Father Bednark, 98, remained devoted to Mass until day he died

Categories: Around the Diocese

The Visitor

WEB Bednark, Father Walter[1]

Father Walter Ambrose Bednark

Father Walter Ambrose Bednark, 98, died Dec. 10 at the CentraCare Health-Melrose Hospital in Melrose. The Mass of Christian Burial was Dec. 15 at St. Mary Church in Little Falls, with Bishop Donald Kettler presiding. Burial was at St. Adalbert Cemetery in Little Falls.
Father Bednark was born Aug. 22, 1917, in Little Falls to Joseph and Mary (Janey) Bednark. He attended public grade school and high school in Little Falls and continued his studies at Crosier College, Onamia. He received his seminary training at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul.

Father Bednark was ordained May 31, 1947, at St. Mary’s Cathedral in St. Cloud by Bishop Joseph Busch and celebrated his first Mass June 8, 1947, at St. Adalbert Church, Little Falls. He served at St. Ann Church, Wadena; St. John Church, Foley; St. Patrick Church, Collis; St. Theresia Church, Donnelly; St. Edward Church, Elmdale; St. Joseph Church, Clarissa, and St. Nicholas Church, Belle River.

“What impressed me the most was that Father Bednark had a great appreciation for the Mass,” said Father Kenneth Thielman, a retired priest of the diocese and chaplain at CentraCare Health System in Melrose, which includes Pine Villa Care Center and Park View Center, a senior housing building where Father Bednark was a resident the last few years.

“At 98 years old he’d start out with his walker from Park View Center and would have to sit down to rest a while on his way to the chapel in Pine Villa,” Father Thielman said. “He’d come an hour early for Mass — seven days a week. He never missed Mass until the day he died unless he was in the hospital.”

Father Bednark retired Nov. 11, 1988. His parents and his brothers Peter, Edward, Mike, John, Joseph and Henry, and his sisters, Helen Kulus, Agnes Ries, Ann Bednark, Rose Hasch and Bessie Bednark, preceded him in death.