Recently Departed Marians
Brother Charles Frederick Wells, Jr., MIC
(05.23.1927 – 09.09.2015)
On September 9, 2015 (Memorial of St. Peter Claver) at the Marian Fathers’ residence in Stockbridge, Mass., weakened by an advanced age, Br. Charles Frederick Wells, Jr., MIC, passed away at the age of 88. Fortified by the Sacraments of the Church and surrounded by the prayers and care of his confreres and hospice nurses, Br. Fred peacefully breathed his last and entered the Father’s house. A veteran of the concluding days of World War II, Br. Fred left his family in Richmond, Va., and entered the Congregation of Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception in 1955. After a six-month postulancy and one year of novitiate, Br. Fred professed his first religious vows in 1957 and final vows on February 2, 1960, the feast of Mary’s Purification and Our Lord’s Presentation in the Temple.
An accountant by profession, immediately after his first profession, Br. Fred assumed the position of the head accountant at the Marian Helpers Center, which he held and fulfilled diligently for over 24 years. Musically talented he uplifted many hearts to God and imbued them with beauty. In addition, possessing a good deal of common sense and a great sensitivity to matters spiritual and pastoral, Brother Fred not only served the community in various ministries, such as: Provincial Councilor, local Superior, Assistant Novice Master and a local treasurer, but also the inner city poor, the homebound, the prisoners, and the elderly.
Gregarious by nature, his desire was to build people up and bring them hope and joy. To accomplish this task Br. Fred shared the Lord’s love for them through the tenderness of his heart, humor, material and spiritual blessings. May the Lord Jesus welcome Br. Fred into the company of His Immaculate Mother, St. Joseph and all the holy men and women who share in the Banquet of Eternal Life.
Father Stanisław Krysztopa, MIC
(05.09.1963 – 07.01.2015)
Father Stanisław Krysztopa, MIC, was born on May 9, 1963, in Mociesze, to a farming family of Vincent and Theodora née Dziuba. He was baptized on May 26, 1963, in Jaświły, the diocese of Bialystok, where he later received his confirmation on June 26, 1977. He finished his grade school in Mociesze, in 1978. Then he attended the United School of Metal and Woodworks in Bialystok, where he learned the trade of a mechanic. In 1981, he enrolled in a three-year Trade School of Mechanical Engineering in Łapy, from which he graduated in 1984, earning in addition to his high school certificate the training in mechanical engineering. He worked the following year as a supply clerk at the Metal Works Plant in Białystok.
Stanisław was admitted to our Congregation on July 23, 1985, as a candidate to the priesthood. He made his one-month postulancy in Stoczek, and his novitiate in 1985/1986. He made his first profession of vows in Skórzec on Sept. 8, 1986. From 1986-1992, he studied philosophy and theology in our Major Seminary in Lublin, affiliated to the Faculty of Theology of the Catholic University of Lublin. His perpetual vows took place in Lublin on Aug. 26, 1991. On Nov. 24, 1991, also in Lublin, he was ordained deacon by Most Rev. Ryszard Karpinski, the Auxiliary Bishop of Lublin. On June 7, 1992, Deacon Stanisław Krysztopa, MIC, was ordained to the priesthood in Licheń by Most Rev. Bronislaw Dembowski, Bishop of Wloclawek.
Following the ordination, Fr. Stanislaw served first as a part-time chaplain’s substitute at the Municipal Hospital in Grudziądz, where, from 1992-2000, he served as a catechist and assistant in pastoral work. In 1995, he became the 1st house councilor and local vocations director, adding to these duties in 1998 the work of the local parish vicar. In 2000, he was transferred to the religious house in Zakopane-Cyrhla, to serve as a catechist and pastoral associate. In 2002, he was moved to our house in Warsaw-Marymont, where he was a vicar, a catechist, and the 2nd house councilor. In 2004, he went to Góra Kalwaria, where he also served – just like at his previous posts – as an assistant in pastoral work, a catechist, and the 4th house councilor. In 2005, Fr. Stanisław was transferred to Elbląg, where he took on the duties of parish pastor, local superior, and treasurer. At the same time the diocesan bishop appointed him the diocesan referent for the male religious orders in the Diocese of Elblag.
Our religious house and the Immaculate Conception Parish in Lublin were Fr. Stanisław’s last post. He served there from 2013. On July 1, 2015, he suffered a fatal traffic accident, while driving. Requiescat in pace.
Father John Petrauskas, MIC
(05.13.1916 – 06.11.2015)
Father John Petrauskas, 99, member of the American Province of the B.V.M., Mother of Mercy, died Thursday, June 11, 2015 in Matulaitis Nursing Home. Born May 13, 1916, in Gardner, Mass., he was the son of the late Michael Patrofsky Petrauskas and Apolonia Grekardunis.
A graduate of Marianapolis College, Fr. John made his First Profession on July 16, 1940. He then made his Final Vows on July 16, 1943, and was ordained on August 9, 1943.
Father John first joined the Marianapolis Preparatory School faculty in 1944 and served as headmaster from 1950-1969 and then again from 1975-1987. Father John influenced generations of students and faculty. During his time at Marianapolis, he wrote “The History of Marianapolis,” an extensive work on the school’s past. From 1991 to 2008, Fr. John served as the pastor of St. Casmir’s Church in Worcester, Mass.
Father Vaclovas Aliulis, MIC
(03.14.1921 – 05.26.2015)
Father Vaclovas Aliulis was born on March 14, 1921, in the village of Krekštėnai, of the Dzūkija region in Lithuania. He joined the Congregation of Marian Fathers on Aug. 15, 1937. In 1940, he graduated from the Marians’ high school in Marijampole. In 1945, he completed the course at the inter-diocesan seminary in Kaunas and at the Faculty of Theology, thus obtaining the licentiate in theology. On June 11, 1944, he was ordained to the priesthood.
In 1945-1946, he served as vicar at the Michael the Archangel Parish in town of Varena. In 1946-1949, he was the administrator of St. Vincent de Paul Church in Marijampole. Starting from 1948, he was carrying out various ministries in the Archdiocese of Vilnius, among others that of the vicar of St. Ignatius Church in Vilnius. In 1949, he served as the parish administrator of the Church of St. Mary’s Scapular in Druskininkai; then from 1949-1951, at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Paringiai. He served at St. Joseph’s Parish of in Palūšė from 1951-1954; and then at Saints Peter and Paul’s Church in Strūnaitis in 1954-1959. From 1959-1962, he ministered at the All Saints Parish in Lentwaris, and was also the dean at Trakai. From 1962-1967, he was the pastor of the All Saints Church and the local dean; then in 1967-1970, he was the pastor at the Finding of the Holy Cross Parish; while from 1974-1978 – the pastor of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary’s Parish in Turgeliai as well as the dean of that deanery. From 1978-1993 he was the resident at the St. Peter and Paul’s Parish in Vilnius. In the same period, he served also as a pastoral assistant in other parishes in the Lithuanian capital: at St. Nicholas, at the Divine Providence, and at the Vilnius Cathedral.
From 1965-1979 Fr. Vaclovas served as the Secretary for the Committee on Liturgy and Church Music at the National Conference of Bishops in Lithuania. In the years 1980-1990, he chaired that Committee. The entire post-conciliar liturgical reform in the Catholic Church in Lithuania was conducted under his supervision. From 1970-1974, Fr. Aliulis, MIC, was the Vice-Rector of the inter-diocesan seminary in Kaunas and was removed from this office upon the demand of communist authorities. From 1980-1989, he was in charge of and also taught at the clandestine catechetical courses for nuns and lay people. He prepared an extensive methodological literature and numerous textbooks in the field. He was the chief editor of the new translation of the New Testament from its original language version into Lithuanian. He was an excellent linguist. The State of Lithuania decorated him for his contribution towards the development of the Lithuanian liturgical language. During the times of repression, Fr. Vaclovas also taught at clandestine seminary, thus contributing to the preparation for priesthood of approx. 20 priests for the Church in Lithuania and the Ukraine.
With the beginning of the movement for independence in Lithuania, he was actively engaged in work among the general public; he co-initiated the revival of the Catholic press, wrote theological and journalistic articles. From 1988-1991, he was a member of the Parliament Council for the Rebirth of Lithuania (Sąjūdis). In 1988-1992 he organized and coordinated the sobriety movement in the renewed State. He also was a co-organizer of the Balinese Society in Lithuania. From 1992 to 1999, he served as its president. In 1989, he founded the Catholic magazine “Katalikų pasaulis,” the first one since the independence, which enjoyed great popularity among the faithful for many years. He was the editor in chief of that magazine until 1991, and then – from 1990 to 1993 – also the director of that publishing house. From 1989 to 1992, he was the spiritual director of the great Catholic youth movement “Ateitininkai,” of which he was also a member from his youth until death. In 1991, Fr. Vaclovas became a member of the Catholic Academy of Sciences in Lithuania. His erudition was widely known and not only in the ecclesial circles.
In 1964-1967 and 1976-1991, Fr. Aliulis, MIC was the Provincial Superior of the Marians in Lithuania, and from 1991-1993, the Provincial Vicar. From 1993-1999, he served as the General Vicar of the Congregation of Marian Fathers. From 1999 to 2014, he was the Superior of the Marian Fathers house in Vilnius, as well as a member of the adjacent parish. In Nov. 2014, he was placed in a nursing home under the care of the Sisters of the Poor of the Immaculate Conception.
Father Vaclovas Aliulis, MIC was an ardent religious and servant in the vineyard of the Lord. He was a hard-working man with phenomenal memory. He was loved by all people, and he loved them back, encouraging everyone to do the same. He was a Lithuanian patriot, but also loved other nations. He was a man of peace and reconciliation. For this reason, he has been named for State award of the “Person of tolerance.” He enjoyed great authority within the Lithuanian Church. He devoted himself to writing until the last moments of his life.
Father Piotr Wacław Smoliński, MIC
(07.21.1964 – 04.20.2015)
Father Piotr Wacław Smoliński, son of Eugeniusz and Ewa née Kasianiuk, was born July 21, 1964, in Międzyrzecze Podlaskie. In 1979, he finished the grade school in Rogoźnica, and continued his studies at the high school in Międzyrzecze Podlaskie, graduating in 1983.
He was admitted to our Congregation on June 15, 1983, and made his one-month postulancy in Lublin, followed by the one-year novitiate in Skórzec (1983-1984). He made his first vows on September 8, 1984, in Skórzec. From 1984-1990, he studied philosophy and theology in our Major Seminary in Lublin, crowning it with a Master’s degree. His perpetual profession of vows took place in Elbląg on August 26, 1989. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 3, 1990, at the parish church in Warsaw-Stegny by Bishop Zbigniew Józef Kraszewski, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Warsaw.
