Recently Departed Marians
Father Jan Antoni Karbasz, MIC
(05.22.1922 – 12.23.2010)
Fr. Jan Karbasz was born on 22 May 1922 in Samborze, in what is now the Ukraine. After finishing primary school in 1935, he attended school in Raśnie, and then beginning in January 1936 in Bielany, Warsaw where in 1939 he graduated from the Marian school. He then entered the novitiate, and on August 15, 1940, he made his first vows. He was then sent to the religious house in the Praga district where he received the certificate of maturity in 1943. From 1942-1944, he completed two years of philosophy, and he made his perpetual vows in 1944. From 1944-1946, he completed two courses in theology. He completed the remaining two years of graduate theology at the Angelicum University in Rome, where he was ordained a priest by Archbishop Aloysius Traglii on February 21, 1948. After returning to his homeland, he served the early years of his priesthood. From 1948-49, he was an educator in the College of Bielany, and from 1949-1950, he was the prefect and a lecturer in Patrology at our Institute of Philosophy and Theology. Beginning in 1950, he was the main teacher, the Vice-Rector and then the Rector of the Minor Seminary while completing his education in the Patrology Section of the Theological Faculty at Warsaw University. From 1952-1954, he served as Prefect of Students, and faculty, and after earning a Masters Degree, he began working on his doctorate. After the deportation of our seminary from Bielany to Gietrzwałdu, from 1954-57, he lectured in patrology, moral theology and the history of philosophy.
In 1957, following the decrees of his superiors, he undertook pastoral work. Until 1963, he was pastor of the parishes in Kiwity-Stoczek-Krekole. From 1963 to 1969, he was the superior of the religious house in Warsaw at Marymont. From 1969 to 1981, he was the pastor of the Parish of Our Lady of Lourdes in Warsaw, Prague. From 1981-83, he worked at the Shrine of Our Lady of Lichen as a preacher, confessor, a guide to the shrine and the chronicler. In 1983, he was sent to the Shrine of Our Lady of Peace, Stoczek Klasztorny as a retreat director. From 1984-87, he served as pastor and superior of the house in Goźlin, then as the custodian of the tomb of the Founder and Rector of the Church of the Last Supper in Gora Kalwaria. Beginning in 1993, he once again served as a confessor, preacher and historian at the Shrine of Our Lady of Lichen, where, in 1998, he celebrated the golden jubilee of his priesthood. He was a resident of Lichen until his death when he died at Noon on December 23, 2010. May he rest in eternal peace. Amen.
Father Stanisław Szymański, MIC
(11.12.1922 – 10.01.2010)
On, October 1, 2010, Father Stanislaus Szymanski died of a heart attack at about three o’clock in the morning at the monastery in Balsamão (Portugal). He was almost 88 years old, he had been in vows for 56 years and had celebrated his Golden Jubilee of the priesthood on June 11th. He was born in the village of Wrociszew, in the region of Warka, Mazovia to Wenceslas and Helen Tomasik Szymanski. He had six brothers and one sister. He grew up and studied in the primary school (1936) in Gora Kalwaria (Mount Calvary). Then, during the war, he studied at the College and Vocational High School in Warsaw. At that time, he belonged to an underground resistance movement and he distributed anti-Nazi pamphlets. In August 1944, he was arrested and deported to forced labor in Germany. In early 1945, he escaped from prison and returned to his parents. In his memoirs, he attributed his escape to the special protection of Blessed Father Stanislaus Papczyński, whose tomb he had visited often in Marianki (Gora Kalwaria). After the war, he studied at the University of the Merchant Marines, where in 1949 he graduated. He continued his studies at the Academy of Commerce in Poznan, where, in 1951, he obtained a master’s degree in economics. He worked as an assistant at the Faculty of Maritime Commerce in Gdynia until 1953. For a time, he also helped as an assistant in “Caritas” in his parish. At that time, his decision to pursue a religious and priestly vocation matured.
At 31 years of age, he joined the Congregation of Marians. His first religious vows were pronounced on August 15, 1954 in Skórzec, and he made his perpetual vows four years later in Stoczek Warminski. He studied for the priesthood at the Major Seminary in Warsaw and later in Wloclawek where he was ordained a priest on June 11, 1960 at the hands of Bp. Antonio Pawlowski. After his ordination, he remained in Wloclawek, acting as chaplain and confessor to some religious sisters and an assistant formator for the Marian seminarians. He was then a formation assistant at the Marian House of Studies for the seminarians in Lublin. For one year (1963-1964), he was the treasurer of the Polish Province. He then became the Superior of the Religious House in Sulejowek and beginning in 1969, also the secretary of the Province. In early 1972, along with Fr. Casimir Komor, he went to Portugal. During most of his time there, he lived and worked in the monastery in Balsamão, where he arrived on February 2, 1972. He held various offices there: he was the prefect and a professor in the Minor Seminary; he offered pastoral assistance in the parishes in the neighboring region, he was a nurse for Fr. Ladilaus Mroczek and he was the master of novices. Among the novices there was also Father Freitas (+1990) who joined the Marians as an elderly, retired priest. He gave this testimony of his teacher: “My master was Father Stanislaus. He was unforgettable in every aspect: his virtue of simple, captivating happiness would be enough to ‘convert’ me into an expert Marian. (…) I learned much from his spirituality and I particularly admired his incredible youthfulness.”
For two years, from 1979-1981, he had to go to America to take care of his health. He then jokingly said, “I’m Polish by birth, Portuguese at heart and American by obedience.” There he began working on the translation into Portuguese of the Diary of Sister Faustina. His hard work was crowned with the first Portuguese edition of the Diary. In the period from 1987 to 1990, he was responsible for training the seminarians in the House of Studies in Lisbon. Then, after returning to Balsamão, he was the superior of the monastery from 1990-1993. He was also vice postulator of the process of the beatification of the Servant of God, Fr. Casimir Wyszynski. He was responsible for the Apostolate of Divine Mercy. Fr. Stanislaus was the spiritual director of the Families of Nazareth Movement, Portugal, and a pastor of parishes: Paradinha (1974-1993) and Chacim (1989-1990).
Despite his poor health – he survived two heart attacks, the third took him from this world – by the end of his life, he was willing to help in ministry, the sacraments, confessions, visiting the sick, guiding the pilgrims, writing the Chronicle of the religious house, accepting the intentions of the Mass, etc. …. he always wanted to be helpful.
Here are the words of the former Superior General, Fr Jan M. Rokosz contained in a letter sent to him for the celebration of his Golden Jubilee of priesthood last year (11/06/2010): “Today I thank the good Lord for the gift of the life of Reverend Father Stanislaus, for the gift of his priestly and religious vocation. I thank the Lord for the talents and abilities that You have given to him and for all of the good which has been accomplished through him. Thank You for having sent him to the Church and to our Congregation. I also thank Fr. Stanislaus for his generous response to God’s call, with his admirable fidelity to his vocation, by devoting almost all of his priestly life and work to Portugal. Thank you for your cheerful presence in the monastery of Balsamão, for your zeal to guard and to protect the heritage of the Servant of God, Father Casimiro and for your daily witness to the pilgrims who come there – a testimony of courtesy, kindness and patience shown in administering the sacrament of penance and reconciliation. Thank you for the great concern for the problems of the Congregation and the care which can grow into a true religious spirit in Portugal and throughout the Congregation throughout the world. May the Merciful Lord, for every good work of his priestly heart and hands, offer to the Reverend Father an eternal reward.” (Letter dated 06.01.2010)
Here as well, as if it were a “testament”, are his own words written in 2004 when he celebrated his Golden Jubilee of the Religious Life. He addressed it: “To my brother Marians.” This is for all of us, the Marians worldwide:
“The excessive preoccupation with material well-being and with the level of the works achieved may risk putting second things first, ahead of the issues of spirituality and the formation of the candidates, postulants, novices and the professed (…). I know it’s not lamenting, not criticizing, it is that I want to show you the path to healing the situation. The humble recognition of our failures and mistakes, prayer, repentance, trust in the mercy of God, a filial surrender to the Immaculate Mother of God, but also a sober assessment of the current situation, determine the necessity of taking measures for renewal. (…). Take courage! We are the sons of Mary Immaculate! Victory belongs to Her Immaculate Heart” (Rev. Stanislaus Szymanski in a letter dated 07/06/2004).
“I am of Christ, I am happy, Lord, awaken new vocations for the Congregation of Marians and particularly for our community in Portugal.” – Thus he prayed on earth, and thus he prays now with the Father.
May he rest in eternal peace. Amen.
Father Kazimierz Valeikis, MIC
(12.05.1917 – 07.31.2010)
On July 31, 2010, Fr. Kazimierz Valeikis, MIC, died in Mariampole in his 93rd year of life. Our confrere was born December 5, 1917, to the well-to-do farming family from the village of Inkilai, community of Vaitkuszki, Ukmergė district, parish of Lidokai. In 1931, he went to secondary school in Ukmergė, but in 1934, when his older brothers joined the military, he returned to the family farm. He farmed, learned tailoring, and worked at a print shop in Ukmergė. In 1938, he entered the Marian novitiate. In 1939, he made his first profession of religious vows, and in 1942 – the perpetual profession of vows. From 1938 until the Russian occupation in 1940, he worked at the Marian Publishing House and celebrated the Eucharist. Later he had to do hard manual labor. In 1941, he entered the fourth grade of secondary school, and upon completing the course in 1945, he went to the Seminary in Kaunas. In 1948, he was forced to leave the seminary as a result of the Soviet powers’ action to decrease the number of students at the seminary. He worked at various churches in Vilnius as a sacristan, organist, while studying theology by correspondence. However, he had to stop his studies again. Kazimierz had to take up various jobs, and learned the skills of a stenographer, farmer, and driver. In 1955, he returned to the Kaunas seminary and was ordained a priest on May 25, 1960, by Bishop Julian Steponavicius.
Places of Fr. Kazimierz’s pastoral ministry:
From May 25, 1960 – vicar in Landwarow;
From April 10, 1961 – vicar at St. Nicholas’s Church in Vilnius;
From December 7, 1966 – vicar at St. Peter and Paul’s Church in Vilnius;
From December 15, 1967 – pastor in Nowa Wilejka;
From July 16, 1978 –pastor in Święciany and notary to the Church Tribunal in Vilnius;
From August 5, 1981 – pastor in Rudziszki;
In 1991 he resigned from the office of the Tribunal notary;
From 1992 – acolyte at the Immaculate Conception of the BVM Parish in Vilnius;
From 2002 – acolyte at the Mariampole basilica.
Father Kazimierz offered his long and hard life to God and the Church, faithfully fulfilling the motto of the Renovator of his beloved Congregation. May the Merciful Lord reward him handsomely for his laborious life and may the Blessed Virgin Mary shower on him the riches of her grace.
We, the people who benefited from Fr. Kazimierz’s rich personality and worked at his side will bid him farewell with a fervent prayer.
The casket with Fr. Kazimerz’s body is laid in state in the Mariampole basilica. Holy Mass of Christian burial will begin Monday, August 2, 2010, at noon in the basilica. Father Kazimierz’s earthly remains will be buried at the Mariampole cemetery.
May he rest in peace!
Father Stefan Szwajkowski, MIC
(01.29.1938 – 07.17.2010)
My biography is known: after all, it’s been kept in the Provincial Curia. Besides, it does not contain anything interesting. However, if it is necessary that I write something I’ll obey.
I was born January 29, 1938, in Turznice near Grudziadz, to parents Jan and Maria. I have two older brothers (Leszek and Stanislaw) and a younger sister Danuta. As my Mom told me later, I was born very weak and it was feared that I may die without baptism. Therefore, I was baptized just a few days after my birth – February 2, 1938, the Candlemas. Through my baptism I became not only a child of God, but also of Mary. My Mom entrusted me into care of Our Lady and I experience this care all my life. During World War II my family spent six years in Studzieniec near Stalowa Wola. In 1945, we moved to Kwidzyn because my father was persecuted by the Soviet Secret Police since he has been a member of Home Army (Polish resistance organization during WWII). There, in 1946, I went to my First Communion and then to confirmation. Later I became an altar boy.
I strongly felt a vocation to become a priest and a missionary in the 12th year of my life. However, I did not join the Marians until the age of 17. On August 2, 1955, I crossed the threshold of the Marian novitiate in Skorzec. During the time immediately preceding this event I worked at the fruit/vegetable-food processing plant in Kwidzyn.
