Born in 1949 and a native of Royersford, PA, Fr. Sylvester Peterka, C.M. graduated magna cum laude from Niagara University in 1972. After attending Mary Immaculate Seminary in Northampton, he was ordained in 1976 by Bishop Joseph McShea as a member of the Congregation of the Mission.
In 1990 Fr. Peterka became Pastor of St. Cecelia and immaculate Conception Parishes in Baltimore. He is a founding member of Mission Baltimore, a group concerned with the welfare of “unchurched” youth in the city. He is a member of the Priests Council, having been elected by his fellow priests in his region, and serves as an active member of the lnterdenominational Ministerial Alliance and is respected for his great sensitivity to racial and cultural issues. He studied for five summers at the Institute for Black Studies at Xavier University.
Prior to 1990, Fr. Peterka taught at Archbishop Wood High School in Warminster, was Director of Students at St. Joseph’s Prep Seminary in Princeton, and involved in Campus Ministry in Auburn, Alabama. “Father Sy”, as he is known, is also a consultant to the church in Ethiopia and an advisor on formation to the Vincentian Province in Nigeria.