Biographies

Father Frederick J. Becka, MM

Born: January 6, 1919
Ordained: June 9, 1946
Died: March 26, 1974

Frederick J. Becka died at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Hong Kong on March 27 (1:15 p.m., March 26, E.D.T.).

Father Becka was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on January 6, 1919. He studied at St. Joseph’s Seminary and Holy Name High School in the Cleveland area. Entering Maryknoll in September 1935, he studied at Maryknoll-in-Cincinnati, the Venard, Bedford and Maryknoll, N.Y., and was ordained June 9, 1946. At first assigned in 1946 to Chile, the China Mission opened up again after World War II, and he left for Wuchow, China in December 1946. Briefly jailed by the Communists in early 1951, he reached Hong Kong and returned to the U.S. in January 1952. He served in Center Promotion from 1952-55, and in the Chicago Development House in 1955-56. From 1956 until 1962, he served as Pastor of the Chicago Chinese Mission. Assigned to Hong Kong in the then Formosa Region in December 1862, he remained in Hong Kong until his death, except for a period back in the U. S. on sick leave the last half of 1971.

Writing in early 1952 of this experiences in China, Father Becka said: “I just did my stint, drew closer to Mary and Her Divine Son (which is all that really matters, after all), suffered a little less than most of our men… Just all in a day’s work say I… Please join me in thanking God and our Maryknoll’s Queen for a safe arrival here and hopes and ambitions for the future.”

The funeral Mass and burial were in Hong Kong. Mass of the Resurrection was concelebrated at the Maryknoll Chapel at 12 noon on Friday, March 29, with Father Becka’s 1946 classmates, Fathers Joseph Brannigan, Berard Ryan, and Alphonse Schiavone, as the Principal Concelebrants. Father John G. Sullivan, former Regional Superior for Hong Kong, was the homilist.