I became acquainted with the Congregation of Marian Fathers thanks to the vicar from Kwidzyn who had met the Marians working in Gietrzwald at that time. I admit that almost at the same time I applied for admission into three religious communities: the Dominicans, the Pauline Fathers, and the Marians. All three accepted me into the novitiate. However, I chose the Marians. Most certainly, I was attracted by the title: the Marians, thus Mary, the Mother of God for whom I always had and still have a great devotion. The other reason was that the Congregation is an apostolic and a missionary one.
Already as a Congregation member I obtained my high-school certificate in 1959. At that time I resided at the religious house in Glocholazy. I made my philosophy study in Warsaw, while I learned the theology in Wloclawek. I was ordained a priest by Bishop Antoni Pawlowski on June 17, 1966, in Ciechocinek.
My first post was in Gora Kalwaria. I was made first formal custodian of the Church of the Cenacle of the Lord – the place of eternal rest of Blessed Stanislaus Papczyński. After a year I was called into formation and took over the office of the Prefect of Marian Major Seminary in Lublin. Two years later I was working as the youth minister in Grudziadz. After another two years I was transferred again to Gora Kalwaria to serve as a chaplain at the local hospice (approx. 1000 patients). My commitment to the terminally ill was very brief – one year only. The next five years I spent at Our Lady Shrine in Lichen. Next, I worked for six months in Jeglownik near Elblang. My last three years in Poland I spent in Rzepiska, in the diocese of Cardinal Karol Wojtyla later Pope John Paul II. Each new post, each new parish gave me much joy. I was happily fulfilling my priestly vocation everywhere. However, I still dreamed of working in the missions. I pleaded with the Provincial several times, asking to be sent to the missions, but the reply was always the same: “You have your missions in Poland!” It was only the following of the General Superior’s order from Rome that five Marians were dispatched to the missions in Brazil; I was one of them.
I landed in Brazil October 3, 1980, along with Fr. Edmund Grabowski. I adapted quickly to local conditions and committed myself to pastoral ministry. I fell in love with Brazil and I serve the local Church with total dedication and joy.
My first three years in Brazil were spent in Jaguariaiva, where there were two churches and 25 remote chapels. Next six months I worked in Guaranquecaba (45 chapels, out of which 35 were located on the islands on the Atlantic). My next two-year post was in Adrianopolis (25 chapels), and then eight years in Turvo (50 chapels), where I also took care of the Indians (about 500 families) from the Kaigangui tribe. For two years I was responsible for the pastoral ministry among the Indians in the entire state of Parana (10 reservations for the tribes of Kaigangui, Guarani, and Cheta). Presently I serve at the Holy Family Parish in Curitiba.
Signed: Fr. Stefan Szwajkowski, MIC
(The following part was added by Fr. Jan Bacal, MIC, after Fr. Stefan’s death)
As the pastor of the Holy Family Parish in Curitiba, where he served for two years, Fr. Stefan dedicated special attention to spreading The Divine Mercy message and founded a group of the lay people dedicated to this work of evangelization.
In 1997, he took over again the Parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Adrianopolis and served until 2000 – the time of his transfer to St. Anthony’s Parish in Manoel Ribas, in the Diocese of Guarapuava. For two years he was running this parish, taking up the ministry among the Indians, as well. In 2003, he returned once again to Adrianopolis, where he stayed until January of 2009 or the moment when his health prevented him from conducting pastoral ministry. By the decision of his superiors, he was then transferred to a residence in Marfa, Diocese of Joinville, where he was supposed to stay as a resident providing occasional help as much as his health allowed. However, in February, still before moving to Marfa, he was diagnosed with a malicious kidney tumor and consequently he had to undergo surgery twice. He spent his long and painful recovery time in the Provincial House in Curitiba. In September of 2009, he had another serious health problem: a massive stroke, on account of which he had to have two more surgeries. He stayed at a hospital for three months, out of which 50 days in the ICU. The stroke left Fr. Stefan was almost completely paralyzed, but stayed fully aware until the last day of his life. The next seven months until his death on July 17, 2010, he was cared for by the house community at St. George’s Parish in Curitiba.
Father Stefan was buried at the Marian cemetery at the Divine Mercy Shrine in Curitiba.
Father Kazimierz Jankiewicz, MIC
(07.17.1936 – 06.23.2010)
Father Kazimierz Jankiewicz, MIC, son of Józef and Stanisława, was born on July 17, 1936, in the town of Czarna Mała, in the Province of Kujawy and Pomorze, Poland. After finishing elementary school in 1950, he was admitted into the Marian Minor Seminary at Bielany, Warsaw. Two years afterwards, he made his novitiate in Skórzec. Kazimierz professed his first vows on August 15, 1953. In 1953-55 he resided at our religious house in Warsaw’s borough of Praga, where he completed two more years of schooling and passed his high school finals. Next, he studied philosophy at the Major Metropolitan Seminary in Warsaw. He professed his perpetual vows in Stoczek Klasztorny, Poland, on August 15, 1959. From 1959-63 he studied theology at the Major Seminary in Włocławek, Poland, and was ordained to the priesthood on June 23, 1963, by Bishop Kazimierz Majdański. His first posting was in Licheń, Poland, where he served pastorally until 1965. From 1965-68, he ministered in London-Ealing, UK. Several months after his return from England, he served again in Licheń. From 1969-79, he served as catechist and youth minister in Grudziądz, Poland. Transferred to Warsaw-Praga, he served as the Provincial Director of Vocations during 1979-81, and then from 1975-81 he carried out the office of the Provincial Councilor. Elected a General Councilor, during 1981-87 he fulfilled his duties in Rome, and when his term in the office was completed, he became the Superior of the Licheń House from 1987-90. From 1990, Fr. Kazimierz worked as a catechist in our house in Cyrhla. He spent the following three years as a youth minister in the houses in Marymont (Warsaw) and Puszcza Mariańska. In 1994 he served as the House Superior and Pastor in Elbląg, Poland. Transferred back to Licheń, he served at the Shrine during 1994-98. In 1998, Father General sent Fr. Kazimierz to the British Province, where he served as the Director of The Divine Mercy Apostolate, House Superior in London and Rector of our monthly magazine Messenger of Mercy. In 2005, Fr. Kazimierz was transferred back to Licheń, where he generously helped in pastoral work and where he also died on June 23, 2010, having endured prolonged sufferings.
Father Rupert Longin Kubranowicz, MIC
(01.02.1917 – 06.15.2010)
Rupert Kubranowicz was born on Jan. 2, 1917, in the town of Czertez near Sanok, Poland, to father Marceli (†1935) and mother Paulina born Sokolowska (†1985).
He finished his elementary and high school education in Kolomyia (in the present day Ukraine), and then entered the Academy of Fine Arts, but his dream of becoming a sculptor was forfeited by the outbreak of World War II. At the age of 22, Rupert was drafted to defend his homeland as a soldier. When the Russians occupied the eastern part of Poland, along with other prisoners Rupert was transported to the hard labor camp near Sverdlovsk in the Ural Mountains. He recalled later that it was the place where he vowed to join a religious order, should he survive the camp.
In March of 1942, he was drafted into the army in formation under Gen. Wladyslaw Anders and thus began his wartime travels. From Krasnovodsk, a port on the Caspian Sea in Turkmenistan, he was transported by boat to the area of the present-day Iran and then marched to Palestine. He served as a radiotelegraph operator. After five months of fighting in the deserts of Iraq and in the Sahara, his brigade was transferred to Italy and it took part in the battle at Monte Cassino (No. 101). Later Rupert participated in freeing Bologna and was wounded by an exploded bomb in the town of Recanati near Loreto.
After the end of war, he remained in Italy until 1947 along with the army of Gen. Anders and then was brought to England. In 1948, he retired from the service but could not go back to his homeland because of the Communist regime. Therefore, he stayed in England, obtained citizenship, and for the next four years worked at various factories, living at hostels for immigrants. In 1952, he learned that the Polish Congregation of Marian Fathers was opening a religious house in Hereford and, remembering his vow made at the onset of war to join a religious order, he asked for admission into the Congregation. On May 24, 1953, he made his first religious vows. Initially he served as a religious brother, carrying out the duty of a treasurer and helping at the elementary school run by the Marians first in Hereford and later in Fawley Court.
In 1969, with consent of then the General Superior of the Congregation, Bishop Chester Sipowicz, Rupert was transferred to a Brazilian community, where he began preparations for the priesthood at a seminary for adults. He was ordained a priest by Cardinal Vincente Scherer, Ordinary of the Archdiocese of Porto Alegre.
In 1973, Fr. Rupert traveled back to Poland for the first and last time in order to represent the Brazilian community during celebrations of the 300th Anniversary of Founding of the Congregation of Marian Fathers.
In the first years of his priesthood, Fr. Rupert worked pastorally at St. George’s Parish in Curitiba, then in Adrianopolis (for one year), and later from 1976-1981 at Holy Family Parish in Curitiba as its pastor. From 1981 until the end of his pastoral ministry, he stayed at St. Raphael’s Parish in Curitiba, first as its pastor and then as a member of the religious house. From 2004 until his death on June 15, 2010, he resided at the Provincial House in Curitiba.
Father Rupert was known for his great piety and wisdom, which attracted many different people whom he untiringly served as a confessor and spiritual director. For the Marian community, he set an example of cheerfulness and total dedication to the Lord.
Brother Stanisław Bruc, MIC
(03.31.1927 – 04.08.2010)
Brother Stanisław Bruc, son of Ludwik and Józefa nee Gajewska, was born on March 31, 1927 in Jarocin, district of Płońsk, diocese of Płock, Poland. He completed his middle-school education in Sarbiew, in 1945. For two years (1943-1945) during German occupation he stayed in Płock. In March of 1950 he applied to the Congregation of Marian Father as a candidate for religious brother. He made his five-month posutlancy in Bielany and entered the novitiate in December of 1950. He made his first profession of vows on December 8, 1951, before Fr. Cz. Fajkowski. After completing the novitiate, he was assigned to the house in Skórzec, where he carried out the duties of a farmer. He made his perpetual vows on December 8, 1955, before Fr. A. Perz in Gietrzwałd. In January of 1961 he was transferred from Skórzec to the house in Góra Kawlaria, where he also worked as a farmer. From 1968 to 1983, while still being a member of the Congregation, with the permission from his superiors he resided in Strachówek near Płońsk, where he cared for his elderly father and handicapped brother. He also ran there a farm the size of eight hectares (about 20 acres). In 1984, he was transferred again to the house of Skórzec in order to take over the farm. In August of 1997, he was transferred to the house in Puszcza Mariańska where he took care of the sacristy a the local church and the house vegetable garden. Since 2009, he stayed in a hospital in Żyrardów because of his health problems, and then was moved to the hospice in Licheń, where he died on April 8, 2010.
Brother Stanisław Bednarz, MIC
(06.15.1962 – 04.08.2010)
Brother Stanisław Bednarz, son of Józef and Zofia neé Sowa, was born June 15, 1962, in the town of Jeżów in the Province of Podkarpacie, diocese of Rzeszów. He went to elementary school in Grobli, and then graduated from the technical lyceum in Sokołów Małopolski in 1982. For a brief time afterwards he worked at a bakery, and then did his military service in 1983-1985. The next three years he spent working as a basket-weaver at the Craftsmen Co-op in Stalowa Wola. He joined the Congregation of Marian Fathers in 1988 as a candidate for religious brother and, upon completing his postulancy and novitiate, he made his first religious profession on September 8, 1989, before Fr. Antoni Skwierczyński. Under Fr. Antoni’s guidance he then continued his formation for religious life at the minor seminary for religious brother. While temporarily professed, Brother Stanisław carried out various duties related primarily to the upkeep of the religious house in Warsaw-Stegny. On August 26, 1993, he made his solemn profession of vows. Since January of 1995, he carried out the duties of the house treasurer’s substitute. Later on he served as the house treasurer and house councilor at the religious house in Puszcza Mariańska and then at the House of Studies on Bazylianówka Street in Lublin. He died unexpectedly on April 8, 2010, while visiting his family home.
Father John W. Kobza, MIC
(06.21.1921 – 10.04.2009)
Father John Kobza, MIC, 88, died at Villa Rosa Nursing Home in Mitchellville, Md. on Sunday, October 4. He was a professed member of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception for 58 years and served as a priest for 55 years.
Born in Chicago, Ill., on June 9, 1921, he was the only son of Chester Kobza and Theresa Lesniewski. He received his elementary school education at Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary School in South Chicago, which, unbeknownst to him at that time, was where he would celebrate his first Mass as a priest.
