New Britain- Rev. Father A. Leo Spodnik, 101, passed away Monday, September 4, 2023, at Monsignor Bojnowski Manor, New Britain.
Father Spodnik was born in Bridgeport on June 5, 1922, son of the late John and Mary (Burchik) Spodnik. He was a graduate of St. John Nepomucene School, Bridgeport; Harding High School, Bridgeport; St. Thomas Seminary, Bloomfield; St. Mary’s Seminary, Baltimore, MD; and Catholic University, Washington, D.C.
Father Spodnik was ordained on May 27, 1948 in St. Augustine Church, Bridgeport, by the late Most Rev. Henry J. O’Brien, then Bishop of Hartford. He began his ministry while serving at St. Theresa’s Church, Trumbull, as Assistant Priest in 1948. Through the years, Father Spodnik had the honor of serving as assistant at Our Lady of Mercy Church, Plainville (1949-1951); Blessed Sacrament Church, Waterbury (1951-1955); St. Augustine Church, Seymour (1955-1956); St. Rose Church, East Hartford (1956-1957); Sacred Heart Church, Bloomfield (1957-1960); Mt. St. Joseph Academy, West Hartford (1957-1960); Sacred Heart Church, Torrington (1960-1963); St. Thomas Church, Waterbury (1963-1968); Sacred Heart Church, Torrington (1968-1971); SS. Peter & Paul Church, Waterbury (1971-1974). In 1974, Father Spodnik became the first Pastor of St. Leo the Great Parish, Waterbury. Then St. Leo the Great Church was built from 1974 to 1976 under his direction, and he continued to then serve as its Pastor until 1991. He then became Pastor of Sacred Heart Church, Torrington, where he remained until his retirement in 1997. Father Spodnik had the honor of being the longest ordained priest in the Archdiocese of Hartford.
Father Leo is predeceased by his brother, H. Lawrence Spodnick, of Trumbull. Survivors include two sisters, Sr. M. Teresia Spodnik, SSND, and Sr. Rosemary Spodnik, SSND, both of Bayshore, NY; a niece, Kara Pansa and her husband, Greg, of Newtown; and two nephews, T. Christopher Spodnick of Monroe and Atty. Jonathan Spodnick and his girlfriend, Heidi Mrusek of Trumbull.
Father Leo will lie in state at St. Leo the Great Church, 14 Bentwood Dr., Waterbury, on Friday, September 8, 2023, from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. A Funeral Mass of Christian Burial for Father Leo will be celebrated Friday morning at 11:00 a.m. by The Most Reverend Leonard P. Blair, S.T.D., Archbishop of Hartford. Burial will be in Mt. St. Benedict Cemetery, 1 Cottage Grove Rd., Bloomfield, on Friday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. Gleeson-Ryan Funeral Home, 258 Prospect St., Torrington, is in care of arrangements.