Father Ronald (Henry) Sermak, OFM Conv., died Aug. 20, 2017, at Mercy Nursing Facility at Our Lady of Victory in Lackawanna. He was 83.
He was born Jan. 1, 1934, in Lackawanna, to Anthony and Sophie (Michalek) Sermak. After graduating from St. Francis High School in Athol Springs, he joined the Franciscan Friars Conventual Notivitate in Mount St. Lawrence, Mass., in 1951. He professed his simple vows in 1952 and solemn vows in 1955. Father Sermak was ordained to the priesthood in the former Springville, Mass., in 1960.
Father Sermak received his JCL in canon law from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., in 1962. That year, he began serving as master of clerics at Archbishop Curley High School in Baltimore, Md. He stayed there for 10 years. From 1972-82, he was associate pastor at Corpus Christi Parish in Buffalo, St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Athol Springs, St. Adalbert Parish in Elmhurst, and two parishes in Massachusetts.
He began serving as pastor of St. Louis Parish in Portland, Maine, in 1982, where he remained until 1988. He returned to the Diocese of Buffalo that year to serve as chaplain of the Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph in Hamburg until 2003, when he moved to St. Maximilian Kolbe Friary in Athol Springs. In 2011, Father Sermak became a patient at Mercy Nursing Facility.
He is survived by a brother, Anthony (Judy) Sermak Sr., a sister, Alberta (August) Dylik, and nieces and nephews.
A funeral Mass was held at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Athol Springs, with burial in St. Stanislaus Cemetery in Cheektowaga.