After the ordination, for several weeks Fr. Piotr substituted in Puszcza Mariańska a Marian priest on vacation, and then he went to serve in Góra Kalwaria as a catechist and assistant in the pastoral ministry. In 1992, he was sent to study the history of philosophy at the Faculty of Philosophy of the Catholic University of Lublin. In 1993, he began further studies in classical philology at the Faculty of Humanities of the CUL. In 1995, he was appointed rector of the residence “professor’s house” and the provincial master of ceremonies. From 1996-1997, he was Vice-Rector and prefect of studies in our Major Seminary in Lublin. That year he also obtained his superiors’ permission to work at the Inter-Department Study of History of the Medieval Culture. In 1997, he became a member of the Provincial Commission on Formation. In 1998, he received an engagement to the post of assistant at the CUL. In 1999, the Congregation for the Oriental Churches gave him permission for biritualism. In 2002, he received his Doctoral degree in philosophy, having defended his thesis “Critical edition of ‘De consolatione theologiae’ I-III of Johannes von Dambach,” written under the direction of Assistant Professor Bishop Stanislaw Wielgus. That same year Fr. Piotr received permission to study at the Ecumenical Institute at the Faculty of Theology of the Catholic University of Lublin. In 2005, he was studying in Prague, and in 2006 he was transferred to the General House and assigned to work at the General Curia as General Archivist. In addition, he was also serving as the General Superior’s delegate for the beatification process of the servants of God from our Congregation – Frs. Fabian Abrantowicz, Andrew Cikoto, John Mendriks, Eugene Kulesza, and Benedict Skrinda. In 2008, the General Superior appointed Fr. Piotr a member of the Institute of History and Spirituality. In 2009, he was released from his duties of the General Archivist. The Polish Province Superior sent him to work pastorally at the parish London-Ealing, attended by the Poles. From 2011, he was also the 2nd house councilor.
Father Piotr died suddenly of a heart attack on April 20, 2015, at the age of 51; he was a religious for 31 years, and priest for 25. Requiescat in pace.
Father Czesław Franciszkowicz, MIC
(04.20.1939 – 12.08.2014)
Father Czesław Franciszkowicz, son of Wiktor and Stanisława (née Zdankiewicz) was born on Apr. 20, 1939, in Lipsk-on-Biebrza, in the Augustów district.
In 1948, his family moved to Janów, in Sokólka district. Czesław completed two years of grade school in Lipsk, and the remaining five in Dąbrówka Białystocka, and then did his 8th grade at the high school in Suchowola and the 9th grade in Sokólka. In 1956, he was admitted to our Congregation as a candidate for seminary. From 1956 to 1957, he completed his novitiate in Skórzec and made his first profession on Aug. 15, 1957. Following the novitiate, as a member of the religious house in Głuchołazy, he completed his 10th and 11th grades at the night high school in Nysa. In 1959–1960, he worked in our religious house in Góra Kalwaria, attending to the ill priests. He was transferred next to the house on Wileńska Street in Warsaw as a student at the Philosophical Institute, located there at the time. He made his perpetual vows in Stoczek on Aug. 15, 1962. From 1962-1966, he studied theology at the Seminary in Wloclawek. He was ordained on June 17, 1966, in Ciechocinek by Bishop Antoni Pawłowski of Włocławek. After the ordination, Fr. Czesław was sent to work pastorally in Grudziądz as a catechist and youth minister at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church. From 1970-72, he was a catechist and custodian of the Church of Our Lord’s Cenacle in Góra Kalwaria. In Nov. 1972, he had a serious accident while riding a motorcycle. As a convalescent, he stayed briefly in Skórzec, then in Licheń. In 1973–1974 he worked as a catechist in Stoczek Klasztorny, and in the years 1974 to 1977 he fulfilled similar duties in Jegłownik near Elbląg and at the affiliate chapel in Gronowo. From 1977 to 1978, he served in Licheń as a catechist and vicar of St. Dorothy’s Parish and then, in 1978, he went to Puszcza Mariańska. From 1981, he was also the 1st house councilor there. In 1983, he was assigned to pastoral work in Skórzec, and in 1984 he moved to Goźlin, where he was also the 1st house councilor and local director of vocations. In 1989, Fr. Czesław was transferred to the religious house in Góra Kalwaria, where the superiors entrusted him with the duties of chaplain at the local nursing home. He fulfilled these duties for 15 years, until Aug. 25, 2004. Father Czesław spent 10 years as a resident of our house in Góra Kalwaria. Due to his health, he stayed for the last few weeks of his life at the nursing home in Góra Kalwaria. He died at the hospital in Piaseczno at 3:00 in the morning on the day of our patronal solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Father Andrzej Krzymyczek, MIC
(01.03.1928 – 11.26.2014)
Father Andrzej Krzymyczek, MIC was born to a Polish family in Ruda Śląska, in the region that had long been in German hands. At the end of World War II, as just a 16 year-old boy, he was forced to serve in the German army. He experienced at first hand the horror and absurdity of violence and hatred caused by war. Therefore, immediately after the war he became a “soldier” of Mary Immaculate in order to bring the only cure to the world, suffering from sin and madness: The Divine Mercy! Following his ordination in 1957, he served for nearly 15 years in Poland. He was a catechist, a local superior, a novice master, and also the provincial vicar. In 1970, as the Polish Province Vicar, he visited the Marians who started their mission in Curitiba. Brazil enchanted him with its beauty, nature, and piety of its people. The next year – 1971 – he resigned from the office of Provincial Vicar and went to Brazil for permanent residence.
For several years he worked in Adrianopolis and was the first master of our novitiate in Brazil (his first novice did not become a Marian, but a diocesan priest). At that time, Fr. Andrzej completed the construction of the new seminary at the St. George’s Parish; he was the educator of seminarians, chaplain to the Sisters, and organizer of the Divine Mercy apostolate. Afterwards, he became the vicariate superior, but resigned shortly after from this office in order to employ all his intelligence and diligence to spreading devotion to the Merciful Jesus, according to the forms revealed to St. Faustina. Father Andrzej fell in love with this work and considered it to be his life’s mission. The Divine Mercy devotion transformed his priestly and religious life, gave him a new motivation. As a young priest, he studied mathematics at the Nicolas Copernicus University in Torun (1964). His sharp logical mind helped him keep the correct theology of devotion and faithfully translate St. Faustina’s Diary. In numerous conferences delivered throughout Brazil, he explained the depth of this new devotion. He translated, edited, and published a wealth of materials related to the Divine Mercy.
Father Andrzej was a very receptive man with subtle mental organization. He did not like to force anything on anyone and could not tolerate any kind of pressure. Certainly, the experience of his teenage years left its mark. Father Claudio Gomes dos Santos, who lived for years at Fr. Andrzej’s site at the Holy Family [Parish], recalls how Fr. Andrzej used to tell him about the imprisonment and death of his father persecuted by the Communists after WWII. Father Andrzej’s upbringing taught him to cope with life on his own.
For the last nine years of his life Fr. Andrzej resided and served at the Holy Family Parish. On Jan. 3, 2015, he would have turned 87. He was a faithful religious for 60 years, particularly inspired by our Father Renovator, and a zealous and wise priest for 57.
Father Jan Sucharzewski, MIC
(01.15.1931 – 05.20.2014)
Father Jan Sucharzewski, MIC, son of Izydor and Anastazja née Stachura, was born Jan. 15, 1931, in Chwiedziewicze, district of Świecany, diocese and province of Vilnius. In 1932, his family moved to Vilnius, where he also completed two years of grade school. In 1940, his entire family was deported to Kazakhstan, where his father died in 1942. While in Kazakhstan, Jan completed six years of grade school. In 1946, the family returned to Poland and took up residence in Warsaw. In 1947, Jan was admitted to the General Grot boarding school run by Fr. Zygmunt Trószyński, MIC. Next, he continued his education at the Marian gymnasium in Bielany, graduating in 1949. Directly afterwards, he asked for admission into the Congregation of Marian Fathers. He made his novitiate in Skórzec, followed by first vows on Aug. 15, 1950. In 1950-52, he finished the 10th and 11th grades at our minor seminary in Bielany, followed by a two-year course of philosophy, also in Bielany. From 1954-55, he provided care to infirm confreres, first in Skórzec, and then in Licheń. In 1955-56, he did his first year of theology in Gietrzwałd, where he also made his perpetual vows on Aug. 15, 1956. During 1956-58, he completed his 2nd and 3rd years of theology in Włocławek. In 1958-59, while on break from studying, he made his catechetic internship in Licheń. In 1959-60, he completed his 4th year of theology and on June 11, 1960, was ordained a priest at the Włocławek Cathedral by Antony Pawłowski, Ordinary Bishop of Włocławek. Right after his ordination, he was dispatched to work in Licheń, where he carried out the duties of vicar and catechist in 1960-63. From 1963-66, he served in Sierpiec as chaplain to the St. Benedict Sisters and as a catechist. Next year he worked as a catechist in Góra Kalwaria. Transferred to Sulejówek, he spent a few months studying English philology. Upon his transfer to Grudziądz, from 1968-69 he assisted with pastoral work. He spent the years 1969-75 as the rector of the church in Rdzawka, and then the years 1975-77 as a catechist in Głuchołazy, the rector in Cyrhla (1977-83), and the rector in Rzepiska (1983-85). Transferred to Głuchołazy, he served as the house superior and hospital chaplain there during 1985-87. From 1987-89, he was the rector of St. Francis Xavier Church in Grudziądz. In 1989, he served a few months as the chaplain to the Sisters of the Most Holy Sacrament in Gościencin, in the diocese of Opole. Then, after being transferred to Głuchołazy, he assisted in pastoral ministry. From November 1989 to May 1991, he served again as the rector of the Church in Rzepiska, and then, briefly, was recuperating in Goźlin. Starting in August 1991, for the next 22 years he served as a confessor at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Church in Grudziądz.
In his pastoral work Fr. Jan made himself known as a fervent and duty-conscientious person. In the communal life he proved to be a tactful confrere, sensitive to the beauty. The last months of Fr. Jan’s life were marked by suffering and hospitalization. He passed away on May 20, 2014.
