Fr. Theodore (Anthony) Benkovic
Fr. BenkovicFr. Theodore was born December 27, 1916 in Steelton, PA there completed high-school. Fr. Theodore began his seminary studies at Westmont, Il. and entered the Franciscan novitiate in 1935 at Teutopolis, Il. It was Fr. Theodore's heartfelt wish to learn the Croatian language well and this led to his studies in Mostar where he completed his theology in 1938. He was ordained a priest in Mostar on June 29, 1941. After his pastoral duties at SS. Peter and Paul Parish in Mostar (1942-1944), he resided in the Franciscan friaries in Sarajevo, Zagreb and Rome. He returned to the USA in 1946 and continued his pastoral work at St. Augustine's Parish in West Allis as assistant pastor (1946-1950). After that he established St.Anthony's Parish in Monessen and was pastor there until 1960. He was Pastor at SS.. Cyril & Methodius in New York (1960-1961), St. Jerome's in Chicago (1967-1969), Blessed Trinity in Ambridge (1969-1971), St. Mary's in Steelton (1972-1976), St.Joseph's in Bethlehem (1979-1985). He was assistant pastor at St. Mary's in Steelton from1991 until his retirement in 1995.He held many positions with the Custody. He was on the Custodial Board twice (1952-1955, 1967-1970).He was procurator of the Custody from 1950-1952 and from 1976-1978. He was superior at St. Francis Friary, Gulf Breeze (1961-1967) and superior at Our Lady of Peace Frairy, Beaver Falls (1978-1979,1985-1991). He is the author of the book, Tragedy of a Nation.

Fr. Ted was well-known among the friars as a man with an extraordinary sense of humor, sociability and fraternal community. He was always very happy to visit with the friars and took great interest in the life and work of the friars. Having received the sacraments, Fr. Ted died peacefully on Tuesday, Jan. 12 at St. Theresa Home in Lemont, run by Franciscan Sisters. After a Funeral Mass at St. Anthony’s in Hyde Park, Jan. 15, 2010, he was buried with his Franciscan brothers in Holy Sepulcher cemetery.