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Sep 22, 2016 8:30 AM

Claremont pastor drowns while on vacation in Dominican Republic


CLAREMONT — A local Catholic priest died after drowning on vacation in the Dominican Republic.

St. Joseph's Parish was notified after the U.S. Embassy reached out to neighboring pastor Shawn Therrien about George Majka's death.

The embassy believes the drowning to be accidental, according to the Union Leader.

Majka, 72, had presided over St. Joseph's since 2008 and his parishoners loved him for his kindness and sense of humor, said Therrien.

The priest, who was born to Polish parents in a German work camp during World War II, came to Massachusetts with his mother in the late 1940s. He grew up in the Merrimack Valley and was ordained in Manchester in 1972.

Spokesperson Tom Bebbington said the diocese is still working with the embassy to return Majka to the parish for burial.

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