Reverend Monsignor Francis Joseph Pointek
1913 – 2014
A DEDICATED LIFE
by Janet Roper and Pat Gracey
An era elapsed with the peaceful passing of Reverend Monsignor Francis Joseph Pointek on Jan. 15, 2014 at the age of one hundred years, three months and 22 days. The Mass of Christian Burial was concelebrated on Jan. 20 by twenty priests of the Diocese of Fresno with the Most Reverend Armando X Ochoa, Bishop of the Diocese of Fresno, as main celebrant. Some 350 parishioners and friends were in attendance.
Reverend John Allen, flew to California to represent the Pontifical College Josephinum in Worthington, Ohio, where Monsignor Pointek, in 1928, began his twelve years of studies for the Priesthood culminating in his ordination on May 26, 1940.
A eulogy was delivered by Monsignor James Peterson, who years ago was a youthful acolyte serving Mass for a very young Father Pointek in Randsburg. Monsignor Peterson’s message was delivered with pathos, humor and great pride in his friend and former Pastor’s accomplishments. He was the fifth of eight children: John, Joseph, Mary, Anne, FRANCIS, Elizabeth, Kathryn, and Anthony. His only surviving sibling is Kathryn Chwaz, 96, of Boron. He is also survived by a multitude of nieces and nephews into the fourth generation.
His Ordination brought him to Fresno, which then, was a part of the very large Monterey-Fresno Diocese. This Priest, soon to have marked 74 years of service, ministered to many parishes throughout the Diocese (now, the Fresno Diocese) officiating at births, marriages, deaths as well as administering to the sick and dying , counseling and listening plus teaching both young and old. All this: being routine in the life of a priest. His last parish was St. Malachy Church in Tehachapi from which he retired in 1981. Of course, his work did not end with retirement and what made him special was the simplicity with which he carried out his priestly duties. He traveled the Diocese subbing in other parishes, celebrating daily Mass and being a willing ear to anyone who needed help. Father Michael Cox, Pastor of St. Malachy Church, always extended a welcome invitation and a thank you for his assistance.
His appearance was that of an ordinary humble working man. His pickup was full of spiritual literature and useful supplies for the less fortunate. His home was simply furnished, material things never being important. He never met a stranger and was known to “literally” give the shirt off his back as well as his coat and shoes, to the needy. Monetary aid was frequently provided.
He was a learned man with an impeccable memory for the most minute details. He spoke several languages, played the trumpet and keyboard, loved opera, had piloted a small aircraft and was a one round-trip world traveler on a miniscule budget. On a lighter note, another talent that would get one’s attention immediately was his ear-splitting, finger whistle!
An immense void exists with the passing of this humble, holy, one hundred year old man. He is at peace and asked that you continue to pray for him knowing that his prayers are with you, always.
A Vigil Rosary was recited at St. Malachy’s on the evening of Jan. 19, led by Deacon Richard Lambert. Father Michael Cox spoke and outlined an interesting personal history of Monsignor Pointek’s life. A graveside service was held on Tuesday, Jan. 21, with Deacon Lambert officiating.
Lane Family Funeral Home in Delano handled the arrangements.
Donations in his memory may be directed to St.Vincent de Paul Society at St. Malachy Church, Hoffman Hospice or your favorite charity.