Archdiocese honors 'Mr. Fix-It'

October 16, 2007|By JANET HEIM

Leo Komorowski is one of those people who tirelessly volunteers behind the scenes. A member of St. Ann Roman Catholic Church for 31 years, many fellow members don't even realize how much time Komorowski has devoted to keeping things in working order.

"He's the absolute Mr. Fix-It," said Joan Komorowski, his wife of 30 years.

Leo Komorowski, 78, has built a lot of things around the church, sung in the choir for years, been a Eucharistic minister and a sacristan.

"He's kind of a jack-of-all-trades," said the Rev. Doug Kenney, pastor at St. Ann, off Oak Hill Avenue behind Long Meadow Shopping Center. "He's a wonderful person."

For his dedication to the parish, Komorowski received the Archdiocesan Medal of Honor, an award given by the Archdiocese of Baltimore every two years. Leo's was the last such award given under the name of Cardinal William Keeler of Baltimore, who retired recently.


Komorowski's award was presented by Kenney on Sept. 29 in Komorowski's hospital room at Washington County Hospital. Past recipients of the award from St. Ann and some of Komorowski's family were present.

The blended family of the Komorowskis includes 11 children and 25 grandchildren.

The other recipients from the Western vicariate will receive their awards in December at St. Ann, with Bishop W. Francis Malooly presiding over the ceremony. Kenney saw to it that Komorowski received his award early, since he is battling colon cancer.

"The criteria for the award is someone who for long periods of time has done a lot for their parish. Leo very much fits that bill," Kenney said.

Joan Komorowski said she cried when the award was presented to Leo. Her father received the same award many years ago and she thought Leo was deserving of it, but said it wasn't her place to nominate him.

Leo Komorowski, a native of Pittsburgh who moved to Hagerstown in 1963, was a skilled tradesman at Mack Trucks.

The Komorowskis are also know in the community for the ballroom roller skating they did, which included teaching, judging and traveling to shows. Leo was roller skating three times a week until August, when the colon cancer he had surgery for four years ago returned.

Despite the pain and difficulty he had in speaking, Leo Komorowski shared some thoughts on the award.

"It's an honor, a real honor. I still feel I don't deserve it. I feel other people are more deserving," he said. "I feel like I'm just another soldier - just doing my job. Faith and church are very important to me."

The Herald-Mail Articles