Deacon Emil Ralbusky, pro-life advocate, dies

Deacon Emil Ralbusky
Deacon Emil Ralbusky

Deacon Emil Ralbusky, 65, of Collingswood, who served the Diocese of Camden in a variety of communities for over 25 years, died Sept.11.

A man known for his devotion to Mary and his commitment to the pro-life cause, Deacon Ralbusky was born and raised in Wheeling, West Virginia. He attended Marshall University in Huntington, where he met his wife, Marie (nee Baldyga).

He was ordained a permanent deacon in the Diocese of Camden in 1988, and he earned a master’s degree in church management from Villanova University.

He “served the Diocese of Camden faithfully and joyfully,” said Deacon Leo McBlain, director of personnel for the diocesan Office of the Permanent Diaconate.

Deacon Ralbusky was “a saintly man,” remembered Dominican Father Anthony Cataudo, a longtime friend.

In 1994, Father Cataudo first came to the Monastery of the Dominican Nuns of the Perpetual Rosary in Camden, and there met Deacon Emil.

Throughout the years, after Father Cataudo became the community’s chaplain, and before the Monastery closed its doors in 2013, Deacon Ralbusky would assist in each morning’s Mass. Their relationship would continue at St. Peter’s in Merchantville, where the now-retired Father Cataudo relocated after the closure of the Monastery.

Father Cataudo called Deacon Ralbusky’s union with his wife, Marie “a marriage made in heaven.” The two were a team and would frequently serve together at parishes, or be found praying the rosary outside a Cherry Hill abortion clinic on Saturdays.

In addition to St. Peter and the Camden Monastery, Deacon Ralbusky served at St. John, Collingswood; St. Joan of Arc, Camden; and St. Vincent Pallotti, Haddon Township.

He also taught religion at Gloucester Catholic and Camden Catholic High Schools, and from 2001-04, he worked at the Catholic Star Herald in the Advertising Department.

In addition to his wife Marie of 42 years, Deacon Ralbusky is survived by children Heather (Kevin) Brown of Marlton, and Amy (Dustin) Ritter of Baltimore; grandchildren Katie, Jackie, Abbie, Torie and Claire; sister Debbie Duff of Wheeling; sister-in-law Garnell Ralbusky of Waterford, Miss.; and many nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his parents, Joseph and Laura Ralbusky of Wheeling, and brother, Joseph of Michigan.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Sept. 16 at St. Peter Church in Merchantville. Entombment was in Calvary Cemetery, Cherry Hill.

Donations may be sent to Good Counsel Home of South Jersey, Inc., P.O. Box 606, Hoboken, NJ 07030.