He graduated from Bowen High School and Wilson Junior College after which he was called to serve in the U.S. Army during World War II. After basic training, he was sent to Providence College in Rhode Island for the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP) and then served three-and-a-half years in various locations during the war, including France and Germany.
After his discharge from the Army, he received a degree in Philosophy in 1950 from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. It was then that he decided to join the Marian Fathers. He also received a licentiate in Sacred Theology from The Catholic University of America after joining the Marian Fathers.
He made his first profession of vows as a Marian on August 15, 1951, and was ordained as a priest on June 5, 1954. After his ordination, he worked pastorally at the Marian Fathers’ houses in Stockbridge, Mass., Detroit, Mich., Brookeville, Md., and Washington, D.C. Inspired by the call to social justice, he served the needs of the poor.
In addition, Fr. Kobza served pastorally in the Washington, D.C. area as a chaplain at Walter Reed Medical Center and at a Veterans Hospital as well as a confessor at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
Fr. Kobza had a simple heart and was dedicated to religious life and the priesthood. He enjoyed gardening, the outdoors, and playing sports. In fact, he played sports all of his life. It’s interesting that he died on October 4, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, since he had a great love of nature and the outdoors.
Two of Fr. Kobza’s three sisters, Tess Kaciulis and Loretta Ochman, predeceased him. He is survived by his sister Alice Cepuran and her husband, Rudolph. He is also survived by four nieces and two nephews: Lori, Geri, Joyce, Cheryl, Michael, and Carl. Further, he is survived by two grandnieces and three grandnephews: Emily, Julia, Ethan, Eric, and Gordon.
Father Peter A. Cibulskis, MIC
(01.23.1924 – 09.28.2009)
Father Peter A. Cibulskis, MIC, age 85, was called home to be with his Lord in the early morning hours of Monday, Sept. 28, 2009, at St. Joseph’s Home.
Father Peter was born Jan. 23, 1924 in Chicago, Illinois, the son of late Peter Matthew and Stella (Radzevicius) Cibulskis. Growing up on Chicago’s west side he attended Our Lady of Vilna Grade School and Harrison Technical High School. He joined the U.S. Army Air Corp immediately following high school. He served in England.
He joined the Congregation of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception immediately after his military service. Father Peter began his priestly formation at Marian Seminary, in Clarendon Hills, Illinois. He professed his first vows on July 16, 1947. He was ordained a priest by Bishop McNamara on May 30, 1953, at St. Raymond Church, Joliet, Illinois.
He served in many capacities including; as Assistant Novice Director, Superior of the Marian Seminary, Clarendon Hills, Ill., Weekend Assistant at Our Lady of Peace Church, Darien, Ill., Administrator of the Draugus Lithuanian Newspaper, Chicago, Treasurer of the Marian House in Chicago and Superior of the Marian House in Kenosha. From 1993 to 2007, he served as the Associate Pastor of St. Peter Catholic Church, Kenosha.
Father Peter loved the science of botany especially identifying wild plants, solving crossword puzzles and taking photographs with the digital camera he received for his 50th anniversary. He also enjoyed mastering his laptop computer also received for his anniversary.
He loved his family and his priestly work. For most of his priest life he ministered behind the scenes at various Marian Fathers Apostolates. He was a priest for 40 years when he received his first full-time parish assignment. His gifts blossomed as his gentle and caring nature supported the people who worshipped at St. Peter Church.
Father Andrzej Janicki, MIC
(08.30.1920 – 08.27.2009)
Father Andrzej Janicki, son of Jan and Maria née Sudra, was born in Warsaw on August 30, 1920. He graduated from Ms. Aners-Puchaczewska’s private middle school and then continued his education at the Lelewel Secondary School, which he finished in 1938 and entered the Cadet School for the Reserve of Signal Corps in Zegrze. A year later he left the school, having obtained the rank of a “platoon sergeant.” Upon the outbreak of World War II he became the commander of a telephone communications squad in Grodno. After the September campaign, he returned in mid-October to occupied Warsaw and joined in underground fighting against the Nazis. He took part in the Warsaw Uprising and was promoted to the rank of second lieutenant. When the Uprising was vanquished, he was captured and sent to the camp in Lamsdorf near Opole, and then to Murnau, in Bavaria. He was set free on April 29, 1945. In July of that year he found himself in Italy. In August of 1946, he was transported to England along with the troops. In January of 1947, he was discharged from military service and started his polytechnic studies in London. His vocation to religious life was born there. Still in England, he petitioned the Superior General of the Congregation of Marian Fathers for admission. He started the novitiate on November 7, 1947, at the General House in Rome and completed it at the Religious House in Stockbridge, Mass., United States, where he also made his first religious profession on December 8, 1948. From 1948-54 he studied philosophy and theology at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and earned a licentiate degree in theology. On December 8, 1951, he made his perpetual vows in Stockbridge. He was ordained to the priesthood in Washington, D.C., on June 6, 1953, a year before his graduation.
In 1954-57, he served as the deputy director of the Divine Mercy Apostolate and the executive editor of the Polish monthly Róże Maryi for the members of the Association of Marian Helpers in the United States. In addition, he conducted intensive apostolic work in various parishes in the U.S. and Canada. For 25 years, starting in 1957, he worked at the Divine Mercy College in Fawley Court – a Polish secondary school for boys in England that prepared more than 2000 alumnae. In 1957-61, he fulfilled the functions of an educator and religious education teacher. In 1961-83, he was the director there, as well as the principle educator and teacher of Latin, along with holding offices in the government of the English Province. In 1983-97, he was the house superior in London and the Provincial Vicar, later becoming the spiritual director of the Province. In 1997, he was transferred to Fawley Court, where he served as the Provincial Secretary from 1999 and helped with the pastoral work. He remained in Fawley Court until 2006, struggling with health problems, but continuing to serve his confreres and pilgrims arriving to the Divine Mercy Shrine in Fawley Court. He was greatly interested in military matters and in science fiction, both of which were reflected in his literary activity. He wrote novels entitled: “Abducted into Space,” “Venus in predicaments,” and “Down with the Crescent” published by Veritas Publishing House in London, as well as his memoirs from 1937-47 entitled “Following orders” and published in 1995 by the Marian Publishing House in England. From August 2006, he resided at the novice house in Skórzec, Poland. He passed to the Lord on August 27, 2009, at the nursing home run by the Orionist Fathers in Łaźniew.
Father Albin Gurklis, MIC
(03.16.1918 – 10.31.2008)
On October 31, 2008, in the early hours of the morning, Father Albin Gurklis, MIC, a member of the Mother of Mercy Province in the USA, died of a massive heart attack at Matulaitis Nursing Home in Putnam, CT, where he had been undergoing rehab exercises. He was 90 years of age.
Born in Waterbury, CT, Fr. Albin entered the Congregation of Marians in 1939 and made his first profession of vows on July 16. 1940, followed by perpetual vows in 1943. He pursued theological studies at Marian Hills Seminary in Clarendon Hills, IL, and was ordained on August 8, 1943 at Marianpolis in Thompson, CT.
After a brief period of pastoral work in our Marian parishes, he received an M.S. degree in mathematics from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. He then returned to Marianapolis and for the next 58 years taught math, from the basics to advanced. He also continued pastoral work on weekends in various parishes, especially at Holy Trinity Church in Hartford, CT.
Fr. Albin was dedicated to his work in the math department at Marianapolis and could always be found willing to give “extra help” to seeking students. He was a man of a few words, but clear and direct in his instruction in the classroom. Many of his former students have testified to this. The people he served in his pastoral work along with his former students, looked upon Fr. Albin with respect and afftection.
Fr. Albin is buried in the Marian cemetery on Eden Hill in Stockbridge, MA.
Father Czesław Szymański, MIC
(02.29.1928 – 08.02.2008)
Father Czesław Szymański, MIC, was born on February 29, 1928, in a Podolean village of Jezierna, district of Zborów, Province of Tarnopol. He obtained his elementary education during the hardships of war. In 1944, his entire family was forced to leave their native town. Through Mrzygłód in the district of Sanok, and Piskowice in the district of Gliwice (where Czesław finished middle school) they made their way to Zubrzyce, district of Głubczyce. In 1947, he asked to be admitted into the Congregation of Marians and began his novitiate. He made his first religious profession on October 11, 1948, followed by his perpetual vows in August of 1954. Czesław obtained his high-school certificate from our Lower Seminary in Bielany in 1950, and started to study philosophy and theology there. His studies were interrupted for one year because of his duties of educator at the Marian Juvenate. When the Marian College in Bielany was closed, he attended the Warsaw Metropolitan Seminary for three years. He was ordained to the priesthood in March of 1957. Father Czesław’s first pastoral station was in Góra Kalwaria, where he started as the chaplain at the local nursing home and was then the parish vicar for six years. During the next six-year period he served as the Pastor and Local Superior in Głuchołazy. For the next five years he was a member of the Stoczek Warmiński Religious House (in Warmia) and the Pastor of the Krekole parish.
From 1976 to 1978 he ministered in Goźlin, then for three years he worked in Jegłownik near Elbląg, going back to Goźlin for three more years. In 1984, he was transferred to Grudziądz and in 1987 he fulfilled the duties of a missionary with residence in Stoczek. In 1989, he undertook once again the post of the chaplain of the Góra Kalwaria nursing home for one year. From 1990, he served in the Diocese of Kamianec Podilskiy in Ukraine, assisting the Marians in their ministry in Gorodok, Latishev, Pisarivka, and Khmelnickiy, where he also served as the Dean, Pastor, and Local Superior. In 2001, he returned to Poland for health reasons. In July of 2007, upon the Superior General’s decree, he went once again to serve for a year at the Ukrainian Vicariate. Forced to return to Poland because of his further declining health, he died on August 2, 2008, in Góra Kalwaria.
Father Boniface Vaisnoras, MIC
(02.01.1919 – 06.10.2008)
Father Boniface Vaisnoras, MIC, age 89, Associate Pastor of St. Mary’s Parish passed away on Tuesday, June 10, 2008.
He was born in Cicero, IL, the eldest of four children. Father Boniface’s family soon moved to Chicago. Father Boniface attended Nativity BVM Grade School, Chicago. His high school years were spent first at Quigley Preparatory High School and then at St. Rita. He attended seminary at Holy Cross, Notre Dame, IN, and Marianapolis, CT. He also studied Philosophy and Theology at the Marian Fathers Seminary in Hinsdale, IL. Father Boniface was ordained a priest on May 18, 1947 at Quigley Prep. Seminary Chapel by the Most Reverend Bernard Shield. Father Boniface was a member of the Congregation of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception. He professed the perpetual vows of Poverty, Chastity, and obedience on July 17, 1945.
Influential in his decision to enter the priesthood were the Sisters of St. Casimir, the diocesan priests of Chicago, the Holy Cross Fathers, and the Marian Fathers. Over the years Father Boniface served at parishes in Plano/Yorkville, IL; Milwaukee, WI; Racine, WI; and Thompson, CT.
He was buried in the Marian Section of Saint Casimir Lithuanian Cemetery in Chicago.
Father Jan Przybysz, MIC
(01.23.1909 – 04.16.2008)
Father Jan Przybysz, MIC, was born on January 23, 1909, as the oldest son of the large family of Jan and Marianna, residents of the town of Poszewka near Wegrow in the Podlasie region. He received his elementary education in a secretly run school, during the time of the Russian partition. He attended the Marian gymnasium in Rasna, and obtained his high-school diploma from our school in Bielany, where he also entered the Marian Novitiate. He made his first religious profession on August 15, 1931, after which he began his seminary studies in Vilnius. He took his exams in patrology and homiletics from Fr. Michal Sopocko. After the outbreak of WWII, he resided at the Marian House in Druya, along with several seminarians and Fr. Jozef Jarzębowski, but was interned later to Lithuania by Soviet officials. He was ordained a priest on January 6, 1940, in Kaunas. In July of the same year he was arrested for refusing to accept Soviet citizenship. Deported to the Krasnoyarsk Territory near the Manchurian border, he was put to cut timber. Set free in August of 1941, he went to Kuybishev, in the south of Russia, where he got a job at a kolkhoz as an assistant carpenter. He gathered together the Catholics who began to celebrate the Holy Mass in secret from the Department of Internal Affairs. At the end of February he was recruited to the Polish Army in formation in the Soviet Union. After a short stay in Alma-Ata, he was sent to Jaliga Jul in Kazakhstan, where he performed pastoral duties among the Polish soldiers and civilians until August of 1942. Sent to Teheran, he took over the duties of a chaplain at the transitional camp in Karachi. From December of 1942, he worked among the Poles in Valivada town, some 100 km distant from Bombay, filling the office of the Prefect in the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Polish School and the Stanislaw Konarski pedagogic high school. In 1947, he went to England, and then to the United States, where the Divine Mercy Center began to function. Among other places, he worked in Washington and Detroit. In 1951, he was transferred to the Religious House in Hereford, England, where he participated in organizing, along with Fr. Joseph Jarzebowski, a boarding School for Polish boys. Eventually, in the fall of 1953, this school was established on the Fawley Court property as the Divine Mercy College and conducted its educational work there for 33 years. He was also a co-founder of the Marian Apostolate of the Divine Mercy and from 1971 a Pastor of the Polish Parish in Lampeter, in Wales. When the English Province had been established, he took part in organizing the Congregation’s religious houses in England and Wales.