Father John (Jonas) Duoba, MIC
(03.08.1922 – 01.02.2014)
Father John (Jonas) Duoba, MIC was born on March 8, 1922, Versiai, (Sintautu Vis.) Sakiau Apsk, Lithuania. His parents were Pranas and Petronele (née Urbaityte) Duoba. His early education was at Marijampole Marijonu Gimnazija (1932-1940) and Vilnius Vytauto Didziojo Gimnazija, 1940-41. He entered the Marian Congregation in 1938 and on August 15, 1939, he made his first profession of vows. He pronounced his perpetual vows on August 15, 1943. Seminary education took place at the Seminary in Kaunas (1941-1944) and in Eichstatt, Bavaria, Germany (1945), Pontificium Athenaeum Angelicum, Rome (1945-46), receiving a Licentiate in Theology in 1946.
Father Duoba was ordained in Rome, Italy, on July 21, 1946 by Archbishop (later Cardinal) Traglia. From 1946-1950, he studied Sacred Scripture at the Biblicum Pontifical Institute in Rome, receiving a licentiate in Sacred Scripture in 1949. Father Duoba was a member of the Lithuanian Catholic Academy of Sciences. From 1969-1974, he also presented on Vatican Radio a series of homilies and wrote articles for various Lithuanian magazines and newspapers.
From 1950-1960, Fr. Duoba served in Argentina in both Rosario and Avellaneda. From 1960-1966, he taught at Marianapolis Prep School in Thompson, Conn. This was followed by an assignment to Rome, Italy where he was a member of the General Council of the Congregation and Secretary General from 1967-1975. In 1975, he returned to the United States and was assigned to the Chicago house, where he remained until 1977, when he left for one year to assist at the Marian parish in Dorschausen, Bavaria in Germany. From 1978-2008, Fr. Duoba resided in Chicago. On October 25, 2008, Father Duoba arrived at Thompson, Conn. On October 31, 2008, Father Duoba began residing at the Matulaitis Nursing Home in Putnam, Conn.
Among his Pastoral assignments we can include Professor of Sacred Scripture and biblical languages at S. Carlos Boromeo Seminary in the Province of Santa Fe in Argentina from 1950-1954, Chaplain in the Asilo del Buon Pastor in Rosario, Argentina from 1954-1957. From 1957-1960 he was Pastor of our Madre de la Misericordia Parish in Avellaneda, Argentina; from 1975-1977, he also worked at the Lithuanian newspaper Draugas.
Within the Marian Congregation, he has held the offices of local superior, provincial councilor, provincial secretary, general councilor, general secretary, assistant postulator general, house councilor and house treasurer.
On Jan. 2, 2014, fortified by Holy Sacraments, Fr. Duoba passed away at the Matulaitis nursing home in Putnam, Conn. Father Duoba is survived by his sister, Ona Duobaite, who resides in Marijampole, Lithuania.
Father Aleksander Ludwik Karpiński, MIC
(05.29.1935 – 11.02.2013)
Father Aleksander Ludwik Karpinski, MIC was born on May 29, 1935, in Opoczno (Diocese of Radom), to a working class family. After graduation in 1949 from a grade school in his hometown, he was admitted to the Marian Fathers’ Minor Seminary in Bielany. Two years later he asked to be admitted to the Congregation.
In 1951/1952 he made his novitiate in Skórzec near Siedlce, and on Aug. 15, 1952, he made his first vows and then finished high school. In the years 1955-1957, he took a two-year course of philosophy in the Marian Fathers’ provisional seminary in Gietrzwałd, as well as made his perpetual vows on Aug. 15, 1956. He continued studying theology for one more year in Warsaw, and then went to the Major Seminary in Włocławek. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 21, 1961, in the Basilica Cathedral of Włocławek by the Auxilliary Bishop of Włocławek Franciszek Korszyński.
In 1961/1962, he participated in the pastoral study organized in Krakow by the Conventual Franciscans, and then worked as a catechist in Stoczek Klasztorny. Transferred to Grudziadz, he served as the prefect of youth. In 1965, he worked for a few months at Góra Kalwaria, and then he left to work pastorally among the Polish community in England.
In the U.K., Fr. Aleksander served as youth educator in the Divine Mercy College in Fawley Court. He also fulfilled the duties of secretary of the English province and house treasurer. During his time there, he was the pastor of the Polish community in Reading, Fawley Court, Cardiff, Hereford, Slough, and London’s Ealing. He willingly gave himself to the missionary work among the local Polish groups. In 2009, after 44 years of work among the Polish community in England, Fr. Aleksander was transferred to a religious house in Licheń Stary. He died at the Licheń house after a longtime suffering on Nov. 2, 2013 – the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed.
Father Boleslavs Baginskis, MIC
(01.09.1918 – 10.14.2013)
Father Boļeslavs Baginskis, MIC, was born Jan. 9, 1918, in Aglona, Latvia. After graduating from the gymnasium in Aglona, he joined the Congregation of Marian Fathers, making his first vows on Aug. 24, 1937. After graduating from the Major Seminary, he was ordained to the priesthood on Dec. 21, 1942.
In the first years of his priestly service, Fr. Boļeslavs worked as a vicar in Viļāni, which was followed by several months of service as pastor in the parish of Nagļi, in the western part of Latvia.
As the German troops were leaving Latvia, there was an opportunity for the provincial authorities to send Fr. Boļeslavs to do biblical studies in Rome. He studied the Scriptures at Biblicum University and completed this education by obtaining the degree of candidatus ad doktorem.
After obtaining his degree and being unable to return to his homeland, Fr. Baginskis was sent to serve in Brazil, where he taught the Scriptures at the Major Seminary for several years. Afterwards, his religious superiors transferred him to Chicago (U.S.A.). With time, the parish of Our Lady of Aglona for Latvian emigrants and a religious house were established there.
When the religious house in Chicago was closed in 2007, Fr. Boļeslavs Baginskis returned to Latvia and took up residence in Viļāni, where he undertook the functions of the house superior.
During the last months, Fr. Baginskis’s health was failing, and on Oct. 14, 2013, at 6:20 am the Lord called him to Himself. Father Boļeslavs was 95.
Father Edward Dionizy Florczyk, MIC
(10.09.1931 – 05.18.2013)
Father Edward Dionizy Florczyk, son of Ignacy and Weronika née Branicka, was born Oct. 9, 1931, in Vilnius, Lithuania. His father, a native of Wilczyn near Konin, was a professional soldier in the Polish Army. In 1920, he took part in the war against Bolsheviks. His mother was a native of Landwarow near Vilnius.
Until 1939, Edward and his family lived in Słonim, where he completed two years of elementary school. After the outbreak of World War II, together with his mother and sisters, Edward moved to Landwarow, where he completed his third year of elementary school. During 1941-46, his family spent in deportation to Altai Krai in South-Central Siberia. There, in a small town of Rodino, Edward finished his sixth grade at the Russian school. Together with his mother and three sisters, he left Kazakhstan on March 10, 1946, and arrived in Brest on Easter Sunday. Upon returning to their homeland, the family took up residence in Szczecin. In 1947, their father came back from England, where he landed with the army of Gen. Anders.
Edward finished his seventh grade of elementary school and then completed a three-year trade school, obtaining the qualifications of a locksmith-turner. Next, he applied for the Officers School of Border Defense Force, but withdrew his application after discerning his vocation to the priesthood.
In 1950, he entered our juvenate (lower seminary) in Warsaw-Praga and completed his 11th grade of night high school. On Dec. 8, 1950, he was admitted to our postulancy. In 1951 he began his novitiate in Skórzec, making his first profession of vows on Aug. 15, 1952. From 1952-54, he finished high school, already being a member of the house in Warsaw-Praga. From 1954-55, he was on break, during which time he worked at a parish office at Wileńska Street in Warsaw.
In the years 1955-57, he studied philosophy at Warsaw Metropolitan Seminary. He made his perpetual vows on Aug. 15, 1956, in Gietrzwałd. In the school year 1957-8, he was a catechist in Skórzec, and then, from 1958 to 1962, he studied theology at the Major Seminary in Włocławek. On June 24, 1962, he was ordained a priest at the Włocławek Cathedral by Bishop Anthony Pawłowski, the Ordinary Włocławek. In the year 1962-3, Fr. Edward completed his pastoral studies at the Conventual Franciscans in Krakow. Then he was sent to Góra Kalwaria, where he served a catechist from 1963-1973, and from 1966 also as the house treasurer. In 1973-4, he was transferred to Elblag as prefect and youth pastor. In the years 1974-6, he was the rector of the church in Rzepiska and 2nd house councilor in Rzepiska. Transferred back to Góra Kalwaria, he served first as a youth minister in 1976-78, and then – from 1978-1981 – as a house superior, treasurer, and the vicar of the parish. From 1981-1987, he served as parish vicar and as the 1st councilor and house treasurer in Warsaw–Marymont. Transferred to Skórzec, he held the responsibilities of the treasurer and house superior in 1987-90. After completing his term in the office of superior in Skórzec, from 1990-93, he was the superior in Goźlin, and then, in the years 1990-1999, the 1st councilor, assistant superior and pastor. From 1999, Fr. Edward worked at the Shrine of Our Lady of Lichen as a preacher, confessor, and parish retreat leader. During the last few months of his life, he was seriously ill. He died in a hospital in Konin on May 18, 2013, on the day of the liturgical celebration of Saint Father Stanislaus Papczyński, Founder of our Congregation. The funeral will take place in Lichen on May 21, 2013.
May he rest in peace.
Father Antons Škeļs, MIC
(08.28.1915 – 05.08.2013)
Father Antons Škeļs – on the day of his demise the oldest of the living members of the Congregation of Marian Fathers – was born on August 28, 1915, in the town of Briģi in Latvia. He made his first profession of vows on Aug. 13, 1936, followed by his perpetual profession on Aug. 13, 1939. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 29, 1940, and spent his whole life ministering in Latvia. He was a member of our religious house in Viļāni.
His burial took place May 11, 2013, at the parish church in Viļāni: Holy Mass of Christian burial was celebrated at noon and then Fr. Antons’ earthly remains were deposed at the Marian cemetery in Viļāni.
Father Józef Wołowiec, MIC
(06.09.1924 – 04.08.2013)
The late Fr. Józef Wołowiec, son of Piotr and Józefa née Szymańska, was born June 9, 1924, in Krajków near Raciąż, in the Diocese of Płock. In 1939, he finished the 7th grade of elementary school in Krajków and then, from 1940-1943, he studied in the Railway Technical School in Warsaw, working at the same time for several months as a turner for Ursus factory and studying privately to complete two years of high school (gymnasium). From 1943-1944, he made his novitiate in Skórzec, where he also made his first profession of vows on Aug. 15, 1944.
