Stephen John Dominic Skalko, O.P.
Birth: August 8, 1913
Profession: August 16, 1933
Ordination: May 17, 1939
Died: July 25, 2000
Stephen Skalko was born in Central Falls, RI to John and Mary (Lewandowska) Skalko. Educated at Sacred Heart parochial grammar school and St. Raphael’s Academy, Pawtucket, RI, he attended Providence College (1930-32). He entered the Dominican novitiate on August 15, 1932 at St. Rose Priory, Springfield, KY, taking the religious name John Dominic. He studied philosophy at the Dominican House of Studies, River Forest, IL (1933-36), and theology at St. Joseph Priory, Somerset, OH (1936-39). He was ordained at St. Joseph Priory by the Most Rev. James A. Hartley, DD, Bishop of Columbus, OH. His final year of theology was done at the Dominican House of Studies, Washington, DC (1939-40).
His first priestly assignment was to St. Thomas Aquinas parish, Cincinnati, OH where he taught religion in the grammar school (1940-41). Assigned to St. Andrew’s parish, Cincinnati, he taught at Purcell High School, Cincinnati, (1941-43).
Assigned to St. Patrick’s rectory in Columbus, OH (1943-53), he taught at Aquinas High School and the School of Nursing, Mt. Carmel Hospital, both in Columbus. He came to Providence College in 1953 to teach Latin to the Dominican pre-ecclesiastical students. He did this through 1956, and then taught English and speech communications at the college (1956-67). He was moderator of the Debate Club (Lacordaire Debating Society) 1956-68. Following a year at St. Stephen parish, Saginaw, MI, he returned to Providence College. For many years he served as a communications consultant to area businesses, including Peterson-Puritan, Inc. of Cumberland, RI. He also gave retreats and he assisted in the local parishes.
Fr. John was still active and alert until three weeks before his death, when he was sent to Hopkins Manor, North Providence, RI. He died, unexpectedly, at Our Lady of Fatima Hospital, North Providence, R.I.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated by Fr. Norman Haddad, O.P., Provincial, in St. Thomas Aquinas Priory Chapel, Providence College. Rev. Richard A. McAlister, O.P. preached the sermon. Burial was in the Dominican Friars’ Cemetery, Providence College.