In 1991, he was transferred from the Religious House in Hereford to Fawley Court, where he took over the duties of Moderator of the spiritual life of the local confreres. For over 10 years he also commuted to Lampeter, where he provided spiritual care for the local Polish folks.
In the summer of 2002, during a stroll, he fell and broke a hip. From that time on he was not able to do any active work for the Congregation. He stayed in his room under the tender care of his confreres and Sisters from the Congregation of the Name of Jesus. During the last two years of his life, his health declined because of his advanced age; for this reason he was in need of constant care. He went to the Lord on April 16, 2008, at the age of almost 100, being administered the Holy Sacraments.
Father Waldemar Bronislaw Oskiera, MIC
(07.18.1926 – 04.22.2008)
Father Waldemar Oskiera, MIC, was born on July 18, 1926, in Żyrardow (Poland). From 8 to 13 years of age, he stayed at the Educational Institution run by Sisters of St. Elizabeth near Torun. In 1943, he graduated from the School of Mechanics in Warsaw, and he obtained his high school certificate from a school for adults in 1947. Waldemar joined the Marians in 1943, and made his first vows in Skórzec on August 15, 1944, followed by his perpetual vows in 1947. On June 29, 1953, he was ordained to the priesthood in Warsaw by Bishop Zygmunt Choromanski.
After ordination he ministered in Glocholazy, and began his post-graduate studies of Moral Theology at the Catholic University of Lublin, which he completed with the licentiate degree, after defending his work entitled: “Objective morality of movies in the light of the papal statements on the matter.” From September of 1961, he served as spiritual director at the House of Studies in Wloclawek. In 1965, he was entrusted with the duties of the General Visitator of the Polish Province; and from 1969 duties of the Moderator of Studies for Priests and a member of the Provincial Formation Committee. From 1981, he served as spiritual director at the Marian House of Studies in Lublin. When transferred to the Religious House in Praga borough, he did not abandon his active participation in formation work.
Throughout his entire life, Fr. Waldemar was greatly interested in the arts. He inspired and cooperated in the design of new Marian churches and chapels. Our Seminary’s library hosts the statue of Socrates, which he sculpted. In 1998, the Marian Publishing House produced four brochures containing the fruits of Fr. Waldemar’s spiritual experience. Their titles are: “On the road to the Father,” “May a prayer be like this?” “Why the suffering and the Way of the Cross?” and “Can love be like this?”
In a letter of 1994, thanking the Provincial Superior for congratulating him on the 50th anniversary of his perpetual profession, he wrote, “I see more clearly my priority, which is my friendship with Jesus Christ. A moment will come when I will leave behind everyone and everything, taking with me this friendship only. The degree of this friendship in the moment of leaving this world will decide about the degree of my unity with the Father through Jesus in the Holy Spirit for eternity. Our faithfulness to this friendship here, on earth, makes it easier for us to keep our fidelity to other people. Please pray that I may persevere in this faithfulness.”
Father Tadeusz Rogalewski, MIC
(09.05.1935 – 04.02.2008)
Father Dr. Tadeusz Rogalewski, MIC, Associate Professor at the Warmia and Mazury Uniwersity in Olsztyn, was born September 5, 1935, in Saniki near Bialystok to the parents Alfons and Eugenia nee Sakowicz. He completed his primary education in 1949, at Tykocin and then entered the Marian Fathers Minor Seminary in Warsaw. Two years later he began his novitiate in the Polish Province at Skorzec near Siedlce. On August 15, 1952, he pronounced his first religious vows and began preparing for the priesthood. He made his seminary studies in philosophy from 1955-1957, in Gietrzwald near Olsztyn, where the residents of the Bielany House in Warsaw had been forcibly transferred in 1954. In 1957, he made his perpetual vows and began studying theology in the Warsaw seminary. He completed these studies in 1962, at Wloclawek, where he was also ordained a priest by Bp. Antoni Pawlowski. It was the Bishop of the Wloclawek Diocese who accepted the Marians in his seminary after their catastrophic removal from their house of studies in Bielany.
After ordination, Fr. Tadeusz labored successively as a parish priest in our Congregation’s parishes in: Lichen Stary, Gora Kalwaria, Grudziadz, Rdzawka near Rabka, and Glucholazy. During his vacations, he improved his French in France. In 1972-1978, he worked on obtaining his Master’s Degree first in Pastoral Theology at the Catholic University of Lublin, and then in Moral Theology at the Academy of Catholic Theology.
In 1980, by defending his thesis “The Concept of Christian Life in the writings of Fr. Stanislaus Papczyński,” he obtained his Doctoral Degree in Theological Studies. By this doctoral work he achieved an analysis of Fr. Stanislaus Papczyński’s saved writings which he then gathered as a synthesized whole, giving special attention to the characteristic elements in the thinking of the Founder of the Congregation of Marian Fathers, thereby indicating the specific features of this author. At the same time he moved to Lublin, where, as a member of the Provincial Formation Committee until 1983, he fulfilled the duties of the Prefect of Seminarians, Vice Rector, and Lecturer at the Marian Major Seminary, which is also a part of the Faculty of Theology of the Catholic University of Lublin. He was also teaching at the Major Franciscan Seminary in Lodz.
Beginning in 1984, he fulfilled several administrative offices in the Polish Province of our Congregation: the Superior of the Warsaw/Praga House, Moderator of the Scholasticate and Juniorate for religious brothers, and Moderator of studies for priests. During vacation times he improved his knowledge of English in Great Britain and the United States. From 1990, he was the censor at the Marian Publishing House. During 1981-1987 and also 1999-2005, he was a member of the Administration of the Polish Province of the Congregation of Marian Fathers.
In 1997, at the Faculty of Moral Theology of the Catholic Theological Academy in Warsaw a habilitation colloquium took place on the basis of a long delayed dissertation entitled: The Theological Foundations of a Christian Life in the Teachings of the Founder and the Renovator of the Congregation of Marian Fathers. This dissertation was based on the works of Fr. Stanislaus Papczyński – the Founder, and of Bl. George Matulewicz – the Renovator of the Congregation of Marian Fathers, for Christians in general as well as for consecrated religious. The goal established by the author of this dissertation was, to analyze what are the basic theological principles and truths, which should be followed when one is to studiously achieve a Christian outlook for life. More often, however, the principles of interest in moral studies are directives for life and for this reason they are better known than their connection to the truths of the faith, on which they are based. By showing the basics for moral formation, its study gains a particular veracity, a convincing force: grasping the motivation that inclines one to an interior change. From 1995, Fr. Rogalewski was a member of the Institute of Marian History and Spirituality, and from 1999 – a member of the Provincial Committee on the History of Spirituality. In the framework of the above mentioned Institute of the Marian Congregation, certain publications arose which touched on the spirituality this religious community they appeared in the series Studia Marianorum and Fontes Historiae Marianorum.
The primary direction of Father Rogalewski’s research was to establish the fundamental theory of Christian life, as well as determining issues connected with the precepts of the faith in modern circumstances. This may be illustrated by his works that appeared during the last two decades of the 20th century. In 1980, in the second volume of The Biblical Studies, on he published an article entitled: Jesus’ teachings on the indissolubility of marriage in the Gospel of St. Matthew. In this work he attempts to elucidate the century-long controversy related to the so-called Matthew’s clauses, which have been interpreted differently by the Eastern and Western Churches. Basing biblical and historic arguments, the author comes to the conclusion that the interpretation by the Western Church is more conform to Jesus’ teachings on the indissolubility of marriage and that the quoted logion cannot be a basis for divorce in case of adultery. In 1983, his article The Mystery of the Cross and the Christian Life. From Fr. Stanislaus Papczyński’s Theological Thought appeared in Studia Theol. Vars. This work reflected its author’s interest in the theology of the cross as presented in works of the 17th century writers. The closest to him among them was Fr. Stanislaus Papczyński as well as such of his contemporaries as Szymon Stanislaw Makowski (1610/1613-1683) and Fr. Kasper Drużbicki, TJ (1590-1662). In 1985, in the pages of Volume 7 of The Polish Saints Fr. Rogalewski’s article appeared – The Venerable Servant of God Stanislaus Papczyński. This work marked the beginning of his deeper involvement in bringing closer to public view the person and work of the Marian Founder. It resulted in the publication of larger books: The Concept of a Christian Life in Fr. Stanislaus Papczyński’s Writings (Lublin-Warsaw, 2004), Theological Principles of Christian Life in the Teachings of the Founder and the Renovator of the Congregation of Marian Fathers (Warsaw-Lublin, 1997) and Stanislaus Papczyński (1631-1701). Founder of the Order of Marians and Inspirator of the Marian School of Spirituality (Warsaw-Lublin, 2001), also published in English under this title at Stockbridge, MA, in 2001. In 1997, issue 8 of the magazine Horyzonty Wiary published his article Marian Devotion in the Christian Life. This work reflected mariological aspects that were part of Fr. T. Rogalewski’s interests as a member of the Marian Religious Institute. He was primarily researching Marian thinking as presented by 17th century writers, especially Fr. Stanislaus Papczyński and Fr. Dominik Kochanowski, OFM († 1666). He also undertook this topic in many publications of popularizing aspect. In 2006, his article entitled Corruption – a Sin that Calls for Heavens’ Vengeance appeared in Homo Dei. This work was a response to the then moral and theological problems, of which the author often spoke in his popularized feature articles that appeared in Słowo – Dziennik Katolicki in 1996-1997, which were the last years of its existence.
Father Tadeusz Rogalewski was one of the few Marians who succeeded to wade through the difficult Latin originals of the literary legacy of the Father of our Order. His Marian Founder’s biography is an important reading for students of the religious life in the 17th century. He was highly regarded by the academic community for his close acquaintance with the theological and moral aspects and his crystal-clear creative attitude. His legacy placed him among writers of good methodological skills.
In 2007, the Publishing House of the Warmia and Mazury University in Olsztyn published a Memorial Book on the 70th anniversary of Fr. T. Rogalewski’s birth entitled: Pro Animarum Salute.
During the last six years of his life, Fr. Tadeusz fulfilled the office of the Sulejówek House Superior, while continually participating in an academic and Congregational life.
He died on April 2, 2008, around 7PM of a complicated lung infection. He was buried on the Marian cemetery of Wawrzyszew in Warsaw on April 5, 2008. The solemn funeral Mass, in which about 90 priests participated along with numerous lay faithful and family members, was celebrated at the Marian Church of Our Lady, Mother of Mercy at Stegny, Warsaw, on April 5, 2008 at 10AM.
Father Pranas Adomaitis, MIC
(03.06.1911 – 02.26.2008)
On February 26, 2008, the Jubilarian, Father Pranas Adomatis, MIC, the oldest priest of the Vilkoviskis Diocese, died in Marijampole. He would have been 97 years of age, of which he spent 20 years in exile. Fr. Pranas was born on March 6, 1911, in Użpaliai, in the region of Uciansk, the youngest in a family of 12. He finished elementary and middle school in his hometown, and from 1925 studied at the Marian gymnasium in Marijampole. In 1929 Pranas Adomatis joined the Congregation of Marian Fathers. A year later he began his studies at the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy of the Witold the Great University in Kaunas. On August 15, 1934, he was ordained a priest. He served in Marijampole, doing particularly youth ministry. In 1945 Fr. Pranas Adomatis was arrested and sent to Soviet prison camps, returning to Lithuania only in 1966.
After his return to his homeland, he became the pastor in Lejpuny, and five years later – the vicar of the church in Seiraj. In 1955 he was the vicar of the church in St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Marijampole. From 1977 he was the pastor in Gierdasiai. From 2004 until his last day he resided at the nursing home run by the Sisters of the Poor of the Immaculate Conception of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.
