Rev. Casimir J. Kozien, pastor emeritus of St. Dionysius Parish in Cicero, died on Monday, February 4, at age 84. Fr. Kozien passed away due to complications from COPD, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, at St. Benedict Home in Niles, where he had been residing since 2004.
Fr. Kozien was born in Chicago on January 13, 1924, and was baptized at St. John Cantius Parish on the city’s near north side three weeks later. After attending Holy Trinity and St. Helen elementary schools, Fr. Kozien graduated from Quigley (North) Preparatory Seminary in June 1943 and from the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in May 1950.
Fr. Kozien was ordained a priest on May 3, 1950, and the following Sunday celebrated his first solemn Mass at St. Helen Church on the city’s near west side. On July 5 of that year, he was named assistant pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish on the city’s near northwest side, where he served for 12 years. On July 7, 1962, Fr. Kozien was appointed associate pastor of St. Pancratius Parish on the city’s southwest side, where he served until June, 1967.
From June 1967 until June 1971, Fr. Kozien served as assistant pastor of St. Joseph Parish on the city’s south side. He then became assistant pastor of another south side parish, St. Michael’ where he served until June 1976. Between June 1976 and June 1978, Fr. Kozien served as assistant pastor of St. Ladislaus Parish on the city’s north side. In June 1978, he became pastor of St. Dionysius Parish in west suburban Cicero where he served for ten years. In December 1988, he became associate pastor of St. Bartholomew Parish on the city’s north side. Although he retired on June 30, 1994, Fr. Kozien continued to minister to St. Bartholomew parishioners, living there as a resident priest until he moved to St. Benedict Home in 2004.
Fr. Kozien is survived by a sister, Laura Szarek, of Niles.
Photo courtesy of the Archdiocese of Chicago.