Superiors General of the Marians
1. STANISLAUS OF JESUS AND MARY PAPCZYŃSKI
● Founder and First Superior General
● October 24, 1673 – September 17, 1701 †
2. Joachim of St. Ann Kozłowski
● October 11, 1702 – February 8, 1706 (1)
● March 10, 1706 – February 18, 1710 (2)
● October 13, 1710 – November 6, 1712 (3)
● November 6, 1712 – September 23, 1715 (4)
● July 16, 1725 – June 17, 1728 (5)
On February 11, in 1730 (or 1731), he drowned while crossing the Vistula on his way from Goźlin to Góra Kalwaria. He was 72 years old. He was one of the first Marians recruited by Father Founder. In 1690, while still a sub-deacon, he accompanied him to Rome. In 1698, he was sent to Rome as Procurator General and obtained pontifical approval of the Institute there. In 1723, he travelled to Rome again, and this time obtained approval of the Order’s Statutes. He was elected Superior General four times. He is buried in Goźlin.
3. Cyprian of St. Stanislaus
February 8, 1706 – March 10, 1706 †
He died on March 10, 1706, at the monastery of Góra Kalwaria. He was accepted by and obtained his religious formation from Father Founder.
4. Constantine of St. Casimir
February 18, 1710 – October 13, 1710 †
He died on October 15, 1768 at the monastery at Puszcza Korabiewska.
5. Matthew of St. Casimir Krajewski
General at the time of the so-called “Rostkovian Dispersion”
October 23, 1715 – August 31, 1722
He died on March 8, 1750, at the monastery in Goźlin. Elected Superior General in 1715, he contributed to the “Rostkovian Dispersion”, which brought our order on the brink of extinction. However, he repented his mistake and returned to the once again reunited Order. During the last 15 years of his life, struck with a strange illness, he suffered with great patience the intense cold, which he felt even on the warmest days of summer, not withstanding the fact that his room was kept constantly and strongly heated. Reduced to skin and bones, during the last six or seven years of his life he prepared himself daily for death by partaking of the sacrament of Penance and Holy Eucharist.
6. Andrew of St. Matthew Deszpot
● August 31, 1722 – July 16, 1725 (1)
● March 19, 1743 – November 3, 1744 (2)
● November 3, 1744 – June 19, 1747 (3)
He died on November 22, 1750, at the monastery in Goźlin. He entered our Congregation during the life of its Founder, Father Stanislaus, about whose “sanctity and religious zeal” he used to speak frequently and extensively to his fellow-brothers. Elected Superior General for the first time in 1722, after the “Rostkovian dispersion”, he labored much for the stability of the Order; among other things, he obtained, through the Procurator, Father Kozłowski (Kozwovski), the approval of the Constitutions modeled on the Norma Vitae of the Founder, by the Holy See in 1723. He introduced the image of the Immaculate Virgin Mary as the seal of the Order and from 1743 governed the Community for four more years. During his entire life he was “a most exemplary” religious and distinguished himself by his gentleness and patience. “Most zealous in promoting devotion”, he was known for his diligence in hearing confessions.
7. Joseph of Jesus Mary Królikowski
June 17, 1728 – June 14, 1731
He died on October 26, 1742, at the monastery of Gora Kalwaria.
8. Bernard of St. Nicholas Ostrowski
● June 14, 1731 – July 5, 1734 (1)
● July 5, 1734 – December 12, 1737 (2)
● August 8, 1741 – March 19, 1743 (3) †
He died on March 19, 1743, at the monastery of Skorzec. He had been elected twice to the office of Superior General. He was a vigorous defender of the Order and promoter of philosophical and theological studies. Due to his efforts, two monasteries were constructed and the existing ones enlarged.
9. Venerable Servant of God
CASIMIR OF ST. JOSEPH WYSZYŃSKI
● December 12, 1737 – August 8, 1741 (1)
● June 19, 1747 – November 12, 1750 (2)
10. Cajetan Wetycki
● November 12, 1750 – June 30, 1754 (1)
● June 30, 1754 – August 4, 1760 (2)
On May 19, 1761, he died at the age of 48 at the monastery of Marijampole. He was a “Lector” of philosophy and theology for 12 years, President of the monastery, Superior General for 6 years and, finally, Novice Master and as such was praised for the simple fact that “what he taught by spoken word, he first demonstrated by personal example”.
