The Rev. Sylvester Fridrich, Retired Pastor at St. Francis of Assisi, Gates Mills
Only the second pastor in parish history, served 23 years
The Rev. Sylvester W. Fridrich retired in 1996 after more than 23 years as pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Gates Mills.
Fridrich, who died Dec. 4, 2010, at age 84, at St. Mary of the Woods retirement community in Avon, was only the second pastor at St. Francis church since its founding in 1942.
During his tenure, the congregation grew to 2,600 families. Women – from both religious orders and the laity – were added to the pastoral staff.
Fridrich also served as dean of the Cuyahoga Suburban Southeast Deanery and as a member of the Diocesan Consultors Board while handling pastoral duties in Gates Mills.
He continued to serve the congregation as pastor emeritus after retiring in August 1996. He also assisted at Saint Angela Merici Church in Fairview Park and other parishes.
The 1944 St. Ignatius High School graduate was ordained as a priest in the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland on April 28, 1951. He was first assigned to Holy Rosary Parish in Cleveland as parochial vicar.
He served as parochial vicar at Christ the King in East Cleveland beginning in 1955, St. Boniface in Cleveland starting in 1961 and Holy Trinity in Bedford from 1966 to 1972.
Fridrich spent approximately six months at St. Michael Church in Independence before succeeding Monsignor William B. Gallagher as St. Francis pastor on Jan. 15, 1973.
Survivors include his sister, Jeanette, and brother, Robert.
Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Francis of Assisi.
Memorial donations may be made to the St. Francis of Assisi Church School Fund, 6850 Mayfield Road, Gates Mills, OH 44040, or the Rocky River Meals on Wheels Program, 20300 Hilliard Blvd., Rocky River, OH 44116.
Arrangements were by Corrigan Craciun Funeral Home of Fairview Park.