FORT WAYNE — Father Matthew Kafka, a priest of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, died Tuesday, Dec. 5, at the age of 84, at St. Joseph Mercy-Oakland in Pontiac, Michigan. He had lived in Imlay City, Michigan, since his retirement in 2002.
Born Matthew Stanley Kafka on Sept. 15, 1933, in Chicago, Illinois, Father Kafka was the son of the late Mathew S. and the late Helen (Sarna) Kafka, Sr. He was a high school graduate of DePaul College Prep in Chicago and attended DePaul University.
Father Kafka served in the Army during the post-Korean War era, 1956-58. He attended seminary at SS. Cyril & Methodius in Orchard Lake, Michigan, and was ordained at St. Matthew Cathedral, South Bend, on May 29, 1965.
From 1965-2001 Father Kafka served at several churches as a seminarian, assistant or pastor. In 1965 he served at St. Adalbert Parish, South Bend; in 1971 he was appointed the assistant at St. Patrick Parish, Fort Wayne. In 1976 Father Kafka was appointed the assistant at Holy Family Parish, South Bend.
In 1978 Father Kafka became the administrator at St. Mary of the Lake Parish, Culver, and in 1979 was named its pastor. In 1987 he was named pastor of St. Hedwig Parish, South Bend. He served at Orchard Lake Seminary, Orchard Lake, Michigan, beginning in 1988.
Father Kafka became the pastor of St. Patrick Parish, Fort Wayne, in 1991; subsequent appointments include associate pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Fort Wayne, in 2000; and pastor of St. Patrick Parish, Arcola, in 2001.
In 2002, Father Kafka retired to St. Cornelius Parish in Dryden, Michigan, and concluded his retirement at Sacred Heart Parish in Imlay City.
A Mass of Christian burial took place Dec. 9 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Imlay City, with Father Paul Ward officiating. A rosary was prayed on Dec. 8, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, followed by solemn vespers and Scripture and a Vigil for the Dead. Burial was in Resurrection Cemetery, Justice, Illinois on Dec. 12.
Prayers for the repose of the soul of Father Kafka are being offered during Masses throughout the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend.
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