The Rev. Michael T. Mazurchuk, 50, of Philadelphia, a Roman Catholic priest of the Vincentian Order, died of a pulmonary infection Saturday in Chestnut Hill Hospital.
Born in Buffalo, N.Y., he graduated from South Park High School there and earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy in 1980 from Vincentian-operated Niagara University in Niagara Falls, N.Y.
At Mary Immaculate Seminary in Northampton, near Allentown, Father Mazurchuk earned master's degrees in theology and in divinity in 1986, the year he was ordained at the Miraculous Medal Shrine in Germantown.
The only foreign mission of the Eastern Province of the Vincentian order is in Panama, and it was there that Father Mazurchuk spent 14 of his 23 years in the priesthood, including a six-year stint in Puerto Amuelles, beginning in 1986, and five years in Colon after leaving Puerto Amuelles.
The Rev. Michael Carroll, head of the Eastern Province, said in an interview yesterday that "he had been there as a seminarian, and he was attracted to go back."
Father Mazurchuk was the pastor in each assignment there, Carroll said, with responsibility "to evangelize to the poor" in several parishes.
His signature, Carroll said, was violin playing. "Especially in Panama, in quiet evenings with the people, it was his way of preaching the gospel, with his music."
For three years from 1997, Father Mazurchuk worked in Immaculate Conception parish in Germantown, as part of the Archdiocesan Hispanic Evangelization Team.
In 2000, he was again in Panama, working out of the town of Concepcion.
Returning to the States in 2003, he became the campus minister at Niagara University, where he earned a master's degree in psychology with a specialty in family relations.
In 2006 he was with the Evangelization Team in St. Francis of Assisi parish in Germantown, and from 2007 until recently at St. Vincent's parish there.
Father Mazurchuk is survived by his parents, John and Dorothy, and a brother.
A viewing was set from 3 to 5 p.m. tomorrow at St. Catherine's Assembly Room of St. Vincent's Seminary, 500 E. Chelten Ave. in Germantown. A Mass of Resurrection is to take place at 10:30 a.m. Friday at the Miraculous Medal Shrine at the same address. Burial is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. at the Vincentian Community Cemetery at St. Joseph's Seminary, Princeton, N.J.