Fr. Stanley Malinowski dies; longtime pastor in Rantoul

THOMASBORO — A funeral Mass was celebrated at 11 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 7, at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church here for Father Stanley J. Malinowski, who guided St. Malachy’s Parish in Rantoul for 25 years and was in residence at the Thomasboro parish since 2001.

Father Malinowski, a priest of the Diocese of Peoria for 58 years and on senior status since 1997, died on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, after a battling pancreatic cancer for 18 months. He was 84.

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, was principal celebrant of the funeral Mass. Father Ted Pracz, pastor of Holy Family Parish in Danville, was homilist, recalling Father Malinowski as “a loving shepherd after the heart of the Good Shepherd.” (The full text of the homily is available here.)

Burial was in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Rantoul.

Born Aug. 7, 1928, in Ambridge, Pa., to Andrew and Sophie Malinowski, he attended St. Stanislaus School there and graduated from Ambridge Senior High School in 1946.

Following two years at St. Mary’s College in Orchard Lake, Mich., he entered Sts. Cyril and Methodius Seminary, also in Orchard Lake, and completed his studies for the priesthood at St. Paul’s Seminary in St. Paul, Minn.

He was ordained for the Diocese of Peoria on June 6, 1954, by Bishop William E. Cousins at St. Mary’s Cathedral.

His first assignment was as an assistant at St. Hyacinth’s Parish, LaSalle, from 1954 to 1956. Father Malinowski taught at Alleman High School in Rock Island the following year while also serving at St. Anne’s Parish in East Moline.

From 1957 to 1960 he was an assistant at St. Patrick’s Parish, Danville, with teaching duties at Schlarman High School.

He served as chaplain of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Danville from 1960 to 1966, when he was appointed pastor of St. Joseph’s Parish, Colfax, and St. Rose Mission, Strawn.

He became pastor of St. Malachy’s Parish in Rantoul in 1972 and guided that faith community for the next 25 years. Among his greatest challenges was when Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul closed in the early 1990s and St. Malachy’s lost one-third of its parish population and school enrollment.

He was granted senior status with the title of pastor emeritus in 1997. In 2001, Father Malinowski took up residence at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish in Thomasboro and fulfilled many pastoral duties there for the next 11 years, even as his illness weakened him this year.

In a 2004 interview with The Catholic Post on the 50th anniversary of his ordination, Father Malinowski said he found his greatest joy “in being close to Christ and offering Mass.” He said the priesthood “in imitation of Christ, works with people from birth to death and still remembers them when they leave this world.”

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