Father Anthony N. Nockunas, MIC, fortified by the Sacraments of the Church, peacefully passed away on Saturday, February 27, 2016, at the Matulaitis Nursing Home in Putnam, Conn., in the 85th year of his life, 66th year of his religious profession, and 58th of his priesthood. He was born on June 10, 1931, in Lithuania. He was one of eight children and grew up on a farm. In his childhood he experienced the Second World War. He saw his country invaded first by the Russians in 1939, then by the Nazis in 1940, and finally by the Russians in 1944, who not only occupied the country, but initiated a wave of repressions, persecutions and exile. Fr. Anthony escaped the occupation and entered the Marian Congregation. He professed his first vows on August 15, 1950, final vows in 1953, and was ordained a priest in 1957.
His first assignment was to teach French at the Marianapolis Preparatory School, in Thompson, Conn. Then he spent many years as an associate pastor in Kenosha, Wisc., Plano, Ill. Darien, Ill., Worcester, Mass., and in Argentina. He spent several years at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy, in Stockbridge, Mass., where he celebrated Masses and heard confessions in several languages. Finally, he was assigned to the Marian House in Thompson, Conn., where he continued to hear confessions and offered pastoral care to the sick and the dying.
Fr. Anthony served the community in many capacities. Besides his priestly duties, Fr. Anthony was a teacher, a member of the provincial council and its secretary, and, a member of the Board of Directors at the Draugas Lithuanian Catholic Press Society. Fr. Anthony had a great devotion to Our Immaculate Mother and to St. Joseph, the patron saint of a happy death, whom he invoked frequently for the dying. Always attentive to the spiritual needs of the faithful, Fr. Anthony was a generous dispenser of Christ’s love and mercy, especially as a confessor and spiritual guide.
Gathering in the presence of his body and Mass of Christian Burial at 9:30 and 10:30 respectively in the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy, in Stockbridge, Mass., followed by burial in the community’s cemetery. Memorial guestbook visit www.GilmanAndValade.com.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.