Fr. Pranas Adomaitis’s funeral took place on February 28, 2008, at St. Michael the Archangel Basilica in Marijampole. He was buried at the old cemetery next to the other Marians.
All his life Fr. Pranas worked in the Vineyard of the Lord, bearing the cross of the exile. May he rest in peace in the presence of the Good Shepherd.
Father Bogumil (Teofilo) Lubecki, MIC
(11.11.1931 – 12.15.2007)
Father Bogumil Lubecki, MIC, died on Saturday December 15, 2007, at 11:00AM. The Solemnity of Christian Burial took place that night at 9:00PM, at Our Lady of Aparecida Parish in Mongagua, San Paolo where the deceased had served for many years as its pastor. The body of Fr. Bogumil was put to rest at the Marian cemetery in Curitiba the next day, Sunday December 16th at 11:00AM.
Fr. Teófilo was born in a place called Slopnice, Southern Poland (a mountainous region), on Nov. 11, 1931. His parents, Jan and Maria, had five children. Fr. Teófilo lost his mother when he was five years old. Maria Lubecki died after the delivery of his only sister, who is still alive, while his three brothers are dead.
While he was still a youngster, (at 17), he came in contact with the Congregation of the Marian Fathers and was accepted to the so called “Juventus”, a group of young men who were preparing for the religious life, while attending secondary school. Bogumil made his preparation for the novitiate in Glucholazy (Northeastern Poland).
When he was already in the novitiate, he received the sad news about his father’s illness. The superiors decided to interrupt his novitiate and sent him home to take care of his father. Bogumil had to work to supply the sustenance for his father. After his father’s death (1952), when he was already working as a photographer (he had his own photographers’s shop), he left everything, fascinated by the environment in the novitiate and, on Sept. 8, 1953, he took the first religious vows. Fr. Teófilo recalls with much affection those “two novitiates”, a time he spent with devotion and enthusiasm.
After the first profession, he had to complete high school and in Warsaw, he completed his studies in philosophy. On Aug. 15, 1958 he took perpetual vows. After concluding his studies in theology in Wloclawek, he was ordained a priest there on June 24, 1962.
Although Fr. Teófilo had wanted to work as a missionary in Brazil from the time he was in the seminary, after his ordination he had to work for some years in Poland, first in Lichen, then in Kiwity and Góra Kalwaria. In 1966 he travelled to Rome, with the plan of an eventual destination to Brazil. But in Rome, knowing Fr. Teofilo spoke several languages, the Superior General sent him to Portugal, to teach Latin and French in the Minor Seminary of the Congregation. Three years later, on December 27, 1969, Fr. Teófilo came to Brazil. At the beginning, he worked in the Parish of St. George, in Curitiba, Paraná, helping Fr. Boleslaw Jakimowicz in the organization of that Parish, visiting families, blessing houses, gathering information and so on.
In 1971, complying with a request of Bishop Pedro Filipak, from Jacarezinho, in the State of Paraná, he started to work in Jaguariaíva, Paraná, where he remained for almost eleven years. In the years 1981-1984 he was the pastor of St. George. After completing his duty as the pastor of St. George, he helped in several parishes during the years 1984-1988, especially in the community of Guairacá, Paraná.
In May, 1988, complying with a decision of the Superior General, he travelled to the Province of St. Stanislas Kostka, in the U.S.A., for a time of refreshment and for medical attention.
At the end of 1989 he came back to Brazil and settled in Mongaguá, as an assistant to Fr. Teodoro Zajdowicz. When Fr. Teodoro was in failing health, Fr. Teófilo was appointed as the pastor of Mongaguá in 1997, where he worked for twenty years.
Father Mark Garrow, MIC
(04.02.1955 – 10.19.2007)
October 19, 2007; Father Mark Garrow, MIC, died at the age of 52 after more than a year battling cancer. Father was a Marian for 31 years and a priest for 22 years. Father Mark served as General Superior from 1999 to 2005, previously he served on the General Council 1993 – 1999. While on the General Council he served as General Formation Director – using this time to implement a Formation Program for the Community with an able committee, prior to this, he was Superior and Novice Master in Brookeville, Maryland while also serving as Director of Formation in the St. Stanislaus Kostka Province. While General Superior 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. His wake and funeral were meaningfully attended and celebrated by Marians, Family, Friends and Benefactors. The Ordinary of the Springfield Diocese, Bishop Timothy McDonald presided with Father General Jan M Rokosz presenting the Eulogy and Father Joseph Roesch preaching the Homily. Father Daniel Cambra, the new Provincial, with the Council celebrated the obsequies at the grave.
Homily Delivered by Fr. Joe Roesch, MIC
at the Funeral of Very Rev. Mark Garrow, MIC
October 25, 2007
Your Excellency, brother priests, Marians and Religious, Bruce and Lynn, Brothers and Sisters in Christ.
I’m Fr. Joe Roesch, from the Marian General Council in Rome. I was Fr. Mark’s first novice when he began his work as the Novice Master 20 years ago. I had a chance to talk with Mark at the end of August. He told me quite candidly that only 20 percent of the people with his type of cancer recover. He said, “I am in the hands of God, whatever God wants!” When I got back to Rome, a Religious Sister who had known Fr. Mark during his 12 years in Rome asked how he was doing. I said, he seems to be completely surrendered to the will of God. She said, “I hope he has not lost his will to live. He must fight to get better!” thought about that. At the end of my visit with him, Mark had asked me when I would be coming to the U.S. again because he hoped to see me. I told him it would be at the end of December and he said he was looking forward to it. Fr. Walter Dziordz, our former Provincial, recently received a birthday card that Mark had sent him. It arrived two hours after Mark had died. Mark had written that he was hoping to feel better soon, and wanted to come out to Darien, Illinois for a visit, and to see a movie with Walter.
So this was a man, who despite his sufferings, was still busy living and hoping and looking forward to a future in this life. And yet at the same time, he was surrendered to the will of the Lord and preparing himself to meet our Lord.. I say this because the beautiful readings that we just heard today, had been picked out by Mark, along with all of the details of his funeral including the design of the casket (a simple pine box).
I think these readings speak to us about some truths that Mark had to have been wrestling with in the last year of his life. No doubt this year was the most difficult and most significant of his life. I had seen him last Spring after Mercy Sunday when I offered Mass for him in the hospital near Boston. I told him at that time, that God was going to make him holy through all of this. He laughed and waved his hand to dismiss the thought. As if to say, “Me holy?” But that is exactly the project God was working on – as He is with all of us. Usually, God works slowly and gently in nudging us toward holiness. This past year however, Fr. Mark saw more intense efforts by the Lord to accomplish this goal. And Mark responded. At some points in our lives, the classes become more intense. Mark was always a very good student. I remember Mark taught once that adults learn best through experience. The readings today will reveal to us what Mark learned through his experiences this year.
He chose for the first reading a passage from the Old Testament figure of Job. Job, you may recall, was dealing with a problem or two in his life. His friends were telling him that maybe his faith in this God who didn’t seem to be taking care of him anymore, wasn’t worth it. But Job says most forcefully, that he knows that the one who will vindicate his faith lives. Eventually, it will become evident, that his faith is well placed, and that he is not wasting his time. He speaks about his inmost being as being consumed with longing to see God.
In the midst of Mark’s trials, there were no doubt many days of discouragement for him. And yet his faith in the Lord and in His Mercy were not wasted. He too became consumed with a longing to see God. St. Paul wrote to the Philippians that for the sake of Jesus Christ, he had accepted the loss of all things and he considered them as nothing, so that he could gain Christ. How many things did Mark have to contend with losing this year? His health, his ability to speak clearly, to swallow, to taste, his freedom, his time, his energy, among other things. What became central for him was what he could do – pray his breviary, pray the rosary. Concelebrate the holy Mass, to read and to meditate, to witness his faith to the other cancer patients, to his nurses, his doctors and his visitors. He kept busy serving the Province as Provincial and continued to have a great interest in the world wide Marian community and all those that he had met over the years as Superior General.
The psalm he picked out for today’s Mass again takes up the theme of longing to see the face of the Lord. “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom do I fear? The LORD is my life’s refuge; of whom am I afraid?” He had to have lost his fear of death after all that he had to go through. The Lord taught him how to place his hope firmly in Him. Like St. Paul, Mark wanted to come to know the Lord and the power of his resurrection and (the) sharing of his sufferings, by being conformed to his death, to attain the resurrection from the dead. The Lord certainly allowed Mark to share in His sufferings. It is not something that Mark actively sought in anyway. But it was part of God’s plan for him and so he accepted it with grace and patience. Mark was always a most gracious person. He was a perfect gentleman, unfailingly polite. He might have been the most polite person that every lived! He must have been well trained at home. Another thing Mark must have inherited from his parents was a sense of humor. I can remember having dinner at his house one time. His mother, Doris was making dinner and his mother and father Tom, were like a comedy team with their sharp wit. Mark used to love to laugh at Peter Sellers in the Pink Panther Movies. Mark had us in tears one time telling us the story of his brother, Bruce trying to teach him how to play golf when he was young. If I get the story right, apparently Mark drew the club back and hit his brother with it. His father got very upset and warned them to be more careful so Bruce stood behind him at a safe distance. But somehow Mark drew the club over his head and clubbered his brother with it again, knocking him down. He then ran home crying, thinking he had killed his brother. Their father was ready to throw the golf clubs into the lake at that point. Mark’s sense of humor and not taking himself too seriously, served him well throughout his life and especially during his illness.
I remember when I was a novice and Mark was the main celebrant at the Mass, he would preach a very good homily. Then after the prayer after Communion, a thought would occur to him that he had wanted to include in the homily so he would ask the Congregation to sit down and he would practically give us one more homily. As I reflected on these readings that he had picked out for the liturgy, I felt as if he wanted to preach one more homily to us today. The same theme occurs throughout.
St. Paul speaks of, “forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead;” of continuing his pursuit toward the goal, the prize of God’s upward calling, in Christ Jesus.”
The Gospel acclamation, “I count all things worthless but this: to gain Jesus Christ and to be found in him.” Finally, in St. John’s Gospel, Jesus speaks of the need for the grain of wheat to die to produce much fruit. Mark had to die to himself many times before October 19th. He loved his life and tried to live it to the full, but he was also willing to surrender his life to the Lord, in order to inherit eternal life. Jesus says to us, “Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me.” Mark heard the call of the Lord at an early age. He entered our minor seminary at about the age of 14 and he served His Lord faithfully till the end. He didn’t know where the road would lead but he kept to the course. His acceptance of his sufferings have already borne great fruit. Each of us have been touched by him and the way he lived his life and practiced his faith. Now, He would be the first to tell you he was not perfect and there were things he needed to work on. Yet he loved much, and our Lord said that makes up for a lot. “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.” I think we have yet to see all the fruit that is to come. Let us pray for the eternal rest of our brother. May he rest in peace!
Eulogy for Fr. Mark Garrow (1952-2007)
The Very Rev. Fr. Jan M. Rokosz, MIC, Superior General,
delivered the following eulogy following the funeral Mass for Fr. Mark Garrow on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2007:
Your Excellency (Timothy McDonnell, Bishop of Springfield, Mass.) I would like to thank you for celebrating this liturgy today for our dear brother, Mark. The motto of our Congregation is “for Christ and the Church,” and it means a great deal to us to have our local Shepherd with us during this difficult moment for our community. I would like to offer my sincere condolences to Mark’s brother Bruce and his sister-in-law Lynne and to all of Fr. Mark’s relatives and friends who have come from near and far, and to our confreres in the Mother of Mercy Province. I thank you all for your presence here today. It is a testimony to how much Mark meant to all of us. In a special way I want to greet Marie Romagnano and Judy Ryan, and I want to thank you both for the extraordinary care you gave our brother. I would also like to thank the Oblates of the Virgin Mary for the hospitality you showed Mark during his treatments in Boston. I want to thank all my Marian confreres for all you did for Mark at the time of his illness. In a special way, I have to thank Fr. Kaz Chwalek and Br. Jason Lewis.
Today, I want to give thanks to God for the great gift Fr. Mark Garrow has been to our Congregation. Without his presence, our Congregation would be very different today. As I stand here near the casket of my brother and dear friend, our former General, with whom I served for six years very closely, the first Provincial of the united Province, it is difficult to hide my sadness and not to raise the question why? Yet, at the same time, I feel that even though Mark’s life was too short, it was complete. He accomplished God’s plan with love and witnessed giving everything to God. Mark fulfilled his mission even though we thought it would be done in a different way. And for this reason during this funeral Mass, despite the natural sadness that we have, we feel also the presence of the Risen Lord and His peace.
