Fr. John Bambol, OFM Conv., was born in Buffalo, NY on May 22, 1915, the son of Stephen and Salomea (Nowak) Bambol. He was baptized and educated n Corpus Christi Parish in that city before attending St. Francis High School in Athol Springs, NY. Upon completion of high school he entered the Conventual Franciscan Friars at St. Joseph Cupertino Novitiate in Ellicott City, MD. On September 11, 1935 Fr. John professed his first vows of poverty, chastity and obedience in Ellicott City. Fr. John continued his studies for the priesthood at St. Hyacinth Seminary in Granby, MA, where he made his solemn vows on September 11, 1938. From 1938-40 he studied theology at the Order's International College in Rome, Italy. Forced to return to the United States by the outbreak of World War II, he completed his studies at St. Hyacinth Seminary, and was ordained a priest on July 5, 1941 at St. Hyacinth Seminary in Chicopee, MA.
Fr. John's priesthood was spent almost entirely in parochial work, and he relished that pastoral role. His first 22 years were as associate pastor of Mater Dolorosa Parish in Holyoke, MA. In 1963 he was named guardian and pastor of St. Hedwig Friary and Parish in New Bedford, MA. In 1968 he assumed those roles at Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish in Montreal, Canada, where he undertook the building of a new friary after a disastrous fire. He also had the opportunity to welcome Cardinal Wojtyla, the future Pope John Paul II, when he made a visit to the parish. After a short time as guardian of St. Joseph Cupertino Novitiate in Ellicott City, MD, Fr. John returned to the role of guardian and pastor at St. Joseph, Mt. Carmel, PA; Mater Dolorosa, Holyoke, MA; Our Lady of Czestochowa, South Boston, MA; Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, Buffalo, NY; and St. Michael the Archangel, Bridgeport, CT. His last role as pastor was at St. Louis Parish in Portland, MA. In failing health, Fr. John returned to Mater Dolorosa Friary in Holyoke, MA in 1997 where he remained until moving to the Infirmary at Mont Marie in Holyoke in July 2001. he died on October 12, 2002 at Holyoke Hospital. Following the Mass of Christian Burial at Mater Dolorosa Church, Holyoke, on October 16 Fr. John's remains were transported to Cheektowaga, NY for burial in the Friars Circle of St. Stanislaus Cemetery on October 18. With his full head of white hair and an ever-present smile, Fr. John was known as a gentle, hard-working, and approachable friar and priest who lived simply and had countless friends from his various assignments. As he tried to be the faithful shepherd, may he be welcomed into the sheepfold of heaven.
Gravesite Details Conventual Franciscan priest
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