11. Cyprian Fiałkowski
November 11, 1757 – August 4, 1760
A “Father of the Congregation”, he died unexpectedly on October 18, 1772, at the monastery of Puszcza Korabiewska, at the age of 70. He was repeatedly elected Novice Master and for three years fulfilled the office of Superior General. He was most exemplary in his prudence, zeal for the common good and in other virtues. His depositions as witness in the informative process for the beatification of the Venerable Servant of God Stanislaus are of great value.
12. Ladislaus Kanobrocki
August 4, 1760 – September 11, 1763
On May 3, 1766, at the monastery of Skórzec, he died at the age of 68. He fulfilled the office of Superior General for three years.
13. Hyacinth Wasilewski
● September 11, 1763 – August 24, 1766 (1)
● August 24, 1766 – June 6, 1770 (2)
On April 4, 1777, at the monastery of Marijampole, a “Father of the Order”, President of the monastery and Assistant General, he died at the age of 60. He exercised the office of Superior General with the utmost diligence for seven years.
● June 6, 1770 – June 20, 1773 (1)
● June 20, 1773 – June 9, 1776 (2)
● February 28, 1793 – October 29, 1793 (3)
On June 13, 1803, at Pruszyn (Prushin) where he served as a vicar at the local parish, he died at the age of 69; he was a religious for 48 years. He had been President of various monasteries and, eventually, elected Superior General, an office which he fulfilled “most laudably” for 6 years. Later on, he taught our seminarians at Marijampole and Skorzec. He was known for his religious observance and virtuous life in obedience and poverty.
15. Raymond Nowicki
● June 9, 1776 – June 17, 1779 (1)
● June 17, 1779 – March 23, 1782 (2)
● September 29, 1782 – June 10, 1785 (3)
● September 29, 1785 – September 14, 1788 (4)
16. Stanislaus Mogień
September 14, 1788 – March 12, 1789 †
On March 12, 1789, at the monastery of Marijampole, he died at the age of 41. He was much esteemed in life for his virtues and excellence of character. He was a “Lector” of philosophy and theology for three years and Superior of the monastery in Raśna (Rashna) for 12 years. He died six months after being elected Superior General.
17. Joseph Mraas
● March 12, 1789 – August 21, 1791 (1)
● August 21, 1791 – February 28, 1793 (2)
On February 28, in 1793, he died in Żemosławie. He was invited by the noble benefactress Zofia de Butler Szczytowa (Shchitova) to stay in her country estate there in hope to restore his failing health. He was, at the time, Superior General and a “Lector emeritus” of sacred theology. Endowed with the title of “Father of the Order”, he was much esteemed for his virtuous life and the untiring care for the good of the community that he showed in fulfillment of his duties. He is buried in the parish church of Sobotniki, in the vicinity of Vilnius.
18. Thaddeus Białowieski
● October 29, 1793 – September 30, 1811 (1)
● September 30, 1811 – June 10, 1815 (2)
● September 29, 1817 – September 30, 1823 (3)
● September 30, 1823 – September 30, 1829 (4)
On April 30, 1832, at the monastery of Góra Kalwaria, he died at the age of 82, in the opinion of sanctity. He was Procurator General in Rome and then, from 1793, he fulfilled the office of Superior General for 36 years. He was known for his fidelity to regular observance which, he found, was most difficult to maintain in religious monasteries in times of continuous wars and pernicious political upheavals.
19. Victor Wołągiewicz
June 10, 1815 – September 29, 1817
On August 26, 1819, at the monastery of Marijampole, he died at the age of 66; he was a religious for 46 years and a priest for 43. He was President of the Marijampole monastery for 38 years. He provided for the construction, in masonry, of the monastery, and began a similar construction of the church, which was, however, left incomplete when he died.
20. Placidus Czubernatowicz
September 30, 1829 – February 24, 1835 †
He died in 1835, a religious for 52 years and a priest for 48, at the age of 72. From 1829 until his death, he fulfilled the office of Superior General. He was eulogized as a man “full of virtue” and exemplary in religious observance.