During this past year of Mark’s suffering, our Community and many of our lay cooperators had been praying fervently for a healing for Mark. I know a woman, confined to a wheelchair, who privately offered her life to the Lord so that Mark could live. After making that offering, she suffered terribly, physically and spiritually. After Mark died, all her suffering ceased completely. This was a sign that God had accepted her suffering but that He had a different plan for our brother Mark. I am sure our prayers were not in vain. God gave him the grace to endure his sufferings and to give us an example of self-giving love. As Fr. Joe said in the homily, I am sure his self-gift will continue to bear fruit for the Congregation and the Church. I am sure it is no coincidence that his suffering and death took place during and after the Beatification of our Founder.
I had the privilege to meet with him recently for three days. I was amazed at the strength the Lord gave him for our talks just prior to his final failure of health. He asked me in detail about how the Marians were doing throughout the world. I told him that I was on my way to do the Visitation of our seminary in Lublin, Poland. I asked him what advice he had for them there. He didn’t say anything for a long time, and then he said: “Tell the formators to love the young men in formation.” Then he said: “Tell the young men to love their religious vocation. It is a gift from God. If they don’t love their vocation, they will not be able to see it as a gift and to grow in it as God wanted them to.” I think this summarizes Fr. Mark’s life. He lived for many years as a formator and a Superior in our Community, and I think those who lived and worked with him felt loved by him. He also loved his Marian vocation. He loved the community, and he loved his brothers. I dare say that when he was the Superior General he touched the lives of every Marian throughout the world with his love and compassion.
I was very impressed recently when I visited Stockbridge to see the extreme care the seminarians and all of the Stockbridge community have shown to our brother in his time of need. One of the seminarians shared with me that the seminarians were aware that the end was coming close for Fr. Mark They wanted his legacy to be that love which he had demonstrated in accepting his sufferings and in offering it for the community, as well as the way he had always treated his brothers, would now become incarnate in the way they treat each other, so that Mark’s spirit would truly live on in the Province.
I would like to say a word to my confreres in the Province of the Mother of Mercy. Exactly one year ago, we gathered downstairs in Memorial Hall for the first Provincial Chapter of the unified Province. The large Image of The Divine Mercy was present throughout the Chapter just behind the table where we sat. From the beginning till the end of the Chapter, I truly felt the presence of our Lord watching over us and blessing our efforts. This past year has been an extraordinary year of grace for the new Province. Father Mark has literally laid down his life as an offering for the community. I want to say to you now that our Lord will not leave you orphans. We have lost a great leader, but God has a plan for this Province. I believed it last year, and I believe it even more now. Our Mother of Mercy is interceding for you, and our Lord will continue to bless you with His great mercy. In the name of all of the members of our Congregation, thank you Mark for giving the majority of your life to our Community.
Thank you for your service as a formator, here and in Rome, for writing our plan of formation for the Congregation. Thank you for your service as a local superior, a provincial superior and our Superior General. Thank you for showing us how to love our vocations and how to love one another. We will miss you, but I ask you, intercede for this Province and for the Congregation, that we may truly learn to love one another, and that we may fulfill our mission foreseen by God in the Church. May you rest in peace. Amen.
Brother Bronislaw Świstak, MIC
(12.29.1916 – 10.27.2007)
On the afternoon of October 7, 2007, Brother Bronislaw Świstak, MIC, 91 years of age and after 55 years of religious life, went to the Lord. Brother Bronisław was born on December 29, 1916, in the village of Zdzarki, in the Mazowian region. He participated in military actions in September of 1939, was captured, and transported to Germany, where he worked on a farm. After the war, he went to England, where he joined the Congregation of Marians in 1951. He made his first religious profession on September 29, 1952, in Hereford. From 1951-54, he worked at the Community’s farm and garden, as well as serving in the cloakroom and dining room of the local Polish school. From 1954, he worked at Fawley Court. He was frequently entrusted with the duty of House Councilor, and from June to August of 1970, he fulfilled the office of Councilor of the Mother of Mercy Province in England. He resigned from this office. In 2006 he became a convalescent at the Licheń House where he serenely bore all of his physical ailments.
The Solemnity of Christian Burial took place at 1:00 PM on October 30, 2007, at the Marian Shrine in Lichen, presided over by the Provincial Superior, Fr. Pawel Naumowicz, MIC. Requiescat in pace!
Father Lucjan Pawlik, MIC
(12.21.1913 – 04.11.2007)
Father Lucjan Pawlik, MIC, was born on December 21, 1913, in the village of Wólka Wiśniewska, in the Podlasie region of Poland, where he also obtained his primary education. He was admitted into the minor seminary run by the Marian Fathers in Skórzec near Siedlce and made his novitiate under the direction of Fr. Alexander Bołtuć in Raśna. On August 15, 1930, he made his first profession of religious vows, and six years later, his perpetual profession. He completed his high school education at the Marian College in Bielany, Warsaw. His seminary studies began at the Warsaw Major Seminary. Next, he served as the educator of youth at the Bielany College. When the Superior General Fr. Andrzej Cikoto came on General Visitation to Bielany, Lucjan asked his permission to prepare himself for missionary work. However, in 1938 his superiors sent him first to Stefan Batory University in Vilnius, where he had to complete his theological studies at the seminary level.
The onset of WWII found him vacationing at the Raśna House, where he left at the end of September and, along with other students, went to his Lithuanian confreres who signed him up for courses at the Witold the Great University in Kaunas. In June of 1941, Lucjan went to Mariampole, where he assisted the pastor in preparing children for their first Holy Communion. When Germany attacked the Soviet Union, the Mariampole House Superior ordered seminarian Lucjan to go to the Marian monastery in Kalwaria Żmudzka, where he stayed until October. When the front line moved to the east, he was allowed to return to Kaunas to continue his seminary studies, but already in November, news came by the grapevine that the Bolsheviks were transporting all the Poles to Siberia. In view of this danger, Polish seminarians left Kaunas going to Vilnius, and then to Druya. However, Druya proved to be just as dangerous, thus the seminarian Pawlik moved to the town of Opsa, where the local pastor was able to pass him off for a Belarussian. Lucjan assisted this priest with his religious education work until the spring of 1942, when he returned to Druya and became the House Superior’s aid in charge of religious education and economic matters. In the spring of 1944, having overcome great difficulties in commuting to Riga, Vilnius, and Kaunas, and after making his retreat in Vilnius, on Holy Saturday April 8, 1944, he received ordination to both subdeacon and deacon, and on April 15th at the bishopric chapel in Kaunas, he was ordained a priest by Archbishop Mieczysław Rejnis. Father Lucjan celebrated his first Holy Mass in Mariampole. After ordination he went back to Druya where he began his pastoral work, becoming in June of 1944, the pastor in Idołta.
On July 5th the Soviet Army occupied Miłoszewo and Idołta. The front line remained in the vicinity of Druya for about two weeks. Soviet bombers destroyed the monastery and the church. Russians drafted into their army many local men.
After the front line moved further west, Fr. Lucjan, who was the Druja pastor at the time, started the reconstruction of ruined buildings. During a time of persecution of the clergy, he was arrested on October 17, 1950, and sent first to the prison in Miory and then to Połock, where he was given a death sentence, which was then commuted by 25 years of forced labor in Siberian camps. Father Lucjan went in turn to the camps in Chojbals, Kumzas, Tarbas, Nagazk, Myski, and Mezhdurechinsk. On May 14, 1956, he was fully rehabilitated and allowed to return to Druya. Upon his return, Fr. Lucjan and Br. Piotr Dunder took up residence in a small wooden house, one room of which they transformed into a chapel because the local church served as a warehouse for the local kolkhoz. Upon the direction of Fr. Ingelewicz, Apostolic Administrator for Belarus, in 1957 Fr. Lucjan took over the parish in Zadorozhe, where he resided until his dying day. During his stay in Zadorozhe he completed repairs on churches in Narocza, Lyntupy, Prozorki, Hermanovice, Luzhki, Chemeviche, and Proshkov. In 1996, in the town of Podsvile, he bought a building that formerly served as a store where he organized a chapel. Then he began the construction of a church. On April 15, 1994, Fr. Lucjan celebrated the golden jubilee of his priesthood.
Until the last days of his life he continued his active pastoral service in three parishes, regardless of weakening eyesight and a long-lasting contusion of his leg.
The ceremony of Christian burial took place at noon on Saturday, April 14, 2007, in the parish church of the Holy Trinity in Druya, Republic of Belarus. His Excellency Bishop Władysław Blin, Ordinary of the Diocese of Vitebsk, presided at the liturgy.
Father Viktors Pentjuss, MIC
(09.07.1915 – 02.19.2007)
After a long illness, Fr. Viktors Pentjuss, MIC, died in the rectory of the Parish of the Sorrowful Mother of God in the Old City of Riga at the age of 91 on February 19, 2007. A Holy Mass was celebrated for the deceased Fr. Viktor on February 22 at the Church of St. Francis at the Seminary in Riga. The Funeral Mass took place on Friday, February 23 in Vilani.
Viktors Pentjuss, son of Adam and Sophia Uzuls, was born on September 7, 1915 in Meza Vepri, Latvia (about 30 miles from Rezekne). In 1931, he entered the Marian Fathers in Vilani where he was accepted on May 18, 1932 into the novitiate, which was under direction of Fr. Stanislaw ·Skutans. He made his First Vows on May 26, 1933. He made his Final Profession on September 5, 1937. From 1932-1937, he attended the Catholic High School in Aglona. He then went to the Seminary which became the department of Catholic Theology in 1938 at the University of Riga. Deacon Viktors Pentjuss was ordained a priest in the Church of St. Francis in Riga on March 9, 1942, by Bishop J. Rancan. He celebrated his first Mass in the Marian Parish in Vilani on March 25, 1942. The new priest remained at the parish, at first as the Vicar and then after four years as the pastor. Near the end of 1947, the authorities ordered him leave Vilani. He was transferred to become the pastor of the Parish of Lamini and Tukums in Kurlandia, while also serving in Kandava and Zante.
After World War II, when Latvia became occupied by the Soviet Union, intense persecution of the Church began: many priests being arrested, some disappearing and some suffering a martyr’s death. Fr. Viktors was arrested on October 25, 1948 in the Parish of Tukums and put into prison in Riga. After four months of interrogations, on March 5, 1949, he was convicted to 10 years of forced labor for “assistance to the German occupation and for Anti-Soviet Agitation”. He was deported to the Republic of Komi to work with coal. He had the opportunity to offer Holy Mass, despite great difficulty, in some periods even daily. He worked as a priest among his fellow prisoners. He received the decision of discharge from camp on July 17, 1956 after the death of Stalin. However, he left the camp on August 3, 1956. The General Procurator’s Office in Latvia, canceled the unjust sentence only on December 3, 1989 and Fr. Viktor Pentjuss’s name was restored.
From September 1956 till March 1957, Fr. Viktors Pentjuss was a parish priest in Lamini in Kurlandia. He spent the next four years in the Marian Parish in Vilani. However, in this time the Marian priests were removed through trickery for several months, because of having blessed the houses of their parishioners. Therefore, he had to leave the Marian Parish and return to Kurlandia. During the next year, he was a parish priest in Arlava-Ciruli, then for five years in Saldus and Silaine, and then for nine years in Grenga and Eglaine.
Father Pentjuss was appointed to work at the Seminary in Riga on July 5, 1972 by Archbishop Julian Vaivods, nominating him an instructor of moral theology. He became substitute of the Pastor of the Cathedral of St. Jacob in Riga simultaneously. In 1991, he became the Spiritual Father in the Seminary. On November 27, 1992, he was nominated Vice-Rector of the Seminary and Instructor of several theology courses. He concluded his role in 1996 as the substitute of the Pastor of the Cathedral, but he became the Vicar Priest in the Parish of the Sorrowful Mother of God situated in the Old City of Riga. He also led a study for the Archdiocesan Centre of the Catechism for the laity. During the period of Soviet occupation, he clandestinely accepted candidates for the Marian Community, hidden from the authorities, and many Marians were fostered from the whole former Soviet block.
For the last several years, Fr. Viktors Pentjuss, because of his illnesses, which he endured with patience and good humor, did not leave the Rectory of the Parish of the Sorrowful Mother of God. He offered his service until the end as a priest and spiritual father. When he could not offer the Holy Mass in Church, the faithful came into his room to participate in the Eucharist. We commend our deceased Fr. Viktors to the Mercy of God.
