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Lt. Col. Rev. Henry J. Drozd

Deceased: 2020-06-20

Diocese: DALLAS

Seminary Graduation Year: 1963

Lieutenant Colonel “Chaplain” Henry Drozd went to meet his maker on June 20, 2020 from Rancho Palos Verdes , California .Ennis is where Father Henry Drozd was born to Henry and Agnes (Vasek) Drozd on March 4, 1937. Father was one of five children – four sons and one daughter. He attended St. John’s School until the 8th grade. In 1953, at the age of 16, he entered St. John’s Seminary in San Antonio, Texas and studied there until 1959; that same year, Fr. Sonny was sent to Rome to study at the Gregorian University. He was ordained in Rome in 1962.

Upon returning to the United States, he began his priestly life right here in Ennis at St. John Nepomucene Catholic Church. He served in various parishes. It was during those ten years that he became interested in the military; “My life changed a bit into an adventure as an Army Chaplain. The spiritual needs of military personnel all over the world were the same. I could help fulfill that need.” Fr. Drozd served in Korea, West Point, Monterey, CA-language school, Fort Bennie, Heidelberg, Germany, and Fort Bragg, NC and in Savannah, GA. His career also included a stint in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War in 1990-91. There he served with the Army’s elite 82nd Airborne Division. Fr. Drozd also became qualified as a Master Jumper with over 100 parachute jumps. “I am proud to say eleven of my military years were spent with the airborne troops.” There was a shortage of priests during wartime deployment and it was not unusual for chaplains to say 10 Masses on a weekend.

He drove a Humvee great distances getting to the locations where his services were needed. He was in the “thick of things” always with the Eucharist Pyx in the pocket over his heart, ready to bless those shipping out or flying off into harm’s way. Father Drozd said, “I have performed marriages, baptized many, from babies to adults-counseled those on the verge of suicide or in deep depression. In 1998, after 32 years, Father retired from the military as a Lieutenant Colonel. The years after retirement were very busy. He returned to Texas and undertook normal priestly duties, serving the local parishes. No request for assistance was turned down. Father Henry’s final “official duty” as a priest was to Baptize, from his death bed, his great nephew Richard Jordan Gathy. Father met his Maker on June 20, 2020. “Go Airborne soldier and keep those boots shined.” You will be gone but never forgotten. You have served well your God and Country.

Father is survived by one brother, Bernard Drozd and wife, Nancy; sister, Yvonne Mastronianni and husband, Jordan; sister-in-law, Mary Drozd; fifteen nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Deony and Leonard Drozd.

Visitation will be held Friday, October 16, 2020 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at J. E. Keever Mortuary, Inc., 408 N. Dallas St., Ennis, TX. The Rosary will be recited at 7:00 p.m.

Mass of the Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, October 17, 2020 in the St. John Nepomucene Catholic Church of Ennis at 10 a.m. Interment will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery under the direction of J.E. Keever Mortuary, Inc.