Fr. Francis Zielinski, priest for 60 years, dies at 86

Fr. Francis A. Zielinski passed away on Jan. 16, 2023, at the age of 86. (Archdiocese of Detroit file photo)

DETROIT – Fr. Francis A. Zielinski passed away on Jan. 16, 2023, at the age of 86.

Fr. Zielinski was born Feb. 7, 1936, in Detroit. He attended Sacred Heart Seminary High School in Detroit; St. Mary’s College in Orchard Lake; and St. John’s Provincial Seminary in Plymouth Township.

Fr. Zielinski was ordained on June 2, 1962, and celebrated his first Mass at Sweetest Heart of Mary Church in Detroit.

He served as associate pastor at the parishes of St. Florian Parish in Hamtramck (1962-67); Ascension Parish in Warren (1967-71) and Our Lady of Good Counsel in Plymouth (1971-72).

He was the first priest to serve at St. Paul of Tarsus Church, Clinton Township, while it was still a “parish in formation,” and oversaw its transition to parish life until 1990.

Fr. Zielinksi served as pastor of St. Mary of the Snows Parish in Milford (1972-79); St. Timothy Parish in Trenton (1979-84); and St. Daniel Parish in Clarkston (1990).

In 1991, Fr. Zielinski served as temporary administrator at St. Colman Parish in Farmington Hills, before he was named pastor at St. Margaret of Scotland Parish in St. Clair Shores.

He was appointed pastor at St. Philip Neri Parish in Richmond, and administrator at Holy Rosary Mission, Smith’s Creek (1992-2001), after which he was granted senior priest status

In 2022, Fr. Zielinski celebrated the 60th anniversary of his ordination.

At Fr. Zielinski request, no funeral mass was celebrated, and his body was cremated. Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit offered a Mass of Suffrage for the repose of Fr. Zielinski’s soul on Monday, Jan. 23.