Transferred to Warsaw-Praga, from 1944-46 he studied at the Władysław I gymnasium. During his stay at Bielany, he finished his high school and obtained high school certificate. Józef made his perpetual vows on Aug. 15, 1947, in Skórzec. In 1949, he finished the first year of philosophy at Bielany and then worked the following year (1949-1950) as an educator at our Minor Seminary in Bielany. The year 1950-1951 saw him working as a catechist at the parish in Skórzec. During 1951-1954, Józef completed the 2nd year of philosophy and two years of theology. After the Secret Police expelled our seminary from Bielany, Józef was sent to Włocławek, where he did the two remaining years of theology. Bishop Antony Pawłowski ordained him to the priesthood at the Włocławek Cathedral on June 26, 1955.
Father Józef’s first post after ordination was in Głuchołazy, where he served as a vicar and a catechist from 1956-60. Then, from 1960-62, he worked as a catechist in Licheń. During 1962-64, while formally belonging to the house in Bielany, he served in the then Gorzów administrative region first as a vicar and catechist in Sianów near Koszalin, and then as a vicar and youth minister in Gubin. In 1964-65, Fr. Józef worked as a catechist in Grudziądz and the following year in Skórzec. Transferred to Warsaw-Praga, he served from 1966-68 as a vicar and catechist. Then from 1968-72, he went to perform the same duties in Warsaw-Marymont. In 1971, Fr. Józef studied at the School of Theology and Pastoral Ministry at CUL in Lublin. Sent to Sulejówek a year later, he did pastoral work along with fulfilling the duties of secretary at the local Office of Vocations. In 1973, he was transferred to the house in Lublin, where he took up residence at the monastery school for priests-students. He continued his education there. In 1974, Fr. Józef was assigned to serve at the Provincial Office of Vocations and to reside at the house in Bielany-Warsaw. In November 1977, he obtained the Master’s degree in Theology, having defended his thesis, Parents’ responsibility for the Christian upbringing of their children in the light of documents of the Vatican II. From 1977-80, he served as a catechist in Głuchołazy, and then, from 1980-82, as a vicar (from 1981) in Elbląg, going the next year to Jegłownik as a catechist. From 1983-87, Fr. Józef worked at the Marian shrine in Licheń.
Transferred to Puszcza Mariańska, he was made the director of the local retreat house and the postulancy moderator from 1987-90. From 1990-93, he was the house superior, treasurer, postulancy moderator, and church rector in Sulejówek. The years 1993-2008 saw him doing pastoral ministry at the Church of Our Lord’s Cenacle at Marianki in Góra Kalwaria. In 2008, Fr. Józef was transferred from the residence at Marianki to the religious house in Góra Kalwaria.
The Deceased was also the author of The Songbook of the Bielany Alumnae that appeared in Warsaw in 1998, on the rights of a manuscript.
Father Józef died at the hospital in Piaseczno, a few minutes after midnight on April 8, 2013, which marked this year the solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. May he rest in peace.
Father Stanisław Klimaszewski, MIC
(11.22.1922 – 03.10.2013)
Father Stanisław Klimaszewski, MIC, son of Franciszek and Franciszka née Zaremba, was born Nov. 22, 1922, in the village of Konopki, district of Puchały, diocese of Łomża. He lived with his parents until the age of 14, during which time he completed four grades of school in Konopki and two grades in Zambrów. From 1936-39, he attended the Marian College in Bielany-Warsaw, completing three grades there. He spent the first three years of World War II in this family home. In 1942, he obtained the middle school certificate from the Bielany College. Afterwards, he was admitted into our Congregation and on Nov. 1, 1942, began his novitiate in Skórzec at the end of which Stanisław made his first religious profession on Nov. 1, 1943. In 1943-44, he resided in Warsaw-Praga, while doing his first year at the high school. Next year he did his second year and obtained his high school certificate at Bielany in 1945. He made his perpetual vows on Aug. 15, 1949, before Bishop Władysław Lewandowicz. From 1945-51, he studied at the Marian Fathers’ Institute of Philosophy and Theology: the first year at Bielany, second and third years at Praga; and forth to sixth years again at Bielany.
Stanisław was ordained a priest by the Primate and Metropolitan of Gniezno and Warsaw, Archbishop Stefan Wyszyński on Dec. 17, 1950, at the Church of Most Holy Redeemer. In 1951-52, he continued his study of philosophy at the University of Warsaw and then at the Catholic University of Lublin (1952-54, 1956-58). In 1954, he defended his Master thesis on philosophy entitled Powszechniki w nauce św. Tomasza z Akwinu [Universalities in St. Thomas Aquinas’s teachings], written under the guidance of Fr. Dr. Albert Mieczysław Krąpec, OP. From 1954-56, Fr. Stanisław was treated for tuberculosis at the the sanatorium in Głuchołazy and at the Sisters Messengers of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus in Chylice. In 1955-56, he taught at our Major Seminary, relocated at that time to Gietrzwałd. The next year, in addition to teaching there, he also began his doctoral studies in Lublin. From 1958-63, Fr. Stanisław served as the Prefect of Students and instructor in philosophy at our Major Seminary in Warsaw-Praga, along with assisting pastorally, especially at a church in the Praga district.
In June 1963, he went to Rome as a Polish Province delegate to the General Chapter, and was elected a member of the General Council. He stayed at the General House for 36 years, filling the duties of the general councilor, secretary, librarian, spiritual director and chaplain to the Sisters of Sacro Cuore. His work as a librarian allowed him to amass vast materials for producing and translating popular books for the faithful in Poland. He was able to publish, especially in the second half of the 1970s, many thousands of Catholic books, post and prayer cards, which – transported to Poland – were tremendously popular. The following appeared in his “Roman” series: Piotr i Urszula [Peter and Ursula], Oblicza wielkości [Images of Grandure], Szukanie i służba [The Quest and the Service], Mądrość serca [Wisdom of the Heart], Sól ziemi [The Salt of the Earth], W dobrej i złej doli [In Good and in Bad], Nowe rodziny [New Families], and Żniwo wielkie [Great Harvest]. Father Stanisław was the author of Sunday sermons for adults Ewangelia w życiu A-B-C [Gospels in our Life], and for children Ewangelia w życiu dziecka A-B-C [Gospels in a Child’s Life], published in Poland in the 1980s and 1990s.
In 1999, Fr. Stanisław permanently settled in Poland, in the Provincial House at Warsaw-Stegny. He continued his work started in Rome of amassing, editing, and publishing books, with particular emphasis on the pastoral and catechetic issues. The following appeared then: Dekalog. Pomoce do katechez i homilii [Decalogue. Helps for catechization and preaching], Bóg i wiara w przykładach i anegdotach [God and the Faith in examples and anecdotes]; Ewangelia na co dzień [Gospels for Every Day], Problemy, przykłady, anegdoty [Problems, Examples, Anecdotes], Największa jest miłość [Love is Greater that Anything Else], and Edyka na co dzień w przykłądach i anegdotach [Everyday Ethics in Examples and Anecdotes], Arka Noego czyli człowiek i zwierzęta [Noah’s Ark or the Man and the Animals]. He also published a book Żart i anegdota, trochę pobożne [Jokes and Anecdotes, A Bit Pious] under the nom de plume of Kajetan Zaremba.
In 2010, Fr. Stanisław celebrated the 60th anniversary of his priesthood. Even in his advanced age he was always interested in the life of the Church, the world, our Congregation, and the homeland. He remained patient and serene during the last weeks of his life. He died at the provincial house at 10:40 p.m. on the fourth week of Lent. Eternal rest grant him, O Lord, and let eternal life shine upon him.
Father Janusz Zawadka, MIC
(03.09.1963 – 02.25.2013)
Father Janusz Zawadka, MIC, son of Zygmunt and Teresa Zawadka, was born on March 9, 1963, in Warsaw, Poland. He was baptized at St. Anthony’s Parish Church at Senatorka Street. He finished middle school in 1978, and then completed a four-year course at a technical school, consequently obtaining the qualifications of electronics assembler. Having obtained his school certificate, he asked to be admitted to our Congregation, with which he got acquainted two years before. In his correspondence with the Congregation, he emphasized that he chose our Community because of its Marian character.
After a one-month postulancy in Lublin, Janusz went to the Skórzec noviciate. He made his first profession of vows on Sept. 8, 1983, followed by his perpetual profession on Aug. 26, 1988, in Elbląg. From 1983-1989, he completed his studies of philosophy and theology in Lublin, and on Dec. 8, 1988, he was ordained a deacon by Ryszard Karpiński, the Auxiliary Bishop of Lublin at the chapel of our Major Seminary. Józef Cardinal Glemp performed the ceremony of Janusz’s ordination to the priesthood on June 24, 1989, which took place at the Church of Our Lady Mother of Mercy in Warsaw-Stegny. At the close of his seminary studies, Fr. Janusz wrote his Master thesis entitled Bronisław Załuski as a religious (which appeared in print in 2003 under the title The Director Bronisław Załuski).
Father Janusz began to work pastorally and catechetically as a prefect of the youth in Elbląg. In 1993, he was transferred to our religious house in Epfach and Vilgertshofen in Germany. At that time his health problems intensified. In 1995, he underwent three surgeries, following which he spent six months at the sanatorium run by a religious community in Sicily. In 1996, he was transferred from Epfach to the General House in Rome, where he filled out the duties of the Assistant General Promoter of Missions along with studying missiology at the Urbanianum University.
In 1997, Fr. Janusz was sent to the B.V.M. Mother of Mercy Province in Great Britain, where he took an English-language course and then went to work at an English-speaking parish. From October 1998, he spent several months in treatment at the orthopedic ward of the Gdańsk hospital, followed by another recuperative stay in Italy. In the fall of 1999, he was hospitalized at the Institute of Rheumatology in Warsaw, after which he obtained permission for an eight-month long residency outside the religious community and settled at St. Eustorgio’s Parish in Milan, where he studied the new methods of evangelization. In 2000, the General Superior transferred Fr. Janusz to the General House and assigned him some duties at the General Curia. As a member of the Polish Province, he was transferred in March 2002 to the religious house in Zakopane (Poland), and then – from August of the same year – to the house in Vilgertshofen, Germany, to serve as a chaplain at the local nursing home and of the sick in Stadl. He asked for and received permission to complete studies for a Doctoral degree on pastoral theology at the University of Augsburg. In 2008 he obtained that degree upon defending his work entitled Kardinal Carlo Maria Martini – Bischof von Mailand. Ein pastoralkonzept auf biblischem Fundament [Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini – Bishop of Milan. Biblical Foundations of the Pastoral Concept].
