Saturday, July 31, 2004

FRANCIS MARZEN / 1925-2004

Retired priest took
talents into the
city’s government

The Rev. Francis A. Marzen brought experience as a writer and editor of the Hawaii Catholic Herald into his second career as a writer and researcher with the city Department of Customer Services.

"He was a priest, and he was also an expert on city government," said former Mayor Frank Fasi. "He expressed his opinion on a lot of things. I depended on him for good, steady advice."

Marzen died July 19 in Castle Medical Center at the age of 79.

He was a priest in the Honolulu diocese since his ordination in 1951 and served at parishes on Oahu, Kauai and the Big Island. He was the first pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel church in Pearl City and Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Honolulu. He served at the Kaheka Street church from 1968 until his 1986 retirement.

He was given the honorary title of monsignor in 1963 by Pope John XXIII.

Marzen worked on the biweekly Catholic newspaper for about 30 years. He was its editor for 20 years, until 1982, when newly appointed Bishop Joseph Ferrario chose to replace him.

Fasi hired Marzen as a city information specialist in 1987, a position he held until he became ill earlier this year.

Gerry Silva, deputy director of the Customer Service Department, said Marzen "had a keen mind. He would get the jobs that required research, something that needed a human touch -- for instance, a special letter of condolence or a letter to a religious organization. ... He could walk a correct line between government and religion."

Fasi said Marzen was his confidant for many years.

"He would visit me in my office every couple of weeks. I counted on him to tell me his thoughts. He was a good man to have as father confessor in my office. He made sure I kept on the straight and narrow."

Born in East Mauch Chunk, Pa., Marzen was a graduate of the Pontifical College Josephinum in Worthington, Ohio.

He is survived by brothers Joseph and Charles, sister Rosemarie Smith, and nieces and nephews.

A funeral Mass will be said at 10 a.m. Friday at Sts. Peter and Paul Church. Friends may call after 8:30 a.m. Burial services will be at noon at Hawaiian Memorial Park.


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