Rev. John J. Molnar, O.S.A. (1940 - 2006)
Rev. John J. Molnar, O.S.A. entered eternal life on May 31, 2006.
John Joseph Molnar was born on August 11, 1940 in Cleveland, Ohio to Joseph M. and Helen (Hromyak) Molnar. He was baptized on September 1, 1940 at St. Augustine Church, Cleveland. He received the Sacrament of Confirmation on December 10, 1948 at St. Anastasia Church, Fort Pierce, Florida.
After graduating from St. Anastasia Elementary School in Fort Pierce in 1954, John attended St. Anastasia High School and graduated in 1958. He was received into the Augustinian Novitiate on September 4, 1958. He professed simple (temporary) vows in the Order of St. Augustine on September 5, 1959 and solemn (permanent) vows on September 5, 1962.
John earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Tolentine College, Olympia Fields, Illinois, in 1963. He then pursued theological studies at Tolentine College, Olympia Fields, from 1963 to 1967. He was ordained a priest on November 21, 1966. He received an M.A. in Liturgy in 1967 from Notre Dame University, Notre Dame, Indiana.
Father Molar was assigned as a teacher to Mendel Catholic High School, Chicago, Illinois, in 1967. He was transferred to Tolentine College, Olympia Fields, in 1969 and served as a teacher, Sub-Master of Professed and Director of the Pre-Novitiate Program. He taught from 1971 to 1975 at St. Rita High School, Chicago.
In 1975, Father Molnar was assigned as Assistant Pastor of Holy Rosary Parish, Kenosha, Wisconsin. He also served as Prior of the Augustinian community there. He then moved to St. Rita Parish, Racine, Wisconsin, in 1978 and was appointed Pastor there in 1979.
After this, Father Molnar served from 1981 to 1983 at Immaculate Conception/St. Henry Parish, St. Louis, Missouri. In 1983, when he was named Assistant Pastor of St. Clare of Montefalco Parish, Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan. He was also appointed Prior of the Augustinian community there. He was named Augustinian Vicar for Parishes in 1986.
Father Molnar was appointed Pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Abbott, Texas, in 1988. He was also named Prior of the Augustinian community there. He returned to Holy Rosary Parish, Kenosha, in 1994, serving as Pastor and as Prior of the Augustinian community. In 2002, he was named Chaplain of St. Rita High School, Chicago. The following year, 2003, he became a Chaplain at Franciscan Village, Lemont, Illinois.
In December of 2004, Father Molnar was involved in a serious automobile accident. Shortly after the accident, he suffered a stroke. Following several weeks of hospitalization, he was moved to Mother Theresa Home, Lemont, with the hope that he would regain his health with the aid of therapy provided there. However, he never did recover and he remained there until his death.
Father Molnar is remembered for his boundless energy, as well as for his enthusiasm for the liturgy and liturgical music. He was a talented piano and organ player and singer. He enjoyed playing cards -- and loved to win! His cheerful disposition, his creativity, and his interest in helping ordinary people inspired others, contributed to the effectiveness of his pastoral ministry, and enlivened the Augustinian communities where he lived.
Father Molnar is buried in the Augustinian plot at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Alsip, Illinois.