A Double Funeral: Vilani, Latvia, February 23, 2007
Father Viktors Pentjuss, MIC
(09.07.1915 – 02.19.2007)
Father Janis Vaivods, MIC
(03.30.1926 – 02.20.2007)
The Lord Jesus used to call His disciples in twos. He also sent them out two by two, to proclaim the Kingdom of God. Sometimes, He also summons them home, two by two, such as with Sts. Peter and Paul. In His unfathomable Providence, God called to Himself two holy priests – a Marian and a Marian Associate from Latvia. And who knows? Maybe it’s been done so that they may support each other on this last road to eternity?
It’s very rare to have two people buried at the same time, even more rare to have the double funeral of two priests. What does the Lord God wish to tell us through this? It is a very sad circumstance, especially in the light of the great need for priests for the Church in Latvia and for our Congregation, the loss of a Marian and an Associate Member, who faithfully served till the end, in spite of old age and illness. On the other hand, this funeral was a triumph of the grace of faithfulness to the priestly and religious vocation. For how many are those who receive their priestly ordination and make religious vows, and yet let their vocation “die” during their lifetime?!
On May 26, 2007, Fr. Viktors Pentjuss would have celebrated the 75th Anniversary of his Religious Life. He entered the Marian novitiate on May 18, 1931, or exactly on the 300th Anniversary of the birth of our Founder, Fr. Stanislaus Papczyński (who will be beatified on September 16, 2007). May we perceive a hidden message in that date? Undoubtedly, this man was a great gift to our Congregation. And he believed in Fr. Papczyński’s holiness. Father Rinalds Stankevics, M.I.C., a Latvian, told me that when he called Fr. Viktors on the phone a few days before the latter’s death to give him the joyful news about Fr. Papczyńśski’s Beatification, Fr. Pentjuss literally gave a great shout of joy and said that he never doubted that our Founder would be elevated to the altars! He was enormously pleased that he lived to see this moment, displaying something like the “joy of Simeon.”
Viktors made his novitiate under Fr. Stanislaus Skutans’s direction (who was the Superior General of our Congregation from 1957-1963). Later, the demanding Fr. Bronislaw Valpitrs became the educator of the young student. After a rather severe opinion given about his charge in 1934, Fr. Bronislaw wrote on May 22, 1937, another, a very positive one, in which he asked the General Council to admit seminarian Pentjuss to perpetual vows: „Quoad mores Pentjuss ultimis duobus annis ostendit magnum progressum spiritualem: est obediens, satis devotus. castitas sine obejctione, superbia opugnatur per orationem et exercitia in virtute humilitatis, diligentia in comparanda scientia plus quam sufficiens, progressus in scientiis bonus, vacatio solida […]”.
Deacon Pentjuss was ordained a priest on March 9, 1942, at St. Francis’s Church in Riga located right next to the Archdiocesan seminary, which means that he served as a priest for almost 65 years! His Funeral Mass was also celebrated at St. Francis’s Church on February 22, 2007.
His Eminence Janis Cardinal Pujats was the main celebrant at the Funeral Mass, which was concelebrated by two bishops – Bishop Stanislaus Shyrokoradziuk from the Ukraine and Bishop Vilhelms Lapelis, OP, from the Diocese of Liepaja in Latvia, along with 30 diocesan and religious order priests (Marians, Dominicans, and Capuchins). Before the Mass, seminarians sang the exequies in Latin. Among the large crowd in attendance, there also was Bishop Emeritus Janis Cakuls and numerous religious sisters (Carmelites, Sisters of Mother Teresa of Calcutta). The liturgy was enhanced by a choir. In his homily, the Cardinal emphasized Fr. Viktors’s great merits for the Church in Latvia and thanked him for his long, humble, and very fruitful work as a spiritual director and Moral Theology professor at the Seminary of Riga (almost 25 years). The Cardinal also spoke of Fr. Viktors’s painful experiences in the coal mines in Vorkuta, where he did eight years of forced labor in terrible conditions.
After the Mass, Bishop Stanislaus Shyrokoradziuk, a pupil of the Departed, took the floor. On behalf of six bishops – alumnae of the Seminary in Riga – he gave thanks to Fr. Pentjuss for his truly fatherly care given to vocations from the Ukraine. He also recalled that, Fr. Viktors’s material support and educational work, had sustained generations of priests from Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus, and Russia during Communist times. Everybody simply called him, “Spiritual Father,” which was sort of his second name.
Let us note here that, Bishop Jan Pawel Lenga, a Marian, presently serving in Kazakhstan, was also Fr. Viktors’s pupil, and that the late, Fr. W. Vanags, MIC had also been taken “under the wings” of Fr. Pentjuss many years ago.
Then Fr. Kazimierz Pek, M.I.C., the Rector of the Marian Seminary in Lublin, spoke on behalf of our Congregation. He particularly underlined that Fr. Pentjuss, since he was a model Marian religious and priest, became a great gift for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe. He recalled a saying of Fr. Viktors’s, that every time is good for evangelization, be it the difficult Communist times or our present, uneasy times of neo-liberalism.
Let us mention here that Fr. Pentjuss had gathered around him many pious people and that he had given a “hefty” purse with golden kopeks, for the construction of the Marian Seminary in Lublin. This “treasure” had been miraculously brought over to Poland by Fr. Jozef Pietuszko, MIC.
On the part of our Congregation, the following participated in the Mass: the Latvian Provincial Superior Fr. Pavils Zeila, Fr. Jazeps Sitnieks, Fr. Andris Sevels, Fr. Rinalds Stankevics, as well as the above mentioned, Frs. Jozef Pietuszko (a representative of Belarus), Kazimierz Pek, and myself. Among the Diocesan priests there was Fr. Andrejs Trapucka who left our Congregation in 2005 and joined the Diocese of Riga’s clergy.
After the Mass, the casket was solemnly brought out of the Church and then the earthly remains of Fr. Viktors were transported to Vilani.
Father Juris Jelinskis, the Riga Seminary Rector, invited all of the priests and religious sisters to lunch at the seminary. A very hospitable reception was given to everyone.
On February 20, 2007, we learned of the death of Fr. Janis Vaivods who was a cooperator agregatus of our Congregation since November 1, 1999. Our Latvian confreres decided to bury him at the same time with Fr. Viktors. In his capacity as a priest, Fr. Janis served the Church in Latvia for over 57 years. He was a very well educated man (fluent in eight languages). For many years, he was a professor at the Riga Seminary. He spent the last seven years of his life in our monastery in Vilani. Father Janis wanted to undergo the novitiate and make religious vows, however, his health did not allow for it. Although he remained only a cooperator agregatus, he considered himself in his heart to be fully a Marian.
On the evening of February 22, 2007, two coffins were laid side by side in the dimly lit Vilani Church. A cross and a burning paschal candle stood between them. That same night, a pastor came from the nearby parish along with his parishioners to celebrate a Mass for the departed priests. Marian Fathers from the monastery in Vilani joined in the celebration. On the same day, some Marian confreres from Lublin also came: Fr. Andrzej Jerominek, spiritual director of the Seminary, Br. Stanislaw Bednarz (driver), Dc. Krzysztof Orlowski, and three seminarians from the Latvian community – Ervins Jaudzems (2nd year of philosophy), Dmitrij Artjomovs (5th year), and Imants Medvickis (5th year, a perpetually professed member).
On Friday, February 23, 2007, the liturgy of Christian Burial began at 11:30 AM at the Vilani Church. The exequies in Latin were sung before the Mass, His Excellency, Janis Bulis, Bishop of the Diocese of Rezekne-Aglona, to which Vilani belongs, was the main celebrant. Bishop Vilhelms Lapelis, O.P., Bishop of Liepaja, Latvia, also participated. In addition, 73 priests concelebrated, and four of them assisted at the confessional. Representatives of the Lithuanian Marians also came to the funeral: Frs. Tomas Miliauskas and Linas Sipavicius. Also, a member of the Lutheran Church from Riga was present. More than a half of the Latvian clergy attended the funeral, which speaks of the great respect that Frs. Pentjuss and Vaivods enjoyed. The Church was filled to the brim (almost 300 faithful attended). The multi-voice choir created a prayerful ambiance.
In his homily, Bishop Bulis recalled some biographical moments from the life of the two Departed. He emphasized their faithfulness and their sacrifices in working for the Church and he made them an example for other Religious and priests. The Bishop specifically stressed Fr. Pentjuss’s great merits in the formation of seminarians from the former Soviet block.
At the closing of the Mass, on behalf of the Superior General and the entire Congregation I thanked all the assembled for their presence and prayers. I also emphasized the important role played by Fr. Viktors in our Congregation, working in the areas occupied by the former Soviet Union. For his courage and dedication, he deserves the title, pater congregationis. In the history of illustrious Marians from Latvia – such as Frs. Benedict Skrinda and Janis Mendriks – his name is inscribed in capital letters. The upcoming Beatification of our Founder and the sanctity of life exhibited by many of his spiritual sons, proves that our Congregation can be a school and a way to holiness. I encouraged the Vice Postulator, Fr. Rinalds to begin gathering testimonies about the deceased Fr. Pentjuss.
At one time, Fr. Viktors said that he had spent the most beautiful retreat while incarcerated for two days in a prison cell without food or drink. Among the grafitti covering the prison walls, he found a cross which inspired him to zealous prayer and conversation with God.
One of the Diocesan priests told me that the students from the Riga Seminary had given Fr. Pentjuss a nickname “Giena.” That was the name of a benevolent crocodile from a children’s cartoon. This way the students wanted to emphasize the special characteristics of their “Spiritual Father”: his good humor and large grin with which he disarmed and attracted everyone.
I closed my speech, asking the Lord that those “two grains” planted in the Latvian soil give a bountiful harvest in the form of new and holy priestly and religious vocations. The Marian Community in Latvia has a great history and the young confreres have wonderful role models to follow. This is why we are convinced that this presently small, but spiritually vibrant community will also have a great future.
The ceremony closed with prayers at the caskets and the singing of the “Marian Hymn.” The bodies were then transported to the cemetery grounds. I was full of admiration for the Bishops and many priests who, in their indoor dress and with bare heads, heroically withstood the bitter cold of negative 22°F, scrupulously completing all the prescribed funeral rites!
After the ceremony, a lunch awaited all the priests, seminarians, and religious sisters. The pastor from the Lutheran Church in Riga spoke during the meal, stating that for many Protestant groups, Fr. Pentjuss’s advice served as a point of reference and orientation. Our Latvian Community ought to be recognized for the outstanding organization and execution of the funeral ceremonies.
That night, when all funeral rites had been concluded, Fr. Rinalds proposed to Fr. Andrzej Jerominek and me, a short trip to the National Marian Shrine in Aglona (43 miles from Vilani). The Church had exposition of the Blessed Sacrament that night. Under the Image of Our Lady with the Infant Jesus, there is an inscription: “Mostra te esse Matrem.” We prayed, asking Mary to show us that she truly is a tender Mother for our departed brethren, for our Latvian Community, and for the entire Congregation.
Saturday, February 24, 2007, on my way back to Warsaw, I visited the apartment where Fr. Viktors spent his last years. There I met Fr. A. Trapucko, whom I asked to assist our Latvian Community in the taking possession of Fr. Pentjuss’s personal belongings, documents, letters, and books. Those things will be placed in the Congregation’s Archives, while some of them will be displayed at the museum that Fr. Rinalds Stankevics plans to organize in Vilani.
May our brother, Viktors and our associate, Janis rest in eternal peace. Amen.
Father John Sakevicius, MIC STD
(06.30.1907 – 05.19.2006)
On May 19, 2006 at 3:10 p.m. Father John Sakevicius, MIC, at that time, a member of the Province of St. Casimir, died peacefully at Mother Theresa Home in Lemont, IL. In June he would have been 99 years of age, 74 years a priest, and in August he would have been a professed religious for 79 years, He actually entered the Congregation in 1926… 80 years ago.
Coming from a large family, the funeral took place on May 25th in Nativity of the B.V.M. Church in Chicago, IL. Eleven priests concelebrated the Mass of Christian burial. The homily was delivered by a distant relative of Fr. John, temporarily assisting at the parish. Burial was in St. Casimir Cemetery in Chicago, in the section reserved for the Marians. Originally a member of the Lithuanian Province, Fr. Jonas was transferred to the St. Casimir Province on February 28, 2006. The members of this Province had been taking care of him and visiting him regularly in the Nursing Home for a number of years.
At the time of his death, Father Sakevicius was the oldest member of the Congregation.
