Obit: Kulig, Rev. Francis A. (1884 - 1942)

Contact: Stan

Surnames: Kulig, Pieterek, Mauel

----Source: THORP COURIER (Thorp, Clark County, Wis.) 08/27/1942

Kulig, Rev. Francis A. (16 NOV 1884 - 23 AUG 1942)

The Rev. Francis A. Kulig, 57, pastor of St. Hedwig’s Catholic Church here (Thorp, Clark Co., Wis.) since Nov. 25, 1920, passed away at 11:45 o’clock Sunday evening at St. Joseph’s Hospital at Marshfield. The body was brought to Thorp Tuesday afternoon and lay in state at the Thorp Funeral Home until Wednesday when removed to St. Hedwig’s Church.

Funeral services will be conducted at ten o’clock this morning (Thursday) at the Church, with burial in the parish cemetery. An obituary will be published in the "Courier" next week.

(Follow on in 9/3/1942 Thorp Courier)

Last rites were conducted at ten o’clock Thursday morning, Aug. 27, 1942, for Father Francis A. Kulig, beloved pastor of St. Hedwig’s Congregation at Thorp, since Nov. 25, 1920, who died of carcinoma of the throat Sunday evening, Aug. 23rd, 1942, at 11:45 o’clock at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Marshfield, where he had been since July 18th.

Father Kulig underwent an operation in January 1939 for a throat ailment. The operation cost him his voice but he learned to master an artifical larynx and returned to his duties and the pulpit on Dec. 31, 1939. He had also required the services of an assistant since that time.

The body was brought to the Thorp Funeral Home where it lay in state until removal to the church on Wednesday.

The Pontifical Requiem Mass was sung by His Excellency, the Most Reverend William R. Griffin, Auxiliary Bishop of La Crosse, assisted by Rev. Vincent Wotzka of Gilman, Minn.; who preached the sermon at Father Kulig’s first Mass; Rev. Jos. Andrzejewski, Arcadia, Wis.; Rt. Revs. Msgrs. Lucian Kufel, Independence, Wis.; William Reding, Wis. Rapids; Francis Orthen, Eau Claire; Rev. M.E. Kluczykowski, Edgar; Rev. Cramer, Milladore; Rev. Stephen Mieczkowski, Wis. Rapids; Rev. Paul Sabota, Chicago, Ill. and Rev. S. R. Lengowski, parish assistant. Other clergy to the number of seventy priests from far and near, assisted in the impressive services.

Father Kulig was born in Independence, Wis., on Nov. 16, 1884, where he was raised and attended Sts. Peter and Paul Parochial School. In 1891 he began higher studies at Sacred Heart College, a Jesuit Institution. He continued and finished his studies for the priesthood at St. Francis Seminary, St. Francis, Wis., and was ordained for the La Crosse Diocese, march 10, 1912. He said his first Mass at Sts. Peter and Paul Church at Independence on march 17, 1912. Rev. Kulig’s first pastorate was at Sigel, Wis., where he remained for 19 months. He took charge of Sacred Heart Church at Cassel in February 1914, and from there he came to Thorp on Nov. 25, 1920 to serve as pastor of St. Hedwig’s Congregation.

He lost his mother in 1903 and father in 1909. Of the immediate family who survive him are two brother, George Kulig of Independence and Alex Kulig of Duluth, Minn.; thre sisters, Julia (Mrs. August Mauel) of Independence, Helen (Mrs. Paul Pieterek) of Royalton, Minn., and a half-sister, Miss Monica Kulig of Minneapolis.

During Father Kulig’s nearly twenty-two years as pastor of St Hedwig’s Church, the parish showed much confidence in his prudent leadership and the results both spiritual and material, were astonishing. In 1929 he erected a large rectory and personally attended to the landscaping of the church grounds and planted large and beautiful trees thereon.

The cemetery was likewise beautified. The church in itself received many improvements such as a new heating plant, painting and redecorating the entire interior and the latest improvement, the installation of a sound amplifying system.

Father Kulig celebrated his twenty-fifth anniversary Jubilee with offering of a solemn Jubilee Mass on June 3, 1937. The observance of St. Hedwig’s Golden Jubilee was made on Oct. 19, 1941 with personal supervision by his despite his illness.

There is no language at our command by which we can fittingly portray the sincerity of his Christian character. Conscience guided every act. He was a model of mental industry in his efforts to entertain and instruct his people. To man, woman, or child he always extended a cordial greeting that lent a ray of light to brighten their pathway in the journey of life. He commanded the respect of all sects and classes of people, as the attendance at his funeral fully verified. The large church was not able to accommodate the parishioners and persons who were bereaved over the passing to his reward, on of their earnest friends. All business places in the village were closed during the hour of the funeral.

He was a member of the Polish National Alliance, Thaddeus Kosciuskow Group No. 646, The Catholic Order of Foresters, and Zjednoczenie.



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