Father Anthony K. Polyak, MM

Born: March 7, 1934
Ordained: June 9, 1962
Died: March 12, 2012

Father Anthony K. Polyak died in a hospital in Taipei, Taiwan on March 12, 2012. He was 78 years old and would have celebrated his 50th Jubilee this year.

Anthony Kenneth Polyak was born on March 7, 1934 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Frank and Josephine Fib Polyak. He had four brothers and three sisters. Anthony attended Saint Stephen’s Grammar School and graduated from Messmer High School and after graduation, entered Maryknoll in September 1952 at Maryknoll Junior Seminary (Venard), Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania. He obtained a BA in Philosophy while at Glen Ellyn (1957) and a STB (1961) and a MRE (1962) from Maryknoll Seminary. Father Polyak was ordained on June 9, 1962 and assigned to Taiwan (then Formosa) to mission.

Father Polyak was an Assistant in various parishes in Taiwan and in 1968 became Pastor of Sio-Po-Sim Parish. He served in this capacity for over twelve years, after which, he directed the Centerhouse in Taichung for several years. He also spent one year in Kaohsiung helping with the work there while he studied the Mandarin language.

In 1985 Father moved to Panchiao City near Taipei and began work at the Huai Jen Workers Center which serves Taiwanese migrants from the central and southern parts of the island. Here he visited the sick in hospitals and homes and did retreats and counseling. He also continued his work with charismatic prayer groups. In 2009 the Christian community he served became an official parish, and Father was appointed pastor. Father Polyak spent his entire mission life in service to the Church and the people of Taiwan.

Besides his pastoral duties, Father Polyak also had administrative duties as he was elected First Assistant to the Regional Superior in July 1976; Second Assistant to the Regional Superior in November 1991; and Assistant Regional Superior in October 1994.

A Memorial Mass was held in Taichung, Taiwan on March 17, 2012. The Celebrant was Most Rev. Martin Yao-Wen Su, Bishop of Taichung and the homilist was Rev. Duc Nhuan Nguyen, M.M. The Funeral Mass was held in Panchiao on March 24, 2012. The Celebrant was Most Rev. John Hung Shan-Chuan, S.V.D., Archbishop of Taipei and the homilist was Rev. Kurt Anderson, M.M.. Burial took place in the Franciscan Cemetery in Tahsi, Taoyuan Hsien. A Memorial Mass was held at Maryknoll, New York.