Brother Stephen Nazaruk, O.S.B., a monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey, died peacefully in the monastic infirmary on Thursday, July 25, 2019. He was born February 9, 1927 in West Leechburg, Pennsylvania, a son of the late Thomas Nazaruk and Tekla (Giworonik) Nazaruk. His parents were from the Ukraine and nearly everyone from their village there came to the United States and settled in West Leechburg. He was predeceased by his siblings, including Metro, Annie Zanotti, John, Michael and Mary Nazaruk. Surviving are four nieces.
He attended West Leechburg Elementary School and is a 1945 graduate of Leechburg High School. He is a veteran of the United State Army, serving from 1950 to 1952. He served as an aircraft mechanic in the Army Air Section in Trieste, Italy during the Korean Conflict. While in Italy he saw Pope Pius XII twice, once when the pontiff received American soldiers and when the pope canonized Saint Maria Goretti in 1950.
Following his discharge from the Army, he pursued a monastic vocation with the Trappists at Our Lady of Guadalupe in New Mexico. He came to Saint Vincent Archabbey in 1954 and made profession of monastic vows on November 17, 1956.
At Saint Vincent Archabbey he has worked in the machine shop since 1954, becoming head of the department in 1981. He joined the Saint Vincent Fire Department in 1963. He served as the assistant fire chief (1967-2001), with his friend and fellow monk, Brother Patrick Lacey, who was fire chief. One of his roles with the Fire Department was monitoring fire alarms on campus, which he did performed faithfully for many years. He was a member of the Westmoreland County Fire Chiefs Association, chairing its education program; the Westmoreland County Firemen’s Association; the Firemen’s Association of the State of Pennsylvania and the Western Pennsylvania Firemen’s Association. Brother Stephen assisted the Fire Chief, Brother Patrick, in hosting the Annual Westmoreland County Fire School for many years, where he also served as an instructor in firefighting.
The body of Brother Stephen will be received at the Elizabeth Roderick Center at Saint Vincent Seminary 2 p.m. Sunday, July 28. Viewing will follow from 2 to 5 p.m. in the center’s parlor. The body will be transferred to the Basilica for the Vigil Service at 7:15 p.m. Sunday.
Father Prior Earl Henry, O.S.B., will provide the eulogy at the vigil service and Archabbot Douglas Nowicki will be the principal celebrant and homilist for the Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. Monday, July 29, in the Archabbey Basilica.
The rite of committal will follow in the Mary, Mother of Mercy Chapel at Saint Vincent Cemetery immediately following the Mass.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Benedictine Health and Welfare Fund, Saint Vincent Archabbey, 300 Fraser Purchase Rd., Latrobe, PA 15650.