In 2008, Fr. Janusz was transferred to the religious house in Sulejówek, where he was assigned the duties of assistant at the rectoral church, as well as made the first house councilor, local vocation director, and confessor to the nuns.
In spite of years-long suffering that affected his condition, Fr. Janusz made his best to zealously participate in apostolic work, by eagerly accepting tasks assigned by the Provincial Superior (such as running retreats and renovations for his confreres and nuns, as well as for the parish groups). He was running parish retreats and then retreats at the local retreat house even during last week of his life. He published in Niedziela various articles in connection with the Year of Faith. In 2011, Sisters of Our Lady of Loreto published Fr. Janusz’s book entitled Słuchaj Izraelu, abyś mógł miłować. Rekolekcje Szema Israel dla sióstr zakonnych [Shema Israel, so that you may love. Retreats for Retreats Szema Israel for the religious sisters.] A few months ago another book by Fr. Janusz entitled Adwent dla smakoszy [Advent for the gourmets] was published in the series of Biblioteka “Niedzieli.” For many years Fr. Janusz wrote essays on priestly formation for the quarterly Pastores. He also published research articles in various periodicals in hope of obtaining a higher academic degree.
On Monday morning (Feb. 25, 2013) Fr. Janusz felt ill and was transported to the hospital in Anin, where he was diagnosed with severe damage of aorta. A surgery was scheduled, but never performed, for he died the same day before 8:00 p.m. Requiescat in pace!
Father Victor Rimselis, MIC
(05.11.1915 – 08.09.2012)
Father Victor Rimselis, MIC, was born on May 11, 1915, in Lithuania. He joined the Marians on Sept. 29, 1933, at the age of 18, and made his perpetual vows on Aug. 15, 1930. On May 2, 1943, he was ordained a priest.
Father Victor’s background growing up in Lithuania gave the young Marians a different and valuable perspective on what it’s like to be displaced, and to lose your homeland. He was a kind, gentle, and deeply caring man who affected for the good several generations of Marian priests and brothers, and the young Marians were happy to have him as our leader. For them he would always have time, good advice, and the right words.
For three separate six-year terms, he served the Marian Congregation as head of the St. Casimir Province, now – after unification with the St. Stanislaus Kostka Province – a part of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy Province, which includes Marians in the United States and Argentina. Father Victor also served a term as Vicar General of the Marian Fathers.
For two generations of Marian postulants, novices, seminarians, brothers, and priests, Fr. Victor provided a steady hand in bringing the Catholic faith to many people and by example leading his Marian brothers on the road to holiness. God gave him a long life, and Fr. Victor spent that life for Christ and His Church.
Father Victor had a great impact on the Congregation through his prolific writings, his teaching, and his counsel: “He was a wise and learned man, very much an intellectual but one who had that rare quality of also being kind, unassuming, and gentle. Father Victor was also fluent in six languages, and he would hear confessions for six hours at a time during Lent.
One of Fr. Victor’s great abilities was the way he could keep “the Big Picture” always in the forefront, and the Big Picture is the most central event in human history, which is Jesus Christ come among us; Jesus Christ, for whom we live; Jesus Christ, for whom we die. It is Christ who remains the Central Point of our philosophy, a reality that Fr. Victor could talk about for hours.
Father Victor was buried at the Marian cemetery on Eden Hill.
Father Prosperas Bubnys, MIC
(06.25.1918 – 08.05.2012)
On August 5, 2012, Fr. Prosperas Bubnys, MIC, passed away in Marijampole. He lived to be almost 95.
Fr. Prosperas was born on June 25, 1918, in the parish of Patilciai near Marijampole. From 1931-1938, he studied at the Marian gymnasium in Marijampole. Wanting to complete his military service faster, in 1938 he entered a military school, which he finished, earning the rank of an officer. Next, he petitioned for acceptance into the Seminary in Kaunas.
He entered the seminary in 1939, but started his studies only in the second semester, because of the outbreak of war. In 1944, he was ordained to the priesthood and was appointed vicar to the Parish of Our Lord’s Resurrection in Kaunas.
In 1945, Fr. Prosperas was arrested and deported to the labor camps in the Republic of Komi.
He returned home in 1954 and was appointed vicar to Šiluvie, which he left after two weeks, being made pastor of the Paupis parish. In 1968, he became pastor of the Girkalnis parish, where he saw that a building was repaired and adapted for worship; he also built a presbytery there. However, he did not even move into his new presbytery, for he was arrested again for preparing children to receive the First Holy Communion. From 1970-1971, he was held in the top-security prison in Kapsukas.
In 1972, he was appointed pastor of the Lygumai parish, where he served for 16 years. In 1988, he was transferred as pastor to St. George’s Parish in Šauliai, where he began to secretly prepare for the religious life. In 1989, he made his first vows in the Congregation of Marian Fathers, followed by perpetual vows in 1994. Fr. Prosperas was transferred to the Marian monastery in Kaunas in 1996 and took up his service to the faithful at St. Gertrude’s Church.
In 2005, he moved to the Marian religious house in Marijampole, where he resided and served at St. Michael the Archangel Basilica until his death.
The Departed faithfully and sacrificially served God and the Church all his life, not sparing himself or any effort. He led an ascetic life, dedicating his days to prayer, work, and the service to the faithful. He treated his confreres and everyone around him with patience and respect. He was well loved and respected by all.
Father Prosperas’s funeral took place on Aug. 7, 2012. His body was interred in the old cemetery in Marijampole.
Father Tadeusz Wyszomierski, MIC
(02.11.1950 – 07.31.2012)
Father Tadeusz Antoni Wyszomierski, MIC, son of Stanislaus and Jadwiga (nee Oleszczuk) was born on February 11, 1950, in Sokołów Podlaski. After graduating in 1969 from high school in Sokołów Podlaski, he applied for admission into our Congregation. As a candidate for priesthood, he was sent to the Marian House of Studies in Lublin. Upon completing the two-year course in theology at the Marian Seminary in Lublin, in 1971-1972 he made his novitiate in Skórzec, where, on August 15, 1972, he also made his first religious profession. In the following years he completed his theological study in Lublin, also making his perpetual profession in Góra Kalwaria – Marianki on August 15, 1975. On June 5, 1976, Bishop Boleslaw Pylak ordained him to the priesthood at the Lublin cathedral.
Skórzec was Fr. Tadeusz’s first pastoral post, where he served as a catechist and an assistant in pastoral work. Transferred to Grudziądz in 1978-79, he performed similar duties there. In 1979-82 he served in the Provincial Office of Vocations located in Praga, a neighborhood of Warsaw. In 1982, Fr. Tadeusz was transferred to Licheń to serve as a parish vicar.
When a chance of opening a mission in Rwanda presented itself, Fr. Tadeusz was included into the three-person founding team. Relieved from his duties as a vicar, he was sent to Brussels for one-year course of French. In August 1984, he arrived in Rwanda, where he first took a course of Kinyaruanda and then began his pastoral work at missionary parishes. In 1985, the residence in Mwange was established under the direct supervision of the Polish Provincial. Father Tadeusz filled the office of the residence treasurer until 1987, when a religious house was established in place of the residence, and he became the second house councilor.
In 1989, for reasons of Fr. Tadeusz’s health, the Provincial Superior called him back from the mission and assigned to the religious house in Głuchołazy. In 1991-93, he served as the local superior and treasurer of the Góra Kalwaria religious house. After completing his term in the local superior’s office, Fr. Tadeusz was sent to work at the Our Lady of Mercy Province in England. In 1993-99, in addition to working on improving his English, he served in London as the Provincial Vocations Director and assistant at the Marian parish in Ealing. In 1996-97, he was the rector of the Marian residence at Courtfield Gardens. In 1998, he assisted pastorally at the parish in Bath. In 1999-2002, Fr. Tadeusz was the Provincial Councilor and the treasurer of the house in Fawley Court. In 2002, he was transferred to the religious house in Ealing. In 1994-2010, he fulfilled the office of Promoter of the Marian Missions in Great Britain.
In 2009, President Lech Kaczyński decorated Fr. Tadeusz with the Golden Cross of Merit for his work on behalf of the Polish-origin circles in Great Britain.
In 2010, Fr. Tadeusz was transferred to Poland to assist with pastoral work at the religious house in Góra Kalwaria.
On July 31, 2012, Fr. Tadeusz died in a car accident that occurred near Jadów in the vicinity of Łochów. Requiescat in pace!
Father Agustin Steigvilas, MIC
(08.28.1924 – 07.15.2012)
“I am very grateful to God and the Blessed Mother for all the graces received in my life, since I left Lithuania until I came to the beloved Argentina and everything else that I received until now.”
Father Agustin Steigvilas, MIC, was born on August 28, 1924 in Uzliaukiai, Lithuania. He was the fifth son of a peasant family. He first received his education on the Christian faith from his mother, Barbara.
In 1942, he entered the Seminary of Telsiai, where he studied philosophy until 1944, when he was forced to stop his studies after his country was occupied by the Soviet regime.
On September 8, 1944, he left his homeland and went to Eichstaett, Germany. There he went to a seminary that had accepted other Lithuanian seminarians. The Bishop allowed him to remain in the seminary and on December 8 the rector of seminarians entrusted the seminarians to the protection of the Blessed Mother.
On June 29, 1949, he was ordained priest and was appointed Parish Vicar in Feucht and chaplain to the Franciscan Sisters. A month after his ordination, he went together with other priest friends in a thanksgiving pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in France.
In 1950, he was transferred to Traunstein, where he lived in a nursing home and was a chaplain to the religious community. In 1951, he went to Wehnem, northern Germany, where he provided spiritual care to Lithuanian refugees for a year. In 1953, he returned to southern Germany, near Bamberg, where was proving spiritual care at a nursing home.
In 1955, he was transferred to Rome to continue his studies in Christian Spirituality at St. Thomas Aquinas University. There, on September 15, 1956 he entered the novitiate of the Congregation of Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.
On September 15, 1957, he professed his first vows and three years later, his perpetual vows. During the time he was in Rome after his first vows, he also studied Theology at Pontifical Lateran University. On January 21, 1959, he went to Argentina and was welcomed by Fr. Juan Duoba, MIC, Superior of the Marian House in Avellaneda, where he was assigned.