21. Stanislaus Pórzycki
● February 24, 1835 – September 30, 1835 (1)
● September 30, 1835 – September 1841 (2)
● September 1841 – 1844 (3)
A “Father of the Order”, on May 18, 1863, he died at the age of 80 at the monastery of Skórzec; he was a religious for 58 years and a priest for 56. He was a worthy President of the said monastery. He fulfilled the offices of Secretary, Procurator and Vicar General. Finally, he was Superior General for 11 years. Forced by the civil Russian authority to resign from this office, he was sent into exile where he suffered much for 9 years. He was a religious of exemplary regular observance.
22. George Naruszewicz
● 1844 – September 1847 (1)
● September 1847 – September 21, 1853 (2)
On July 26, 1873, at the monastery of Marijampole, he died at the age of 74. He fulfilled the duties of President of various monasteries, of Secretary General, of Vice-General and, finally, of Superior General for nine years.
23. Anthony Czerniewski
September 21, 1853 – January 9, 1858 †
On January 9, 1858, he died at the age of 54 at the monastery in Skórzec in the 5th year of his tenure as Superior General.
24. Alexander Roman Wilczyński
● January 9, 1858 – September 26, 1859 (1)
● September 26, 1859 – February 9, 1865 (2)
On August 22, 1871, at the monastery of Marijampole, he died at the age of 70; he was a religious for 48 years. He was Vicar General and, then, from 1859 – Superior General; he governed the Order with great dedication and care for its growth. In 1864, along with the other members of the monastery of Skórzec, he was deported by the Russian authorities to the monastery of Marijampole. In February of 1865 he was forced to resign from this office before the Bishop of Sejny.
25. George Czesnas
February 12, 1865 – November 15, 1892
He died on November 15, 1892, at the monastery in Marijampole, a religious for 37 years, at the age of 57. After his studies at the Ecclesiastical Academy of Warsaw he was nominated “Lector” of philosophy and theology. He also taught religion in various schools. From 1865 until 1892 he was Superior of the monastery and Superior General. He was much esteemed for his prudence and affability.
26. Vincent Sękowski
November 24, 1892 – April 10, 1911 †
27. GEORGE MATULAITIS-MATULEWICZ
Titular Archbishop of Aduli
Renovator of the Congregation
July 14, 1911 – July 20, 1923
28. Francis-Peter Bučys
Titular Bishop of Olympus
● July 27, 1927 – July 21, 1933 (1)
● July 22, 1939 – May 14, 1951 (2)
On the October 25, 1951, at the General House in Rome, he died at the age of 79, Titular Bishop of Olympus of the Byzantine-Slavonic rite for 21 years, and a priest for 52 years. He was closely associated with Blessed George already as a student in Fribourg and, later, as a professor at the Ecclesiastical Academy of Saint Petersburg. On August 29, 1909, the actual date of the birth of our renewed Institute, he became its first novice and remained a close collaborator of Father Renovator in the task of saving the Institute undertaken by Blessed George. He fulfilled the office of Superior General from 1927 to 1933 and again, from 1939 until 1951. He was an esteemed apologist and wrote extensively in both Polish and Lithuanian. He is buried in the cemetery at Campo Verano in Rome.
29. Servant of God
July 21, 1933 – July 22, 1939
30. Ladislaus Mroczek
September 17, 1951 – July 26, 1957
He died on January 6, 1976, at the House in Balsamão, Portugal, at the age of 85. He entered the Congregation in 1911 as a seminarian. He made his novitiate in Fribourg, Switzerland, under the direction of Father Renovator. He was ordained in 1913. From 1933 to 1939 he served as the Provincial Superior of the Polish Province. Subsequently he fulfilled various duties at the Generalate in Rome and, ultimately, those of Superior General from 1951 to 1957. Then, at his own request, he was assigned to the House in Balsamão. He distinguished himself by his industriousness, humility, poverty and piety.
