Father Joseph Szupa R.I.P. — The Very Reverend Joseph T. Szupa, 51, suddenly fell asleep in the Lord, Sunday, July 10. He had just concluded the 11 a.m. Divine Liturgy at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Philadelphia, where he served as rector since July 1, 2015.
Father Szupa, a native of Chester, PA, was one of five children born to the late Andrij and Eva (nee Hrebinec) Szupa on May 12, 1965.
He received his elementary education at Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic School, Chester, PA; in the fall of 1979 he entered St. Basil Preparatory School in Stamford, CT. After graduation in 1983, and sensing a call to the priesthood, he enrolled in St. Basil’s College Seminary to prepare for ordination.
He completed his undergraduate studies at The Catholic University of America where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy while a seminarian at St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Seminary, Washington, D.C. He continued his matriculation at The Catholic University of America and was awarded a Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree and completed the program of priestly formation at St. Josaphats Seminary.
On Sept. 20, 1992, Father Joseph was ordained a priest in the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception by Metropolitan-Archbishop Stephen Sulyk. The newly-ordained Father Szupa celebrated his Divine Liturgy of Thanksgiving in his home parish, Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic Church, Chester, PA.
After ordination, Father Joseph was assigned parochial vicar of the Cathedral parish and also served at St. Andrew in Philadelphia. He also served the faithful in the following New Jersey parishes: St. Nicholas, Passaic; St. Nicholas, Rutherford; St. Vladimir, Elizabeth; and Immaculate Conception, Hillside.
He held the following archieparchial positions: chancellor, member of the college of consultors, member of the archieparchial corporation, member of the presbyteral council, member of the finance council, protopresbyter of the New Jersey deanery, advocate in the tribunal. He also was secretary of the Board of Directors of Ascension Manor, Inc.
Father Joseph is survived by brother Stephen Szupa of Woodlyn, PA, sister Joanne Balandiak and her husband, Peter of Woodlyn, PA; nieces Dawn Marie Mastella, Kaitlyn Elizabeth Szupa, Dana Marie Gaffney; and nephews Kristopher Michael Szupa, and Andrij J. Balandiak. Father Joe is also survived by four great-nieces and nephews.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by brothers Michael and Peter.
His body will lie in repose tomorrow (July 14) evening at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 827 N. Franklin St., Philadelphia from 5:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. . Priestly Parastas will be sung at 7 p.m..
On Friday morning, his body will lie in repose in Holy Myrrh-Bearers Eastern Catholic Church, 900 Fairview Road, Swarthmore, PA from 10 a.m. until the celebration of the Divine Liturgy at 11 a.m. by Metropolitan-Archbishop Stefan Soroka and his brother priests.
Burial will follow at Lawn Croft Cemetery in Linwood, PA.
Father Joseph Szupa R.I.P.