Brother John Ptaszek, C.S.C.
Nov. 24, 1933 - May 10, 2018
NOTRE DAME - Brother John Joseph Ptaszek, C.S.C., age 84, died on May 10, 2018 in his room at Dujarie House in Holy Cross Village at Notre Dame, Indiana. He was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Stanley and Catherine (Hendzel) Ptaszek. He grew up there and attended St. Boniface Elementary School and Holy Trinity High School, where he graduated in 1952. Both schools were within walking distance from the family home. The Holy Cross Brothers had a great influence on John, for he decided to join them in September 1952 when he entered the juniorate program at Watertown, Wisconsin. He began his novitiate training at Rolling Prairie in February 1953 and pronounced his first vows as a Brother of Holy Cross on February 2, 1954. John was assigned to study at St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas where he graduated with degrees in both English and Social Studies in 1957.
Brother John then began a long and dedicated life as a teacher, first for a semester at Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, then for four years at Archbishop Hoban High in Akron, Ohio, back to Cathedral for a year, then to Catholic Central High in Monroe, Michigan for three years, and back to Cathedral High a third time for eight years. His next assignment was 30 years as a teacher and librarian at LeMans Academy in Rolling Prairie, Indiana. His students appreciated his expertise in the library and his friendly all-around enthusiasm. In 2003 he moved to Holy Cross High School in River Grove, Illinois to serve as Librarian for a year. In 2004, a situation developed where the Brothers sold and left the high school, while its sister school, Guerin College Prep, expanded to include boys. John stayed on at Guerin for seven years as the faithful and competent Librarian until retiring in 2014. Brother John's quiet and dedicated services as a teacher and especially as a competent librarian were a source of satisfaction to all who needed help or worked with him. John moved to Columbia Hall at Notre Dame where he enjoyed his love of painting and opera. He inspired others to develop a hobby and participated in developing an “artist studio” on the 4th floor of Columbia. His painting and meticulous artwork have impressed others. At his last jubilee, John commented that his love of art and opera have been both prayers and blessings for his 60 years as a Brother.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, May 17, 2018 at Our Lady of Holy Cross Chapel in the Schubert Villa-Dujarie House complex from 9:30 to 11:00am on the grounds of Holy Cross Village at Notre Dame. The Mass of Resurrection will then follow with interment in St. Joseph's Cemetery. Kaniewski Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.
Memorial contributions, in honor of Brother John Ptaszek, C.S.C., to support the mission and ministries of the Brothers may be sent to: Brothers of Holy Cross, Office of Development, P.O. Box 460, Notre Dame, IN 46556