Feb. 21, 1989 Torrance Los Angeles County California, USA
Fr. Antonine (Sigmund) Bochenski was born on July 23, 1910 in Cegielnia Poland. While still a young man he came to America with his family and settled in Buffalo, New York. It was there that he entered the Order on August 15, 1925 and received into the novitiate in Buffalo, NY. He was eventually sent to Rome for his theological studies where he professed his solemn vows on November 1, 1931 and was ordained to the priesthood on December 8, 1932 by Cardinal Marchetti-Selvaggiani. Returning to the US, Fr. Antonine was assigned as an associate pastor at Corpus Christi parish in Buffalo in 1933, and later that year to the faculty of St. Hyacinth Seminary in Granby, MA, until 1939. He remained in the east, teaching at St. Francis High School in Athol Springs, NY and at Immaculate Conception Convent School in Hamburg, NY, until coming to St. Bonaventure Province in 1941. There he was responsible for the publication and editorship of the "Seraphic Chronicle," first at the Mission house in Hartland, WI, and later at St. Hedwig Parish in Detroit, until the publication offices were moved to the newly established St. Anthony Monastery on Vernor Highway in Detroit. He dedicated himself to this enterprise for 14 years with admirable zeal and competence. In 1955 Fr. Antonine asked to serve in the newly founded missions of Africa, particularly Zambia. His work and efforts spanned 21 years throughout much of what is today the General Custody of Zambia and the Provincial Custody (OLC) in Solwezi. He was untiring in his ministry of living the gospel as a devoted Franciscan. The mission was his life, where he loved the people and their culture. He had hoped to spend the rest of his life there, witnessing a new and vibrant church emerge. Unfortunately poor health and disability necessitated his return to the US. He asked to spend some time in California, hoping his condition would improve so that he might someday return again to the mission. After arriving in California, Fr. Antonine took up residence at Our Lady of Guadalupe Friary and Parish in Hermosa Beach. He was engaged in limited ministry and eventually became part of the new Custody and Province in the West. Through illness and pain, he was always a sign of strength, hope and encouragement, especially for the young friars in formation. His commitment to the Order and the new Province is a legacy few will forget. By the summer of 1988, the ravages of Parkinson's disease, diabetes and time began to take their toll. Fr. Antonine entered Little Company of Mary Pavilion in Torrance, CA. for nursing and custodial care, where he finally died peacefully in the Lord on February 21, 1989. The mass of Resurrection was celebrated at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Hermosa Beach, CA. on February 27, and he was laid to rest in the Province Cemetery, Arroyo Grande, CA. on February 28, 1989. May he rest in peace!