SAN DIEGO — Father Michael Ratajczak, pastor of St. Thomas More Parish in Oceanside, died July 14. He was 72.
Born in Detroit, Michigan, he was ordained to the priesthood on Jan. 31, 1975, for the Archdiocese of Detroit. He ministered in Michigan until 1986. In early August of that year, he relocated to the Diocese of San Diego. He was incardinated into the diocese in early May 1990.
In the Diocese of San Diego, Father Ratajczak served as associate pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Encinitas and San Rafael Parish in Rancho Bernardo. He was later pastor of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Parish in San Diego and Santa Sophia Parish in Spring Valley.
Father Ratajczak was pastor of St. Thomas More Parish in Oceanside from July 2003 until his death.
Bishop Robert McElroy shared news of Father Ratajczak’s death in a letter to priests the following day. He said that, two weeks earlier, Father Ratajczak had called to inform him that his doctor had found a massive brain tumor and scheduled immediate surgery.
“He told me that he was ready in joy to continue to lead his parish community or to meet God,” the bishop said, adding that Father Ratajczak never recovered from the surgery.
“His death is a great loss for our presbyterate, the parish community of St. Thomas More, and the family that loved him deeply.”