Rev. Casimir A. Pazera, O.S.A. (1925 - 1997)
Rev. Casimir A. Pazera, O.S.A. entered eternal life on July 16, 1997.
Casimir A. Pazera was born on August 10, 1925 in Wilbaux, Montana to Casimir and Johanna (Zdankus) Pazera. He had three brothers: Francis, Vincent and George, and four sisters: Patricia, Bernadette, Pauline and Marcella. He was baptized on August 13, 1925 at St. Peter Catholic Church, Wilbaux.
From 1931 to 1932, Casimir attended St. Michael Parochial School. He next attended Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parochial School and graduated in 1939. He began his high school studies that year at St. Rita High School, Chicago, Illinois. In 1940, he entered Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, and earned his high school diploma there in 1943.
On September 9, 1943, Casimir was received into the Augustinian Novitiate. He professed simple (temporary) vows in the Order of St. Augustine on September 10, 1944 and solemn (permanent) vows on September 10, 1947. He earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Villanova College, Villanova, Pennsylvania, in 1948. He then studied theology at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C., completing the program there in 1952. Chicago Auxiliary Bishop William Cousins ordained him a priest on August 22, 1951.
Father Pazera was assigned to St. Rita High School, Chicago, as a teacher in the Technical Division of the school in 1952. He was transferred in 1953 to teach at Mendel Catholic High School, Chicago. In 1961, he returned to St. Rita High School, where he remained until 1993. In his role as Data Manager there, he dedicated his life to the efficient operation of the school through the many services offered by the Data Processing Department. He also taught at St. Rita. From 1971 to 1975, he served as Prior (Superior) of the Augustinian community at St. Rita.
Father Pazera requested a reduction in his work load in 1993. He moved to Providence Catholic High School, New Lenox, Illinois, where he was asked to assist in establishing a new computer laboratory. He brought his expertise and knowledge of computer science to create a new state-of-the-art computer facility. He appeared to blossom in this new assignment.
A new challenge was then given to Father Pazera, and he rose to the occasion. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He remained active in the school even while he was being treated. He bore his suffering so as not to be a hindrance to his religious community.
Father Pazera died on July 16, 1997 from complications due to his pancreatic cancer.
"Cas" was a dedicated Augustinian priest who offered his varied gifts and talents -- from explaining the process of making honey and wine to his community, to the intricacies of electricity and the functioning of computers. He loved people. The high school apostolate was very close to his heart.
Father Pazera is buried in the Augustinian plot at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Alsip, Illinois.