased, says weekday Masses and 6:30 Sunday Mass.
He still enjoys playing golf which some time ago, he renamed his therapy.