Father Joseph Szarek was born on March 10, 1914, in Zlotniki, Poland. He was ordained by the Archdiocese of Krakow, Poland, on May 1, 1939, at age 25.

In 1952, Father Szarek moved to the United States and became an assistant priest at St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic Church in Rogers City, Michigan. That assignment lasted until May 1956. He then transferred to St. Anne Parish in Harrisville, Michigan, and the Mission of St. Raphael, where he served briefly from June through August 1956. Afterward, Father Szarek relocated to St. Josaphat Church in Carrollton Township, Michigan, where he worked as an assistant priest until October 1958.

In October 1958, the Diocese of Saginaw removed Father Szarek from ministry. Despite his removal, Father Szarek later served in the Diocese of Albany, New York, where he worked at these locations:

  • Church of St. Adalbert, Schenectady.
  • Church of Sts. Anthony and Joseph, Herkimer.
  • St. John the Baptist Church, Schenectady.
  • St. Paul the Apostle Church, Troy.
  • St. Mary’s Church, Troy.
  • Blessed Sacrament Church, Albany.
  • St. Stanislaus Church, Amsterdam.
  • St. Casimir Church, Albany.
  • St. Michael’s Church, Troy.
  • St. Patrick’s Church, Watervliet.
  • St. Mary’s Church, Oneonta.
  • Church of St. Mary’s, Clinton Heights.

Father Szarek died on May 15, 1999, in Guilderland, New York, at age 85. He was predeceased by two brothers, Father John Szarek and Father Peter Szarek, who were killed during World War II.

At Sommers Schwartz, our personal injury attorneys Lisa Esser-Weidenfeller, Matthew Curtis, and Jay Yasso, are committed to helping survivors of sexual abuse. Our firm has prosecuted high-profile predators such as Dr. Larry Nassar—Michigan State University and USAG team physician—and Dr. Robert Anderson, who sexually abused students, athletes, and other patients for over thirty-five years at the University of Michigan. If Father Szarek or another ecclesiastical leader abused you, we can help you, too.

Contact Sommers Schwartz today for a free consultation, and let our experienced attorneys pursue your case with the compassion, empathy, and sensitivity your story deserves.

Lisa Esser-Weidenfeller

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Lisa Esser-Weidenfeller

Lisa Esser-Weidenfeller represents injury victims in personal injury and medical malpractice claims. She also represents individuals in cases against those who have committed horrific acts of sexual assault.



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