He provided pastoral care to the Parish and School Mother of Mercy in Avellaneda, primary to the Lithuanian community. He also served the Argentinean community by participating in numerous organizations and movements, youth accompaniment, and visiting the sick. On the Parish land, he built a chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes. From 1985, he became parish priest at the Mother of Mercy Parish.
In 1997, he was transferred to the religious house in Rosario, where he served as Vicar of the St. Casimir Parish, where he primarily visited the sick and brought them Holy Communion as well as blessed the families and their homes. He also visited monthly the Mother of Mercy Parish to celebrate Holy Mass for the Lithuanian community and to participate in their council meetings.
In 2006, he was transferred back to Avellaneda where he continued his pastoral work, visiting the sick. He celebrated there his 60th ordination anniversary and his 50th anniversary of religious life in the Congregation of Marian Fathers.
On June 17, 2012, he came back to the religious house of the Marian Fathers in Rosario, after living a few months in the Mary Queen Home in Buenos Aires. There he lived the last weeks of his life, as a testimony of Christian acceptance of suffering and a total surrender to the Lord, remaining in constant prayer, especially the Rosary and blessing everyone around him.
On July 15, 2012, he returned to the Father’s House, completing his testimony of surrender to Christ and His Church.
Eternal rest, grant unto him, O Lord. And let perpetual light shine upon him.
Father Konstantinas Velioniškis, MIC
(11.12.1916 – 07.05.2012)
On July 5, 2012, Fr. Konstantinas Velioniškis, MIC, died at the hospital in Marijampole.
Father Konstantinas was born November 12, 1916, in the village of Balsupiai, the Keturvalakiai parish. Having finished his elementary school in Balsupiai, from 1927-1935 he continued his education at the Marian gymnasium in Marijampole, and after graduation, he joined the Congregation of Marian Fathers on Sept. 15, 1936.
From 1935-1938, he studied at the Seminary in Kaunas and then, from 1938-1939 in Rome, where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in theology.
In 1939, in view of the looming war, he returned to Lithuania. There, he defended his Licentiate Degree at the Vitold the Great University in Kaunas. On February 1, 1942, he was ordained to the priesthood.
From 1942-1946, Fr. Kostas served in Marijampole, Waren, Skardupiai, and Gegužinai. Starting in 1946, he worked at the Diocese of Telšai: from 1946-1949 in Žemaičių Kalvarija; from 1949-1950 in Šilute; from 1950-1959 in Kartenai; from 1959-1971 in Pakražantis, and from 1971-1995 in Tverai.
In 1995, Fr. Kostas took up residence at the Marian monastery in Kaunas and began his service to the faithful at St. Gertrude’s Church. From 2007, he resided at St. Michael the Archangel Nursing Home in Marijampole.
Father Kostas served Christ and the Church commendably and humbly throughout all his long life in the spirit of prayer and respect for man.
His earthly remains laid in state at the chapel of the Marijampole Basilica. At 11 a.m., on July 7, 2012, the Mass of Christian burial was celebrated at the basilica, following which this body was entombed.
Father Donald S. Petraitis, MIC
(08.13.1937 – 06.12.2012)
Rev. Donald S. Petraitis MIC, former Superior General of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception and the last Provincial Superior of the Saint Casimir Province passed away peacefully on June 12, 2012 at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Hospital in Worcester, Mass.
Born in Chicago in 1937, Fr. Donald grew up under the pastoral guidance of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception and Sisters of St. Casimir who served at Our Lady of Vilna Parish. It was the Marian Fathers, the community that Blessed George Matulaitis preserved from extinction and renovated, that Fr. Donald chose to enter and professed his religious vows on July 16, 1956. Completing his college studies at St. Procopius College (now Benedictine University), he continued his priestly formation at the Marian Hills Seminary in Clarendon Hills, Ill. Fr. Donald was ordained a priest on May 9, 1964, and after ordination he was assigned to a teaching post at Marianapolis Preparatory School in Thompson, Conn., where in 1970 he became its Director. In July 1975 the General Chapter elected Fr. Petraitis the Vicar General, and he moved to Rome. He not only completed nine years of service as Vicar but since 1984 he served the Congregation as its Superior General. In 1993 he returned to Chicago and within months he was elected to the office of Provincial Superior, serving in this capacity until 2006 when two American Provinces merged and formed the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy Province. Fr. Petraitis spent his last three years in retirement at the Marian Residence in Thompson, Conn.
Fr. Donald played a significant role during his leadership as Superior General of the Congregation. It was his responsibility to guide the Congregation during a period of profound changes in Eastern Europe and in the Soviet Union, where many of the Congregation’s members lived and worked. Fr. Donald was able to witness the life and ministry of his confreres working under highly oppressive conditions of the Soviet regime before 1989. He stayed in contact with Marians from Lithuania, Latvia, and Ukraine who joined our Congregation in secret. He cared for their material and spiritual needs, thereby encouraging and strengthening them. He also had the responsibility to guide the community in the aftermath of the 1989 dissolution of the Soviet Union and restoration of the Baltic countries, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan. At the heart of his pastoral care was the spiritual and apostolic development of Marian communities in those changing times.
It was his privilege and responsibility also to prepare the solemn beatification ceremony of Blessed George Matulaitis, the first Marian to be raised to the honors of the altar during a special year for the Lithuanian people as they celebrated the 600th Anniversary of Christianity in their country. Finally, Fr. Petraitis prepared and presided over the historical 1993 General Chapter of the Marian Fathers which gathered the representatives of the entire Marian Congregation for the first time since 1939.
He will be remembered as a priest who always manifested a deep faith in God’s goodness and Providence, as well as a man of courage, who never tired to encourage the members of his community when facing difficulties with his famous Italian expression corragio e avanti – “have courage and go forward.”
On Friday early evening a wake service of prayers and remembrances took place at the Marian Fathers’ Provincial Headquarter at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Mass. On Saturday, June 16, a funeral Mass is to be offered by the Marian Community with the Very Rev. Joseph G. Roesch, MIC, Vicar General from Rome, as the principal celebrant and Very Rev. Kazimierz Chwalek, MIC, Provincial Superior as homilist.
Father Zygmunt Stolarczyk, MIC
(03.23.1928 – 03.22.2012)
Father Zygmunt Stolarczyk, MIC, was born on March 23, 1928, in a family of farmers Władysław and Waleria (neé Figzał), in the village of Zawodzie, district of Poczesna, Diocese of Częstochowa. He had five sisters and four brothers. Zygmunt finished his seven-grade elementary school in Poczesna. During the occupation, he helped his parents on the farm. In 1945, he took a five-month course in farming. In 1946, he obtained employment with the firm Unified Iron Ore Mines and he worked there until September of 1948. Meanwhile he also attended the evening courses at the Częstochowa gymnasium, where he completed two grades and received advancement to the third. These years were filled with difficult experiences: his father died in 1943, and one of the brothers in 1944, followed shortly afterwards by two other brothers. In September of 1948, Zygmunt was admitted to the Marian minor seminary in Warsaw and, having finished the third grade, asked to be admitted into the novitiate. He made his first profession of vows in Skórzec on March 25, 1950, after which he was sent to Licheń, where he was entrusted with delivering religious education classes throughout the parish. In 1951-53, he resided at Wileńska Street in Warsaw and finished high school education. In 1953-54, he completed his first year of philosophy at Bielany. On August 15, 1954, Zygmunt made his perpetual vows. He completed his second year of philosophy in Gietrzwałd, in 1954-55, after which he was sent to work for one year in Grudziądz, where he performed the duties of sacristan. Father Zygmunt studied theology in Włocławek, in 1956-61, and on June 11, 1960, he was ordained to priesthood by the Ordinary Bishop Antony Pawłowski at the Włocławek cathedral basilica. Having finished his studies in Włocławek, Fr. Zygmunt took a pastoral course in Krakow, in 1961-62.
His first pastoral assignment after the ordination was pastoral work at the St. Francis Xavier’s Rectoral Church in Grudziądz (1962-64). Transferred to Warsaw-Praga, in 1964-72, he served as a catechist and the vicar of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. From 1972 to 1981, he was Pastor in Goźlin, and from 1978 the Local Superior. In 1981-82, Fr. Zygmunt served as a catechist and cooperator in pastoral work in Głuchołazy. Transferred again to Warsaw-Praga, he served as a confessor, where in 2010, he celebrated the 60th anniversary of his religious life and the 50th anniversary of the priesthood. The last few months before death, Fr. Zygmunt was ill. He died at a hospital in Warsaw-Praga at 12:15 pm on March 22nd – the eve of his 84th birthday. May he rest in peace.
Father Jan Bukowicz, MIC
(10.20.1924 – 01.03.2012)
Father Jan Bukowicz, MIC, son of Wojciech and Michalina née Jędrzejak, was born on October 20, 1924, in Moskule Nowe of the Zgierz county in the Province and Archdiocese of Łódź. He graduated from middle school in 1938. In 1938-39, he made his first year at the Marian gymnasium in Bielany-Warsaw. He did his two following years at the gymnasium clandestinely, while residing at our religious house in Warsaw-Praga. In August 1945, he started his novitiate in Skórzec, where he also made his first profession of vows on August 15, 1946. In the academic year of 1947-49, he finished the last year at the Bielany gymnasium followed by his studies at the local lyceum in 1947-49, which he completed by obtaining the high-school certificate. He made his perpetual vows on August 15, 1949, in Licheń. In 1949-54, he made his two-year study of philosophy at Bielany, followed by three years of theology. He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Zygmunt Choromański on June 29, 1954, at the Arch-cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Warsaw. In the academic year of 1954-55, he completed the fourth year of theology at the Seminary in Włocławek.
After finishing the seminary, in 1955-56 Fr. Jan served as a catechist in Licheń. Then, in 1956-60, he studied at the Faculty of Canon Law of the Catholic University of Lublin, obtaining his Master’s degree in 1959, and the degree of the Doctor in Canon Law in 1960. Appointed by the General Superior to the office of the Provincial Secretary, Fr. Jan carried this duty in 1960-64. In 1964 he was made the Vice-Postulator of the beatification processes of the Servants of God Fr. Stanislaus Papczyński and Fr. Casimir Wyszyński. In 1966, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński appointed him the defender of matrimony at the Metropolitan Court of Law in Warsaw. In 1967, the Provincial dispatched Fr. Jan to work at the Committee of the National Conference of Bishops in charge of revising the Code of Canon Law. Also that year, he was called to serve as the curator of the Congregation of Sisters Handmaids of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. In 1969, Fr. Jan was elected the General Postulator with residency at the General House in Rome, in view of which the Primate of Poland released him of his duties at the court of law. Upon Bishop Władysław Rubin’s request and with consent of his superiors, Fr. Jan was appointed the protector of the Polish pilgrims to Rome in the Holy Year 1975.