31. Stanislaus Skutans
July 26, 1957 – July 2, 1963
He died on February 25, 1995, in Chicago, a member of the Latvian House in that city, at the age of 94. He was a professed religious for 67 years and a priest for 65. Born and educated in Latvia, after his ordination to the priesthood he became Assistant Novice Master in Vilani. Later he taught history at the archdiocesan high school in Aglona. In 1944, fleeing before the invading Communist armies, he went to Germany and a year later to Rome, where he studied spirituality and obtained his doctoral degree in Theology (Liturgy). He served the community of the Roman House as Spiritual Director, and later served the Congregation as a General Councilor and as Superior General for six years. In 1964 he was transferred to the Latvian House in Chicago and served its community for some years as Superior and Treasurer. Exemplary in religious observance, he was also known for his great devotion to the Immaculate Virgin Mary. A scholarly and hard-working historian, he wrote and published books on the history of the Church in Latvia and on the history of our Congregation. He is buried in Chicago.
32. Ceslaus Sipović
Titular Bishop Mariammitanus
July 2, 1963 – July 28, 1969
Belarussian Bishop of the Byzantine-Slavonic rite, he died on October 4, 1981, at London, England, of a heart attack while making a speech, at the age of 67; he was a religious for 47 years, a priest for 41, and a bishop for 21. He studied at Vilnius and Rome. He was Superior General for 6 years. He was a member of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, a member of the Commission for the revision of the Code of Eastern Canon Law and Apostolic Visitator for Belarussians in Western Europe. He was endowed with a notable intellectual and organizational skills. He is buried in the cemetery of St. Pancratius in London.
33. Joseph Sielski
● July 28, 1969 – July 17, 1975 (1)
● July 17, 1975 – May 15, 1981 (2)
In 2005, he died at the age of 91 at the Villa Rosa Nursing Home in Mitchelleville, Maryland. The first American-born candidate to what would later become the St. Stanislaus Kostka Province, he was its member for almost 60 years and a priest for 54. He studied at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC and obtained a Licentiate in Theology there. He was the first Superior of the Eden Hill House in Stockbridge. Next, he organized our “Mission House” in Detroit, Michigan and served as its first Superior. In 1951, on the death of the first Provincial, Father Luniewski, he was elected to the office of Provincial and held it for two terms. General Councilor in Rome from 1963, he was elected six years later Superior General and held this office for two terms. After his return to the United States, he was Director of the Marian Helpers Center in Stockbridge, then Spiritual Father in the Marian House of Studies in Washington, and later served as a chaplain at the St. Joseph Nursing Home in Catonsville, MD. Because of his failing health, he had to remain for four years in the “Marian Assisted Living Residence” in Brookeville, MD. He contributed much to the development and growth of his Province. But he was also always ready to respond to the needs of the Congregation by extending the work of the members of the province to England, Portugal, and Brazil. He was active in implementing the reforms enjoined on all religious communities by the Vatican II Council and worked on the revision of our Marian Constitituions. He is buried in the Marian cemetery on Eden Hill.
34. Fidelis Grabowski
May 15, 1981 – November 19, 1984
On December 21, 2002, he passed away in St. Stanislaus Kostka Province in America. He was 85, a religious for 67 years and a priest for 57. For three years he served as the Superior General of our Congregation. He is buried in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
35. Donald Petraitis
● November 28, 1984 – June 25, 1987 (1)
● June 25, 1987 – June 24, 1993 (2)
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, IL. 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, CT, 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, CT.
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. His was also 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 600 th 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.
July 2, 1999 – March 5, 2005
In 2007, he died at the age of 52, after more than a year of struggling with cancer. He was a Marian for 31 years and a priest for 22. A man of keen mind, integrity, religious fervor and affability he prepared himself for the ministry of Formation through studies at Duquesne University where he excelled in studies and gained a rightful reputation as forthright and solicitous. He was assigned in the late 80’s as Superior and Novice Master in Brookeville, Maryland, while also serving as Director of Formation in the St. Stanislaus Kostka Province. He served as Superior General from 1999 to 2005, previously he served on the General Council 1993-1999. While on the General Council he served as the General Formation Director. While the Superior General, he furthered the idea and plan to merge the two American Provinces, which was accepted by the General Chapter of 2005. He chaired the Unification Committee of the provinces and was elected to serve as the first Provincial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy province on October 25, 2006, one year to the date of his burial in the Eden Hill Cemetery, Stockbridge, Massachusetts.