Father Rafal Andrychowicz, MIC
(01.27.1927 – 04.17.2006)
Father Rafal Andrychowicz, MIC, son of Antoni and Weronika, was born on January 27, 1927, in Lindow, in the Diocese of Lowicz, Poland. After completing elementary school, he enrolled in clandestine high school classes. He obtained his high school certificate in 1948, in Lodz, and entered the Major Seminary in Warsaw the very same year. There he studied philosophy until 1951. In 1952, he was accepted into the Congregation of Marians. After completing his novitiate in Skorzec, he made his first vows on September 8, 1953, and then, for a year, he studied theology in Bielany, and later at the Prague House in Warsaw. Also at that house, he made his perpetual vows on September 8, 1956. On March 16, 1957, Bishop Zygmunt Chromanski ordained him to the priesthood at the borough of Prague Church. After the ordination, he was sent to Skorzec to become a Vicar and a Prefect. Then he went to work in Gora Kalwaria, here he served as a Chaplain at a nursing home. From 1960-64, he lived and served in Warsaw, in the borough of Marymont, as a Vicar and a Prefect, and in 1965, he became the Shrine Rector and House Superior in Stoczek Warminski. He became the Youth Prefect in Glucholazy in 1965, remaining at this post until 1969. For a few months he served in Puszcza Marianska, being the Parish Vicar and the House Treasurer. Then, from 1969-71, he once again became a nursing home Chaplain in Gora Kalwaria, after which he was a Pastor and a House Superior in Glucholazy from 1971-78. From 1978 until 1981, he was the Marymont House Superior and the Parish Vicar, and then, from 1981-84 – the Pastor and First Councilor of the Skorzec House. From 1984-86, he worked as the Stegny House, assisting in pastoral work. From 1986-93, he served again as the Glucholazy Pastor, also in 1987, becoming the local House Superior. From 1993-94 he worked in pastoral ministry at the Lichen Shrine. From 1994-96, he resided in Glucholazy to recover his health. When the Parish was given over to the Diocese, Fr. Rafal moved to the Marymont House in Warsaw, where he died on Easter Monday, April 17, 2006.
The funeral took place on Friday, April 21, 2006, at Our Lady, Queen of Poland Church in Warsaw (the borough of Marymont). His body was laid to rest in the cemetery in Wawrzyszew.
Father Viktors Civzelis, MIC
(01.13.1919 – 04.01.2006)
Father Viktors Civzelis, MIC, was born on January 13, 1919, in Jelgava, Latvia. After finishing high school, he entered the Pedagogical College, and after graduation, he worked as a Latvian language teacher in Riga’s schools. He already had a great love for music. He sang in the university choirs and helped to run them. Before the outbreak of WWII, he went with his brother to Rome. There Viktors continued to study music under the direction of renowned teachers. He studied along with Luciano Pavarotti, and their friendship lasted for many years. Viktors participated in many concerts, and there stood before him a wonderful chance to make music his career. However, he dramatically changed his lifestyle after meeting Padre Pio and going to confession. He left the musical world, joined our Congregation, and made his first vows on October 11, 1958, in Rome, at the age of 39. He studied at the Angelicum University in Rome and at the University in Bologna. He professed his final vows on October 11, 1962, and received his priestly ordination in Rome, on July 5, 1964, at the age of 45. A year after his ordination he went to Chicago, where he worked at the Parish of Our Lady of Aglona for many years.
In 2002, having lived abroad for 58 years, Fr. Viktors returned to Latvia. He spent the final years of his life in the Vilani monastery. He was known for his great humility and fine sense of humor. On April 1, 2006, after a grave illness, Fr. Viktors passed away, surrounded by the Marian Fathers and Brothers. He was buried from the Vilani Church. Bishop Janis Bulis, the Ordinary of the Rezekne-Aglona Diocese, presided over the funeral liturgy which was concelebrated by many priests.
Father Eugeniusz Huk, MIC
(07.13.1936 – 03.31.2006)
Father Eugeniusz Huk, MIC, son of Jan and Marianna, was born on July 13, 1936, in the town of Długosiodło, in the Province of Łomża. He began his elementary education in Długosiodło. In 1948 his family moved to Braniew, where he completed his junior high schooling in 1951. He was then accepted to the Lower Seminary of the Salesian Fathers in Frombork, where he completed the 8th grade. After the State authorities closed down this school he completed his 9th grade in an Elbląg high school and was accepted in the Congregation of Marian Fathers’s novitiate in Skórzec. He made his first vows on August 15, 1954 in Skórzec. From 1954-56 he completed his 10th and 11th grades in Góra Kalwaria and then started his 1st year in philosophy at the Marian Seminary in Gietrzwałd. In 1959 he finished his 2nd year of philosophy in Warsaw-Pragua and made his perpetual vows on August 15, 1959 in Stoczek Warmiński. From 1959-63 he studied theology at the Włocławek Seminary. He was ordained a priest by Bishop Kazimierz Majdański at the cathedral basilica in Włocławek on June 23, 1963. During 1963-64 he continued his education at the pastoral study center in Ołtarzew. His first pastoral assignment took him to Grudziądz, where he served as a catechist in 1964-66. In 1966-71 he was the catechist in Głuchołazy and from 1969 also the parish vicar. During 1971-75 he was the catechist and youth minister in Puszcza Mariańska. Also during this time he did his pastoral studies at the Theological Faculty of the Catholic University of Lublin, which he completed in 1974 with his Master’s thesis entitled “Religiosity of the young in rural-laborer environment reflected by the Puszcza Mariańska Parish.” From 1976 he worked consecutively in Góra Kalwaria, Stoczek, Licheń, Rzepiska and Goźlin. From March of 1997 he resided outside of Marian Houses, in Bydgoszcz.
Father Bonifacy Sarul, MIC
(01.03.1917 – 03.23.2006)
Father Bonifacy Sarul, MIC, son of Jan Sarul and Marcjana née Kiapsien, was born on January 3, 1917, in Dziewile, parish of Druja, in the Archdiocese of Vilnius. He obtained his high-school diploma from the Marian Gymnasium (High School) in Druja in 1936. He completed his postulancy during the time while Fr. Andrew Cikoto was the Superior General of the Marians. Father Witalis Chamionek, M.I.C., oversaw his novitiate. Bonifacy made his first religious vows on August 15, 1938, before Fr. Wladyslaw Lysik, who was the Provincial at the time. On August 15, 1943, he took perpetual vows before Fr. Jan Seferynski at the Marian Church in Skorzec near Siedlce. He then studied first at the Archdiocese Seminary in Warsaw, and then at the Marian Institute of Philosophy and Theology at Bielany, in Warsaw.
He received his priestly ordination on August 25, 1946, from Bp. Waclaw Majewski, at the Bielany church. After the ordination, Fr. Sarul worked at Bielany as the master of the boys at the boarding-school, and then in Glucholazy, giving religious education lessons in the elementary schools. In 1949-52, he resided in Skorzec, where he served as a parish vicar and school prefect. The same functions were entrusted to him in Gora Kalwaria from 1952-57. Being sent to Puszcza Marianska afterwards, he fulfilled the office of the superior and parish administrator. From 1959 he resided at Stoczek Warminski, where he held in turn the offices of the superior, treasurer, and rector of the monastery church. In 1963, he was transferred to Warsaw, where he served as the house superior, treasurer, and ministered to the youth of Prague (Warsaw borough). After six years he went back to Stoczek, where he stayed until his dying day. Father Sarul was the House Superior in Stoczek Klasztorny until 1975, while zealously supporting the clergy of the nearby parishes and generously contributing to the development of the Shrine of Our Lady, Queen of Peace, in Stoczek. In 1983 he made a pilgrimage to Rome. In 1996, the Archbishop of Warmia gave him the order “Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice.” In spite of declining eyesight and hearing, Fr. Boniface remained very much attuned to the needs of others, being always kind, hospitable, and generous. He died on March 23, 2006. The funeral solemnly took place on Saturday, March 25, 2006, at the Basilica Minor of Our Lady of Peace in Stoczek Warminski.
Brother Franciszek Zaborowski, MIC
(09.06.1921 – 02.15.2006)
Brother Franciszek Zaborowski, MIC, was born on September 6, 1921, in the town of Maly Klincz near Koscierzyna. During WWII he found himself in the Polish Army in the West. He served in the First Tank Division under General Maczek. They fought in France, Belgium, Holland, and Germany. After the war, Franciszek stayed in England and he joined our Congregation there.
He entered the postulancy on February 2, 1961, in Fawley Court. Franciszek began his novitiate on September 8, 1961, in Hereford, and then made his first religious vows on September 8, 1962. On September 8, 1968, he took his perpetual vows. Until 1968, Brother Franciszek worked in our Marian Apostolate at the religious house in Hereford. He was then transferred to the house in Fawley Court, where different duties have been assigned to him: gardener, conservator of the religious house and Marian gymnasium for boys, sacristan, and driver.
In later years, he willingly helped with works in the garden and park, as much as his age and strength allowed. He dearly loved flowers, especially roses, of which he took great care. He was bedridden for the last year of his life because of a stroke. He bore his illness with great patience and serenity. He passed away in the early hours of February 15, 2006. He was a pious, humble, quiet, and hard-working religious, who always faithfully fulfilled his duties.
The Holy Mass of Christian burial was celebrated on March 2, 2006, at 11AM at the St. Anne’s Rectory Church in Fawley Court. Brother Franciszek’s earthly remains were deposed at the Marian cemetery in Henley-on-Thames.
Father Zenon Roslon, MIC
(11.18.1926 – 01.18.2006)
On January 18, 2006, in the Curitiba hospital, Father Zenon Roslon, MIC, passed away after a long illness. He was 79. The ceremony of Christian burial took place on January 19, 2006, at 9am. The Holy Mass at St. George’s was led by H.E. Moacyr Jose Vitti, CSS, Archbishop of Curitiba. After the Mass, the body of the Departed was brought to the Divine Mercy Shrine, where a Holy Mass led by Archbishop Pedro A. Fedalto was celebrated at 3pm. Among the concelebrants there were: Vicar General, Fr. Marek Szczepaniak, M.I.C., who came from Rome to participate in the funeral; Fr. Provincial Jair B. de Souza, and nearly all Marian priests from the Brazilian Province. Also, Marian seminarians and novices, numerous friends of the Departed along with religious sisters and the faithful from our parishes in Curitiba, Turvo, Manoel Ribas, and Andrianopolis attended.
After the solemn funeral Mass, in which the word of God was proclaimed by the Archbishop Pedro Fedalto, the Vicar General delivered a eulogy and Fr. Provincial recited the Exuquias. The body of the Departed was laid to rest on the Marian cemetery.
Father Zenon Roslon, M.I.C., son of Julian Roslon and Regina nee Lupa, was born on November 18, 1926, in Warsaw, Poland. In 1939 – the year of the onset of WWII – he finished his elementary schooling. During the war he completed his middle-school course in secret, and in 1943 obtained his certificate. He entered the Marian novitiate in the same year and a year after, on August 15, 1944, made his first religious vows. In 1946-47, he continued his education in Warsaw, obtained his high-school certificate and began to study philosophy. On December 8, 1947, in Warsaw, he took his perpetual vows.
In 1947-48, while still a seminarian, he was appointed to run summer retreats for the youth in the resort town of Zakopane. He finished his studies of theology and philosophy in 1948-1953, at the Bielany House, in Warsaw. On December 20, 1952, in the Warsaw Cathedral, he was ordained a priest by the Bishop Zygmunt Choramanski. First three years of his priesthood he spent serving as a treasurer of our formation houses in Bielany i Gietrzwald. In 1955-57 he studied Canon Law at the Catholic University of Lublin. In 1958 he started his service at the General House in Rome, first, as the Secretary General (two years) and then as the General Treasurer (15 years – in 1960-1975). At that time the old General House was torn down and the new one built. After 18 years of service in Rome, Fr. Zenon was transferred to Brazil upon his own request. He arrived there on April 7, 1977. In 1978-1979, he worked in Jaguariaiva, PR. Then, in 1979-1983, he was the Superior and Rector of the Seminary in Curitiba. Next, in 1983-84, he served as a pastor in Andrianopolis, PR. In 1984-1988 Fr. Zenon was the Superior and Pastor in Manoel Ribas, PR. In 1988 he became the Vicariate Superior until 1996, when he held the offices of the Vicariate Secretary and Treasurer until 2000. Then he was the Provincial Treasurer from 2000 until 2003 when he asked to be relieved from the office because of his age and health. Father Zenon spent his remaining years in the Provincial House surrounded by the seminarians’ tender care. In last months of his life, he bore much suffering.