Upon his return from Rome in 1976, Fr. Jan became the custodian of the Founder’s tomb and the rector of Our Lord’s Cenacle Church in Marianki-Góra Kalwaria. The Provincial Superior also made him a section supervisor at the Marian Publishing House and gave into his care, together with subdeacon T. Górski, the Provincial Archives. In 1979, Fr. Jan became the Vice-Postulator of the beatification causes in the Polish Province of the Congregation of Marian Fathers. Also that year, the Provincial Superior put Fr. Jan, as the Chair of Provincial Pre-Chapter Committee, in charge of preparations for the Provincial Chapter of 1981.
In 1983-86, Fr. Jan served at the Metropolitan Court of Law as the defender of matrimony. In 1984, the Provincial Superior appointed him a member of the Provincial Secretariat for authorship and publications. In 1986, Fr. Jan became member of the Committee preparing the materials about Fr. Renovator, George Matulewicz, in view of his awaited beatification. In 1987, Fr. Jan was transferred to the religious house in Warsaw-Marymont and became the moderator of the Bielany College alumnae. In 1988, he was made the substitute delegate of the Primate of Poland for the beatification process of the Servant of God Fr. Ignacy Kłopotowski. In 1989-91, Fr. Jan reassumed the duties of the Vice-Postulator in the beatification processes of the Servants of God Fr. Stanislaus Papczyński and Casimir Wyszyński. In 1991, he was included as member in the committee in charge of conducting the beatification processes of the Servants of God Fr. Władysław Korniłowicz, Fr. Józef Stanek, Cardinal August Hlond, Fr. George Kaszyra, and Fr. Anthony Leszczewicz. In 1995, Fr. Jan became Chairman of the Marian Historical Institute. The fruit of this team’s work is the collection titled “Fontes Historiae Marianorum.” In 2000, Fr. Jan was transferred to our Congregation’s oldest house in Puszcza Mariańska.
He was the author of many books and articles mainly pertaining to the Congregation’s heritage, such as: The Marian Martyrs of Rosica, “Witnessed of Faith,” etc., as well as the editor and co-editor of Blessed George Matulaitis-Matulewicz’s works such as “Journal,” “Selected Writings,” and “The Beatification” and the works of Fr. Józef Jarzębowski: “Wartime Letters” and “Diary of 1923-1927.” Father Jan prepared for publication four consecutive editions of the “Album of the Dead.” For many years he conducted history classes in the Marian novitiate and was for some years the postulancy moderator and the master of the perpetual novitiate.
Father Jan spent last weeks of his life in the Żyrardów hospital, where he died on January 3, 2012.
May he rest in peace.
Father Ryszard Kukiełka, MIC
(02.20.1957 – 10.12.2011)
Father Ryszard Kukiełka, MIC, son of Józef and Janina neé Dyniec, was born Feb. 20, 1957, in Zamość. He also finished his elementary and high school there. Upon obtaining his high school certificate, he completed three years at the Wrocław Politechnic University. In 1982, he was admitted to the Congregation of Marian Fathers and made his first vows in Skórzec on Sept. 8, 1983, after completing his novitiate. Next, he began his studies at the Marian Major Seminary in Lublin. On August 26, 1988, in Elbląg, he made his perpetual profession in our Congregation. On June 3, 1990, Bishop Zbigniew Kraszewski ordained him to the priesthood at the church of our Lady Mother of Mercy in Warsaw-Stegny. After the ordination, Fr. Ryszard was sent to fill the duties of a catechist, parish vicar, and house counselor in Skórzec. In 1994-96, he took the German language course at the university in Eichstädt along with pastoral training in preparation for his ministry in Germany. In 1996-98 he served at the Marian post in Vilgertshofen, carrying out the duties of the house counselor and working pastorally in nearby parishes. In 1998, he was transferred to our house in Grzybowo. In 1999-2005, he went to Stoczek Klasztorny to take over the office of the house superior and treasurer. Later he also became the pastor of local parish and the shrine of Our Lady of Peace. The following year he spent serving at the Marian shrine in Licheń, which he left for pastoral work at the rectoral church (located at Kościelna Street) in Grudziądz. During his two-year service there, he also completed his post-graduate studies at the Faculty of Theology of the Mikołaj Kopernik University in Toruń, obtaining the licentiate in Theology. From 2008, he was the pastor of The Divine Mercy Parish in Zakopane-Cyrhla. For more than a year he struggled against cancer, while continuing to carry out his pastoral obligations. He died in the night hours of Oct. 12, 2011, in the Rabka Hospice. May the Lord grant him eternal rest.
Father Julian Kałowski, MIC
(05.12.1933 – 10.04.2011)
Father Julian Kałowski, son of Stanisław and Zofia neé Lech, was born on May 12, 1933, in Dziechciniec, parish of Wiązowna in the district of Otwock of the diocese of Warsaw-Praga. After finishing six grade at elementary school in Malcanów and the seventh grade in Wiązowna, in 1950 Julian entered the Minor Seminary of the Catholic Apostolic Association in Wadowice-Kopiec, where he completed two years. In 1952 he asked to be admitted into the Congregation of Marian Fathers. He made his novitiate in Skórzec, after which he professed his first religious vows on August 15, 1953. Transferred to the house at Wileńska Street in Warsaw, in 1953-55 he completed his 10th and 11th grades, thus obtaining this “religious” high school certificate. In 1955-57, he studied philosophy and in 1957-58 he fulfilled the gate-keeper’s duties at his religious house. He made his perpetual vows at Stoczek Klasztorny on August 15, 1957. In 1958-62 he studied theology at the Major Seminary in Włocławek, where he was also ordained to the priesthood on June 24, 1962, by Bp Antoni Pawłowski. After the ordination, he attended the intercongregational pastoral course at the Institute of Theology run by the Franciscans in Cracow.
Father Julian’s first post was in Grudziądz: he served there in 1963-43 as a catechist and did pastoral work at St. Francis Xavier Church. He transferred to Bielany in Warsaw. In 1964-65 he was the chaplain of the local hospital, also helping with organizing the Provincial Archives. In 1965-68, Fr. Julian served in Skórzec, carrying out the offices of a catechist, house treasurer, and the assistant Novice Master. In 1968 he obtained his high school certificate and was transferred afterwards to the Bielany House and sent to study at the Faculty of Canon Law of the Catholic Theological Academy – ATK (now the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University — UKSW). He graduated in 1971 with the Master’s Degree in Canon Law. Next, he began writing his doctoral thesis. In 1971-72, he went to Rome in order to collect the necessary materials for his thesis entitled Odnowa Zakonu Marianów (studium prawno-historyczne) [Renewal of the Marian Order (Study of the legal and historical aspects)]. In 1983, he was named an assistant professor at the ATK. From 1984, Fr. Julian resided at the Warsaw-Marymont Religious House. In 1994, he was named a professor by the President of the Republic of Poland. Working at the Faculty of Law, Fr. Julian carried out the duties of a secretary, associate dean and dean of the Faculty. He was also the editor-in-chief of the semi-annual Prawo Kanoniczne [Canon Law]. Also, he was the censor of publications produced by ATK and UKSW, being at the same time the legal councilor and censor at the Marian Publishing House; a lector of the Religious Orders’ Law in our seminary in Lublin and in our novitiate.
Father Julian prepared many confreres in our Province for their perpetual vows. He ran religious monthly renovations — time of spiritual renewal. He assisted numerous religious congregations in creating and formatting their constitutions. He wrote many articles and books on Canon Law. For his academic and didactical efforts, he was awarded a Knight’s Cross and a Medal for National Education. He always displayed good humor and kindness toward his confreres. May the Good Lord grant him life eternal at the House of the Father.
Father Zdzisław Minota, MIC
(06.23.1935 – 09.12.2011)
Father Zdzisław Minota, son to Franciszek and Elżbieta neé Działek, was born on June 23, 1935, in the village of Pokrzywnica, parish of Goworowo, district of Ostrołęka, in the diocese of Łomża in Masovian Voivodship. He finished his elementary school in 1949 in Goworowo, and in the academic year of 1949/50 he did one year of high school in Warsaw. In 1950 he entered the Bielany juniorate. Having completed the 9th grade in 1952/23, he made his novitiate in Skórzec, followed by his first religious profession on Sept. 8, 1953. Immediately after, he was sent to the study at the Marian House of Studies in Warsaw-Praga, where he obtained his “religious” high-school certificate in 1955. In 1955/56 he did one year of philosophy at the Metropolitan Major Seminary in Warsaw. In 1956/57 he interrupted his studies because of work at the Warsaw-Praga religious house and parish. In 1957/58 he did his second year of philosophy, after which, during his break, he was sent to serve in Puszcza Mariańska. He made his perpetual vows on Aug. 15, 1959. Later transferred to the House of Studies in Włocławek, he finished his theological studies at the local Major Seminary.
On his birthday in 1963, Zdzisław was ordained a priest by Bishop Kazimierz Majdański at the Cathedral Basilica in Włocławek. The next year he did the then-obligatory pastoral studies conducted by the Pallottine Fathers in Ołtarzew.
Father Zdzisław’s first pastoral post was in Grudziądz, where he served in 1964/65 as a youth catechist. In 1965/66 he was a catechist in Sierpiec. In 1966 he was transferred to the Włocławek House to help Fr. Eugeniusz Makulski preparing for the coronation of Our Lady of Licheń image. In 1967-78 he served as a catechist and assisted in pastoral work at the Warsaw-Praga house. He did this while fulfilling the duties of the Provincial Speaker for the Catechetic Ministry and the Service of the Altar, as well as being a member of the Apostolic Committee. Transferred to Góra Kalwaria, in 1978-81 he served as the pastor and first house counselor. In 1981-86 he was the pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Warsaw-Praga, where he started the construction of a new parish church. In 1986-87 he resided in the Sulejówek religious house. In 1987 he was transferred to Zakopane-Cyrhla and fulfilled the office of house superior for two terms. Until 2001, he served as local pastor and treasurer, supervising the completion of the construction of the church and religious house. The solemn consecration of the Cyrhla shrine was performed by the Metropolitan of Cracow, Card. Franciszek Macharski, on Sept. 16, 2000. In Nov. 2001, Fr. Zdzisław was transferred to the Rdzawka house for residency and stayed there until 2006, when he was transferred to the Warsaw-Marymont House (2006-2011).
