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Marians Mourn One of Their Own

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By Chris Sparks (Jan 12, 2014)
Father John (Jonas) Duoba, MIC, former General Secretary for the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception and a member of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy Province, died on Jan. 2, at Matulaitis Nursing Home in Putnam, Conn.

The funeral took place on Wednesday, Jan. 8, with a Mass of Christian burial at 10:30 a.m. at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Mass. The Very Rev. Fr. Kazimierz Chwalek, MIC, provincial superior, was the main celebrant.

"Father John anticipated his death," said Fr. Kaz during his homily. "He was almost 92 years old, so it was not something unexpected at all. We prayed for his coming into glory. We know when the death comes, there's a finality. We've seen him, but he's no longer the way he was. At a certain moment, for all of us as Christians, as Catholics, we know that the Lord comes to rescue us with His truth, His words, promise of resurrection, promise of eternal life and glory. We have to remember that Fr. John was one who preached. He believed. He taught. He was one captured by the love of God and entered religious life, which led to priesthood. He was very young. He was 16 years old. He entered a religious community. He was one of the younger ones all his life."

The future Fr. Duoba, a Lithuanian, entered the Marian Congregation in 1938, made his first profession of vows on Aug. 15, 1939, and pronounced his perpetual vows on Aug. 15, 1943.

He attended seminary in Kaunas, Lithuania (1941-1944); Eichstatt, Bayern, Germany (1945); and the Pontificium Athenaeum Angelicum-Rome (1945-1946), receiving a Licenciate in Theology in 1946. Father Duoba was ordained in Rome, Italy on July 21, 1946 by Archbishop (later Cardinal) Traglia.

From 1946-1950 he studied Sacred Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, receiving a Licentiate in Sacred Scripture in 1949.

Father Duoba was a member of the Lithuanian Catholic Academy of Sciences. From 1969-1974, he also presented cycles of homilies on Vatican Radio and authored some articles in various Lithuanian magazines and newspapers.

From 1950-1960, Father Duoba served in Argentina in both Rosario and Avellaneda. From 1960-1966, he taught at Marianapolis Prep School in Thompson, Conn. Next he was assigned to Rome, Italy, where he served as a member of the General Council of the Congregation and Secretary General from 1967-1975. In 1975, he returned to the United States and was assigned to the Chicago House where he remained until 1977 when he left for one year to assist at the Marian Parish in Dorschausen, Bavaria, Germany. He returned to Chicago in 1978.

His pastoral assignments included serving as professor of Sacred Scripture and biblical languages at S. Carlos Boromeo Seminary in the Province of Santa Fe in Argentina from 1950-1954 and Chaplain in the Asilo del Buon Pastor in Rosario, Argentina from 1954-1957. From 1957-1960, he was Pastor of the Madre de la Misericordia Parish in Avellaneda, Argentina and worked at Draugas newspaper from 1975-1977.

Within the Congregation, he has held the offices of Superior, Provincial Councilor, Provincial Secretary, General Councilor, General Secretary, Assistant Postulator General, House Councilor and House Treasurer.

In accordance with the Constitutions of the Marians, 30 Masses will be celebrated for the repose of Fr. Duoba's soul.

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