April 1, 2011
Poland, Lublin: Solemnity of the Christian burial of the Archmandrite Roman
The body of the late Archmandrite, Fr. Roman Ryszard Piętka, MIC, was put to rest at the Marian vault at the Unicka Street cemetery. The solemnity of Christian burial began Friday afternoon at the Immaculate Conception Parish Chapel on Bazylianówka Street. The solemnity was preceded by the prayerful vigil, during which the Gregorian chants of the Roman Liturgy of the Hours were intertwined with singing of the Orthodox Memorial Service.
The biography of the departed and telegrams of condolences from the Bishops Zbigniew Kiernikowski, the Ordinary of Siedlce, and Jan Martyniak, the Metropolitan of Przemyś-Warsaw of the Byzantine-Ukrainian Rite, were read before the Eucharistic liturgy. Holy Mass of the Roman Rite was presided over by Bishop Mieczysław Cisło, the Administrator of the Archdiocese of Lublin. Almost 60 priests of the Roman and Byzantine Rites concelebrated at the altar. The departed’s family, parishioners from Kostomłoty and Lublin, religious brothers and seminarians, religious sisters from several congregations, and a group of Fr. Roman’s friends filled the parish chapel.
Bishop Mieczysław recalled Fr. Roman’s great contribution to the ecumenical cause in the Lublin region. The homily of burial was delivered by the Archmandrite, Fr. Jan Sergiusz Gajek, MIC, the Apostolic Visitator for Catholics of the Byzantine-Belorussian Rite, a spiritual disciple of the late Archmandrite Roman. Father Gajek noted that the liturgy of Christian burial gathered the faithful not only from various regions of Poland but also people from abroad (Austria, Belarus, Latvia, Russia, Ukraine, and Italy). Also present were the faithful representing several Catholic Rites and other Christian denominations. This wide variety of the funeral attendees testified to the fact that the mission of Fr. Roman – who strove throughout his life and actions to fulfill the Christ’s request “Father, grant that all may be one” brought abundant fruit.
Before the conclusion of the liturgy, Fr. Eugeniusz Zarzeczny, MIC, Vicar of the Polish Province, praised and thanked Fr. Roman for his witness of life and service, as well as his concern with teaching the young confreres to breathe with “both lungs of the Church: this of the East and of the West.” He also expressed his gratitude for the parishioners from Kostomłoty, who supported their former pastor for 40 years.
The farewell at the church and the cemetery was performed in Latin, Byzantine-Slavic and Byzantine-Ukrainian rites in Polish, Ukrainian, and Old Church Slavonic language.
Requiescan in pace! Vietchnaya pamiat’!