For many years, Fr. Zdzisław suffered from heart ailments that worsened with the passing of the time. He died in the morning of Sept. 12, 2011, at the Warsaw hospital. He had a special veneration for our Blessed Fr. Founder. In one of his letters to the Provincial Superior, Fr. Zdzisław spoke about his particular “devotion to our Founder” (05.09.2006): “For no other intention I prayed as hard as for the intention of his [Fr. Founder’s] beatitication.”
Father Henryk Eichler, MIC
(09.09.1932 – 04.29.2011)
Henryk Eichler was born September 9, 1932, in Zabrze, Poland. He entered the Polish Province novitiate of the Congregation of Marian Fathers in 1957 and made his first religious profession on Dec. 8, 1958, while still in the novitiate. His perpetual profession took place in Stoczek Klasztorny on Aug. 15, 1962, and on Feb. 2, 1965, in Wloclawek, he was ordained a priest. After his ordination, Fr. Henryk served as a secretary to Bishop Franciszek Brazys, then the Visitator to the Lithuanians in exile, whom he assisted in his pastoral work in the Diocese of Augsburg in Germany.
The Bishop’s sudden death left Fr. Henryk at St. Justine’s Parish in Bad Wörishofen, from which, after a few-months’ service, he was sent to work in London-Ealing house, being entrusted with the duties of the minister and religious house counselor. Following the general visitation of 1967 in England, Fr. Henryk became a member of the Roman religious house, from which he was directed to go to Germany to learn the pastoral work in the Diocese of Augsburg, where he stayed previously. Father Henryk spent the following 13 years working with his superiors’ permission at the parishes of Dorschahusen, Mindelau, and Schlingen.
While on the general visitation at the residence in Dorschahusen, Bishop Josef Stimfle invited the Marians to do the pastoral work at St. Albert’s Parish in Neu Ulm, where Fr. Henryk oversaw of the construction of a parish center and church, consecrated in 1984. Four years after, in response to the request from the Ordinary of the Diocese of Augsburg, Fr. Henryk took over the office of the pastor at the Vilgertshofen Parish as well as the superior of the Marian Religious House established at the local Marian Shrine. In 1991 he was nominated pastor of St. Canisius’ Parish in Augsburg, and then– of the Blessed George Matulaitis Religious House, established a year later.
From 1996, he was a pastor of the Medlingen Parish and the first local superior of the religious house erected there. From 2001, he served as a chaplain at the Dilingen house for elders. During the last four years of his life, due to his health problems, he resided in a Dilingen nursing home while still remaining a member of the local Marian religious house. He died in Medlingen on April 29, 2001.
Father Henryk dedicated most of his time and energy in his pastoral work to promoting the devotion to Our Lady of Fatima and delivering sermons of Marian character. As a Marian, he contributed to the initiation of our Congregation’s service at two centers of the Marian devotion in Germany. He was also the first to blaze the trail on the German soil for Marian devotion. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord. And let the perpetual life shine upon him.
Father Edward Daraż, MIC
(11.15.1929 – 04.16.2011)
Father Daraż worked pastorally at the posts of Polish Province of the Congregation of the Marian Fathers. The last decades of his religious life and priestly service were given to the Shrine in Lichen, where he worked as a confessor of the pilgrims.
The funeral solemnity took place on Tuesday, April 19, 2011, at St. Dorothy’s Church in Lichen Stary.
On April 16, 2011, Fr. Edward Daraż, MIC, 82 passed away. He has been a religious for 61 years and a priest for 52. He was born on November 15, 1929 in Śliwnicy near Przemysl, into a family of farmers: Stanislaus and Maria Mosurów. He completed his primary school near his birthplace and he then helped his parents on the farm. In 1947, he began the juniorate at the religious house of the Marians of the Praga district of Warsaw, during which he completed his secondary education. He completed his novitiate and made his first religious profession on June 29, 1950. After studying as a high school student in Bielany, in 1954 he began studying at the Seminary in Gietrzwałd, which he continued in Wloclawek beginning in 1956. He made his perpetual profession of vows on August 15, 1955, in the religious house in Skórzec and on June 21, 1959 he was ordained to the priesthood. After ordination, he worked in the religious house in Głuchołazy and he continued his education at the School of Franciscan Theology in Krakow. In the following years, he fulfilled his obligations as a priest and a religious in Skórzec, Krekolu k. Lidzbarka, Puszcza Mariańska, Lichen, Rdzawka and Grudziądz. Beginning in 1991, he served as a confessor at the Shrine in Licheń. He also helped at the local parish, carrying out, among other things, a ministry to the farmers and to the sick. Father Edward was a man of great simplicity and openness, kind in fraternal life. The last months of his life were marked by physical weaknesses. He died in Lichen on 16 April 2011. As an eighteen-year junior, he wrote his memories of the Marian Academy at the beginning of the academic year, where he described his feelings: “The Academy fills our hearts with divine enthusiasm, and outlines the future of our path, after which you get going to eternal happiness in heaven.” Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine on him!
Father Archmandrite Roman Ryszard Piętka, MIC
(11.07.1937 – 03.26.2011)
Ryszard Piętka was born on Nov. 7, 1937, in Ostołęka near Warki, to the family of farmers Stanisława (née Łuszczak) and Stanisław Piętka. After completing his elementary schooling, he went to study at the Góra Kalwaria lyceum (the Polish equivalent of high-school). While there, he made his acquaintance with the Marians, which resulted in his religious vocation. In 1953, he started the novitiate at the religious house in Skórzec near Siedlce, which he completed by making his first religious vows on Aug. 15, 1954.
He started his seminary studies in Gietrzwałd in Warmia region, but he had to interrupt them because – according to the custom of the day – he had to serve at the Marian religious house and parish in Warsaw-Praga. In his early seminarian years, Ryszard met Fr. Tomasz Podziawa, MIC, a priest of Eastern Rite, who had just returned from Soviet prison camps and was teaching philosophy at the Marian Congregation’s College. Due to his influence, Ryszard began to study the Byzantine-Slavic Rite and get acquainted with the Greek Christian tradition. Ryszard spent the following years at the seminary in Włocławek. On Aug. 15, 1960, he made his perpetual vows and on June 21, 2964, he was ordained a priest by Archbishop Kazimierz Majdański.
Father Ryszard spent the first year as a priest in Skórzec, where he served as parish vicar and children’s catechist. Afterwards he was sent to study classical philosophy at the CUL in Lublin. It was the time after Vatican II, which marked the life of young Fr. Ryszard with a particular sensitivity towards ecumenism. During his stay at the Lublin University, Fr. Ryszard established contacts with Fr. Aleksander Pryłucki, the pastor of the only Poland’s neo-Uniat parish in Kostomłoty on Bug. In 1968, following the wish of Cardinal Maximilian Fürstenberg, the Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Eastern Churches, Ignacy Świrski, the Bishop of Siedlce, named Fr. Ryszard a vicar-cooperator of the Kostomłoty parish. According to the Eastern monastic tradition, Fr. Ryszard began to use the new religious name of Roman. In 1969, he became pastor of the Kostomłoty parish.
Father Roman worked tirelessly to promote the Byzantine Church tradition. The parish in Kostomłoty attracted many young people, whom the pastor provided with lodgings and illuminating teachings about the unity between Churches in the East and West. Following the beatification of the Martyrs of Pratulin, he transformed the Kostomłoty Orthodox church of St. Nikita into the place of devotion to them.
During the next years of his service in Kostomłoty, Fr. Roman worked out a Menologion – a list of the saints venerated by the Eastern Church (with their biographical notes and proper liturgical texts), which has become a pioneering publishing effort in Poland. He also translated into Polish various Latin-language writings, mainly those of Blessed Stanislaus Papczyński, Founder of the Marians. For many years, Fr. Roman taught Latin at the Marian novitiate in Skórzec and at our community’s seminary in Lublin.
In 1998, Fr. Roman’s long and fervent work at the new-Uniat parish, as well as his successful activity on behalf of developing the Greek-Catholic Rite there, was rewarded by the Apostolic See: He was made an Archmandrite (equivalent of an abbot in the Roman Rite). Also in the same year, Fr. Roman received a golden medal Merited for the Church and the Nation (Ecclesiae Populoque servitium praestanti) awarded to him by Cardinal Józef Glemp.
In 2007, as a result of health problems caused by a stroke, Fr. Roman resigned from the office of pastor in Kostomłoty, after which the religious authorities transferred him to Sts. Cyril and Methodius Marian House of Studies in Lublin. In his status of resident-emeritus, Fr. Roman continued his service as a teacher of Latin in the novitiate, translator from Latin and Old-Slavic languages, and as a confessor to Greek-Catholic seminarians studying in Lublin.
In 2008, Fr. Roman was diagnosed with cancer that gradually destroyed his health. Regardless of suffering, Fr. Roman strove to serve the Church as much as he could. Among other things, during this time he edited a reprint of the 18th-century book “Missja bialska XX. Bazylianów” [The Basilian Fathers’ Mission in Biała] written by Fr. Tymoteusz Szczurowski.
Father Roman passed away in the evening, at the St. John of Dukla Oncology Center of the Lublin Region. He was 74, a religious for 57 years and a priest for 47. Requiescat in pace!
Brother Antoni Romanowski, MIC
(06.13.1915 – 03.21.2011)
Brother Antoni Romanowski, son to Władysław and Stanisława Olewnicka, was born June 13, 1915, in the village of Słoszewo near Płońsk. He had three older siblings: brothers Zigmunt and Eugeniusz, and sister Irena. In 1929, Antoni completed his fifth grade in elementary school in the town of Smarzewo and started working at his parents’ farm. In 1938-39, he did his military service with the 11th Regiment of Lancers Legionnaires who were defeated by the occupying German forces. The Germans consequently sent the demilitarized soldiers to work in factories of the Easter Prussia region.
Brother Antoni joined the Congregation of Marian Fathers in 1946 in the town of Pyzdry, where he did his postulancy. He completed his novitiate in Skórzec and made his first profession of religious vows on December 8, 1947. His perpetual profession was made before Fr. Czesław Fajkowski on December 8, 1953.
Until 1984, Br. Antoni worked on the farm belonging to the religious house in Skórzec and was later transferred to serve at the Shrine of our Lady of Licheń. He resided and served there until his death, which was preceded by a long-term illness.