Most Rev. Henry T. Klonowski, STD, VG was named the fifth Pastor of Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Church on September 8, 1938 and served the parish until his retirement in 1973. He was born in Scranton on March 8, 1898. His parents were Ladislaus and Apolonia Kurzydowska Klonowski. Young Klonowski, whose three paternal uncles were Roman Catholic priests, decided to follow in their footsteps. He studied at St. Francis de Sales Seminary in Wisconsin and SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Michigan. He then attended Collegio Capranica and Gregorian University, both in Rome. He was ordained a priest on August 8, 1920, by Archbishop Joseph Palica in the Church of St. Apollinaris, Rome.
He served briefly in the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, Wilkes Barre, and St. Mark’s Mission in Thornhurst. In 1922, he returned to Rome where he resumed studies at the Pontificial International Collegio Angelico. He was awarded his Doctorate in Theology from that Institution in 1924. When the Reverend Dr. Klonowski returned from Rome, Bishop Hoban assigned him as assistant pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Dickson City. Bishop O’Reilly, who became Ordinary of the Diocese on 1928, later appointed Father Klonowski to several diocesan positions. He became a Professor of Classics at Marywood College and St. Thomas College; he was also named associate editor of the The Catholic Light in 1934.
Pope Pius XII appointed Reverend Dr. Klonowski as Auxiliary Bishop of Scranton and Titular Bishop of Daldis on May 10, 1947. After he was consecrated in St. Peter’s Cathedral by Bishop Hafey on July 2, 1947, Bishop Klonowski became the Prelate’s Assistant in carrying out the duties of his office.
Bishop Klonowski while not the only Polish Roman Catholic Bishop in the United States, was the first from the Eastern Seaboard. Bishop Klonowski, who served as Vicar General of the Diocese under both Bishop Hafey and Bishop Hannan, also served as Chairman of the Committee of Pastors of South Scranton Central Catholic High School. That institution, which was later named in honor of Bishop Klonowski is now closed. The building became Lackawanna Junior College and is now Goodwill Apartments. Twice in Bishop Klonowski’s Career he was named Administrator of the Diocese of Scranton. He served in that capacity when Bishop Hafey died in 1954 and he served again in1965 when Bishop Hannan died unexpectedly on a visit to Rome.
Bishop Klonowski, having reached the age of seventy-five in 1973, tendered his resignation as Auxiliary Bishop to Pope Paul VI. He died on May 6, 1977, at the age of seventy-nine.