By Jim Reisch
Special to The Texas Catholic
The Cistercian community, joined by the Hungarian Community of North Texas, celebrated the 60th anniversary of the ordination of Father Julius Leloczky, O. Cist., on July 11 in the Abbey Church at Our Lady of Dallas Cistercian Monastery.
Father Leloczky was the main celebrant at the Mass. Father Paul McCormick, O. Cist. gave the homily detailing Father Leloczky’s journey to the priesthood as a clandestine novice, his escape from the communists in Hungary during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, making his way from Hungary to Austria where he was ordained a Cistercian priest and monk in 1961 and continuing his studies in Rome, Paris and, ultimately, to Texas.
Father Leloczky was honored by many members of the North Texas Hungarian community, whom he has served with monthly Masses and confessions in their native Hungarian language for more than 47 years.
A diplomatic delegation consisting of the Hungarian ambassador to the United States from Washington D.C., Szabolcs Takács; the consul general from Los Angeles, Tamas Szeles; the consul of the vice-consulate in Houston, Gabor Markocsany; and the cultural attache from Washington D.C., Emese Gaal; brought greetings and a special award from President Janos Ader, president of the Republic of Hungary.
Father Leloczky was presented with the Knight Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit: “In acknowledgement for strengthening the good reputation of Hungary, for the cultural organizational activity for the Texas Hungarian community, while reinforcing in them their Hungarian identity, and for practicing his pastoral service for many decades.”
A reception was held at the Abbey where Father Leloczky was greeted by many friends, former students, alumni of Cistercian Preparatory School, members of the Hungarian community, priests and other invited guests.