Br. DePorres Poncia, SA
(July 22, 1938 – July 27, 2023)
From parochial ministry in Texas to Guardian duties in friaries across the northeast, Brother DePorres Poncia, SA, shared the Friars’ message of At-One-Ment throughout his life.
On Thursday, July 27, Brother DePorres entered into Eternal Life, five days after his 85th birthday.
Born John Poncia on July 22, 1938, Brother DePorres received Catholic education at an early age. He attended St. Thomas the Apostle Elementary School in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware. He went on to attend high school at Salesianum Catholic before joining the Friars of the Atonement in 1957 and receiving his habit a year later.
He took on the religious name DePorres, and professed his first vows as an Atonement Friar in July of 1960. He professed his final vows five years later. Brother DePorres began his ministry in Hereford, Texas at St. Anthony Parish. Then, from 1969 to 1970, he served as the community tailor at Our Lady of the Atonement Friary in Cumberland, Rhode Island. For the following two years, he served as Guardian of Our Lady of the Atonement Friary.
In 1972, Brother DePorres returned to parochial ministry in Texas, this time at St. Ann and St. Theresa parishes. From 1973 to 1981, he was stationed at Graymoor, working as a business manager and assistant procurator. From there, Brother DePorres went on to serve as an administrator and Guardian at Atonement Friary in Washington, D.C.
In 1985, Brother DePorres was assigned to Chapel of Our Savior in Brockton, Massachusetts, where he held several roles for many years. He served as Guardian and Director; business administrator; and bookstore manager. He also served a brief stint as parochial assistant at Our Lady of the Rosary parish in Yonkers.
Brother DePorres returned to Graymoor in 2005, working as switchboard operator, before becoming Guardian of the St. Paul Friary in 2016. In June of 2017, he celebrated his Diamond Jubilee – 60 years in the Society of the Atonement.
Brother DePorres is predeceased by his parents, John and Santa Poncia, as well as several brothers and sisters. He is survived by his sister, Louise Gurczenski, and niece, Maryann Smulski. Wake services will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, August 4 at the Chapel of St. Anthony at the St. Paul Friary at Graymoor.
A Mass of Christian burial will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 5 at the Chapel of St. Anthony at the St. Paul Friary at Graymoor, with interment in the Friars’ cemetery to immediately follow.