Rev. Vas László – Requiescat in pacem!
The Szent István R.C. Church in Passaic, NJ unexpectedly lost its Pastor on January 7, 2018.
Having led the Parish as Administrator since 2007, Fr. Vas was named Pastor in June of 2017. A few months later, just before Christmas, a sudden sickness prompted him to return to his native Nagyvárad for medical treatment. That is where he died on January 7th of this year at the age of 52. Burial was from Nagyvárad Cathedral to Rulikovszky Cemetery.
Fr. Vas was born in 1965 into a Reformed (Presbyterian) family. He was preparing to enter the Reformed ministry, but converted to Catholicism in 1985. Seven years later, his bishop, Tempfli József sent him to study in Budapest. Ordained in 1998 in Nagyvárad, he was named Pastor to two small villages and was also Spiritual Director of Szent László Catholic School and the Magyar Máltai Szeretetszolgálat (Hungarian Knights of Malta Charitable Services) of Nagyvárad.
In 1999, his Bishop sent him to study at Gregorian University of Rome, in the Hungarian Papal Institute.
In response to Chicago Cardinal Francis George's request for help, Fr. Vas arrived in Chicago at the end of June 2000 to help out in the summer. Here he continued his studies, with the permission of his Bishop Tempfli József.
The following year, he was named Associate Pastor, and later, Administrator of the Chicago Hungarian Parish. In recognition of his work, the Hungarian government bestowed on him an official decoration.
When the previous Pastor of Szent László in Passaic, Fr. Mustos István left, Fr. Vas took over as Administrator, a position he held until the summer of 2017.
A Mass of Christian Burial was offered for the repose of the soul of Fr. Vas at Szent László by Bishop Arthur Serratelli on January 20th, at 10 AM.
May he rest in peace!