Cover photo for Br. Dennis Sokolowski OFM Conv.'s Obituary
Br. Dennis Sokolowski OFM Conv. Profile Photo
1933 Br. 2023

Br. Dennis Sokolowski OFM Conv.

October 16, 1933 — August 24, 2023

Br. Dennis Sokolowski, OFM Conv., 89, a Franciscan Friar Conventual of Our Lady of the Angels Province, passed away on Thursday, August 24, 2023, at Enfield, CT.

Born Edward Walter Sokolowski in Nanticoke on October 16, 1933, he was a son of the late Leon and Salomeja "Sally" Ostrowski Sokolowski. He was preceded in death by three brothers and two sisters.

Br. Dennis spent his early years in Nanticoke, where he graduated high school in 1951. While in school, he worked at a local jewelry shop and dabbled at tending bar at the family-owned tavern operated by his mother and eldest brother.

After graduating high school, Br. Dennis completed a year of undergraduate studies at King's College in Wilkes-Barre before beginning seminary studies at Mount Saint Mary's College in Emmitsburg, MD, where he earned his B.A. in Philosophy in 1957.

Between 1957-1960, Br. Dennis served two years in the United States Army, as an Infantry Sergeant at the time of his honorable discharge, and nine months in the Army National Guard of Pennsylvania, where he was an artilleryman.

In 1960, Br. Dennis joined the Franciscan Friars Conventual, completing his Novitiate in Ellicott City, MD, where he made his first profession of vows on August 15, 1961. He then spent two years at St. Anthony-on-Hudson Seminary in Rensselaer, NY, before requesting permission to pursue the religious Brotherhood. Between 1963-1971, Br. Dennis was a teaching friar at Archbishop Curley High School in Baltimore, making his Solemn Profession on August 15, 1964. In 1969, he began a two-year stint as Assistant Vocation Director.

In 1971, Br. Dennis moved to Granby, MA, where he was Director of Brothers' Formation until 1976, when he moved to St. Francis of Assisi Friary. In 1979, Br. Dennis became the first religious Brother in Province history to be elected a Guardian.

In 1982, he returned to Granby, where he served one year as the Associate Director of the Franciscan Mission Association (FMA). He then moved to Shamokin, spending eleven years doing pastoral ministry at St. Stephen's parish. After leaving Shamokin, he continued this pastoral ministry for nine years in Stafford Springs, CT. Between 2003-2010, Br. Dennis worked in the Senior Friars Residence in Chicopee, MA, first as an Assistant and then as an Administrator, before becoming a resident in 2010. In 2022, he transitioned to Our Lady of the Angels Care Center in Enfield, CT.

Surviving are nieces and nephews Stanley (Sandy), Mary Lou (Robert), and Walter (Brenda); great-nieces and -nephews; and great-great-nephews.

A Franciscan Wake Service will be held at Our Lady of the Angels Care Center, Enfield, CT, on Tuesday, August 29, at 7 PM. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated there on Wednesday, August 30, at 10 AM. Interment in Holy Trinity Cemetery in Nanticoke will be private.
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