A funeral Mass will be offered Jan. 16 at Our Lady of Victory Church, Troy, for Rev. Joseph Dworak, who died Jan. 9. He was 75 and had been a priest of the Albany Diocese for 50 years.

A native of Green Island, he served as associate pastor at Our Lady of Victory, Troy; St. Vincent de Paul, Cobleskill (while chaplain at SUNY Cobleskill); and St. Teresa of Avila, Albany (while chaplain for Albany Medical Center). In 1978, he was appointed pastor of Our Lady of Victory. After 19 years as chaplain for St. Mary's Hospital, Amsterdam, he was named pastor of St. Joseph's parish in Fort Edward. His last assignment before retiring in 2010 was five years as pastor of St. Mary/St. Paul's, Hudson Falls.

Having done several different varieties of ministry over his five decades of priesthood, Father Dworak once mused that "I can't think of a better way to have so many rich experiences with thousands of people, sharing the same faith journey and helping one another to know deeply the Lord's love and mercy. Where else could I touch so many lives - and be touched by theirs so meaningfully and eternally?"

He credited his own vocation to his family, particularly his father, and to the example of clergy he met and faculty at his alma mater, Catholic Central High School in Troy.

"Family was definitely the root of my vocation," he remarked in a 1999 interview. "I think it was different in our day and age. Our faith life was more closely linked with family life."

Now reunited in heaven with those whose lives of faith he emulated, may Father Dworak rest in the loving arms of God.

Survivors include a sister, Marianne, and a brother, Frank. Interment will be in Immaculate Conception Cemetery, Colonie.