At the far right, Fr. Duc Pham, assisted by Deacon John Grek, invites those present to extend their hands as he blesses the monument to longtime pastor Fr. Gabe Zepczyk, who served parishes in Moquah, Dauby and Ino for almost 37 years. (Submitted photo)

Jenny Snarski
Catholic Herald Staff

The dedication of a memorial marker for Fr. Gabe Zepczyk took place at Ss. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Moquah Sept. 15 after the 4 p.m. Mass. The monument was placed near a pine close to the rectory that Fr. Zepcyzk had planted as a seedling, offspring of an ancient pine from Phillips, his hometown.

Family members of the priest were present at the dedication that coincided with the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, patroness of Slovakia.

For almost 37 years – from 1980-2016 – Fr. Zepcyzk served the Moquah parish in addition to St. Peter in Dauby and St. Florian in Ino; he lived in the rectory in Moquah. Ordained May 26, 1962, he served the three parishes from 1980-2016. He died May 14, 2016, at the age of 80 and is buried in Phillips near other family members.

In March, Moquah parishioner Tom Johanik wrote a letter seeking financial support for the memorial. In it, he shared:

“Fr. Gabe has left us in body but his memory remains with us … He was a very generous and humble person. Time and again when a parish was in financial difficulty, the deficit would suddenly vanish thanks to Fr. Gabe… The total amount of money that he sacrificed from his salary was large… Fr. Gabe saw to our financial needs as well as our spiritual needs.

“His memory remains here in the hearts of many persons … now it is our opportunity to express our gratitude!”