ALBANY – Rev. John J. Malecki, age 92, died peacefully at Teresian House, 200 Washington Avenue Extension, Albany, NY on Wednesday, April 3, 2013. He was born June 2,1921, son of the late Thomas Malecki and Mary Lisowicz.
He was a communicant of the Church of St. Adalbert, Schenectady, where he attended the parish school, and graduated from St. Joseph’s Academy. He pursued his higher education at St. Mary’s College, Orchard Lake, Michigan, and St. Joseph’s College and Seminary in Yonkers, NY.
John was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest on April 17, 1948, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Albany, NY for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, NY by Bishop Edmund Gibbons.
His first assignment was to serve as associate pastor of St. Patrick’s Parish Albany, followed by the assignment as Spiritual Director of Mater Christi Seminary, Albany, NY for 12 years. During these ministries he served as Diocesan Director of the Legion of Mary and Auditor of the Diocesan Tribunal for 12 years. From the enlightenment of the Second Vatican Council, he took the step toward integrating spirituality with psychology by pursuing doctoral studies in counseling psychology, earning his M.A. from T.C. Columbia University, NYC, and his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon in 1969. Then he was appointed as the founding-director of the Consultation Center of the Diocese of Albany, which provides individual counseling, group counseling and educational programs in the area of human development. In 1978 he served on the committee to set up St. Peter’s Hospice and also served on the first staff as priest-psychologist. In 1970 Father Malecki and Sister Susanne Breckel, R.S.M. at the invitation of the United States Air Force successfully presented “Values Clarification Workshops” at the nine air bases in Thailand. Their work was highly commended. Father’s ministries in the Roman Catholic Diocese include, Director of Clergy Education, Pastor of the Church of St. Adalbert, Schenectady, pastor of the Church of St. Margaret Mary, Albany, Chaplain of Teresian House Center for the Elderly, Albany, weekend associate to the Church of St. Matthew, Voorheesville, and the presiding Celebrant at the Sunday Eucharist at the Avila Retirement Community, Albany.
Father was an active member of the National Association of Catholic Chaplains, American Psychological Association, International Association of Analytical Psychologists, New England Association of Jungian Analysts. He is a licensed New York State Psychologist and a N.Y.S. Credentialed Addiction and Substance Abuse Counselor. He is listed in the National Provider of Health Services in Psychology. His writings include the following: “Jungian Perspective on Suffering and Pain in Physical Illness”, “A Manual for End of Life Care”, “Images from the Unconsciousness in Alzheimer Patients”. He received distinguished service awards from the Psychological Association of Northeastern New York (PANNY), The Assisi Institute and the “Teresian Lifetime Achievement Award” granted by Teresian House of Albany. He especially valued the privilege and opportunity that came to him when the priests of the Diocese chose him to serve for six years on the “Priestly Life and Ministry Committee” of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.
In 1993 he moved to Teresian House, in Albany where he served at alternate times as sacramental minister and chaplain. In his striving for a healthy balance toward wholeness he was faithful to daily exercise that included jogging, swimming, cycling and skiing; and yes, he was an enthusiastic fan of Notre Dame and the New York Yankee baseball team. The critical moment in his full and active life came when medical doctors made a spinal evaluation which gave evidence of Ankylosing Spondylitis, a degenerative disease in which soft tissue turns into bone. With no known cure, the doctors advised, “keep moving”. And so he did. At the age of 65 he ran the New York City Marathon (26.2 miles) and over the next 20 years he completed 23 full marathons and two half-marathons. Doctors have confirmed that his determination to “keep moving” kept him out of the wheel chair. He is profoundly grateful to Dr. Mary Ellen Drislane and St. Peter’s Hospital for superb care and competence.
One of the most important and transformative experiences of his life was the completion of the Contemplative Musicianship Program of the Chalice of Repose Project, the creation of Therese Schroeser-Sheker, which integrates contemplative prayer, music in service of the dying.
He is grateful to Albany Medical College for accepting the donation of his body to the Anatomical Gift Program for educational and scientific purpose.
Upon his death, the body was transferred directly to Albany Medical College and there is no wake with calling hours. A memorial Mass will be celebrated at the Church of St. Adalbert, 550 Lansing St. Schenectady, on Friday, April 12th at 11:00am. Bishop Howard J. Hubbard will be the Principal Celebrant.
Father Malecki is deeply grateful for the love, care, and support of Bishop Hubbard, the priests of the Diocese of Albany, the Christian Brothers, the Sisters of Resurrection, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, the Sisters of Mercy, the Little Sisters of the Poor, the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm, and to all the people he has been privileged to know and serve.
Following the example of Pope John XXIII “I ask forgiveness of God and neighbor, and I want all to know that I have never met a person that I did not like and love.”
Father Malecki is survived by his brother Gerald S. Malecki of Springfield, VA, sister Rita Malecki McPherson of Cary, NC, cousins Carolyn Hack Texeras of Dewitt, MI, Dolores Miller Zobre of Palatine Bridge, Kenneth Maleck of Augusta, GA, Paul Maleck of Springfield, MA, Carolyn Palasszawski, Paul Palaszewski, and David Palazawski all of Schenectady, NY. Those who wish may send a contribution in memory of Fr. Malecki to Teresian House Foundation, 200 Washington Avenue Ext. Albany, New York 12203. To leave a message of condolence for the family or send a sympathy card, please visit www.HansFuneralHome.com.