This year the celebration of ordination to priesthood and to the deaconate took place on May 19th. The Province of Poland of the Congregation of the Mission welcomed two new priests (Maciej Cepielik and Grzegorz Duchnik) and one new transitional deacon (Jarosław Wojewódka).
The sacrament was administered by Msgr Paweł Socha, C.M. auxiliary bishop emeritus of the diocese of Zielona Góra – Gorzów who celebrated his year 60th anniversary as a priest and 45thanniversary as a bishop the next day.
After the Mass all the participants gathered together in order to listen to the newly ordained gave thanks to their superiors, confreres, families and friends. They are still waiting for the official announcement of their appointments. The deacon, however, knows that he will minister for one month in the diocesan Marian Shrine of Our Lady the Victorious in Odporyszów , near Tarnow (August/September).
The newly ordained priest Maciej Cepielik comes from a small mountain village – Kamienica. He received a solid education in his family home — something very common in rural families. Later, he continued his education in the boarding school run by Vincentians at “Good News 2000” Educational Center in Piekary, near Krakow, known as a host of the Vincentian Youth Days in 2016. There he became acquainted with our Congregation because the school is administered by Vincentians from the Province of Poland. In the seminary, he was viewed as an exceptionally gifted student. What is particularly striking about him is his ability to join different strands of theological knowledge into a process of coherent reasoning (in a discussion he easily moved back and forth between moral principles, dogmatic understanding and canon law). Maciej earned his Master of Theology (M.Th.) degree writing an excellent, highly creative thesis about the concept of Logos as it appeared in the history of human thought from pre-Christianity times to the modern era. He His supervisor was the rector of our seminary Fr. Paweł Holc, C.M., S.T.D. Maciej manifests many characteristics that allow us to look at his future with eyes full of hope.
He does not shy away from expressing his point of view even if it may sound controversial to many. Still, he does it in a humble manner. All of this leads us to believe that he will continue to be a blessing to our province and to the people whom he will serve.
Grzegorz Duchnik, our second new priest is in many ways different from Maciej, although he also comes from asmall town of Limanowa at the foot of mountainous and traditional very devout region of Podhale, not far from Maciej’s place of residence. He spent three years in a diocesan seminary in Tarnów. Then he took a one year before entering the internal seminary. He became acquainted with the Vincentians through the Daughters of Charity who minister in the parish in Limanowa.
After this initial period of formation, he began his theological studies. Grzegorz is a very peaceful, quiet man, but living in community has shown him the importance of sharing his gifts with others. Grzegorz wrote his MTh thesis on marriage from canon law perspective. His supervisor was Father Józef Krzywda, C.M., J.C.D. – an acknowledged across Poland professor of Canon Law.
Our new deacon Jarosław Wojewódka comes from Chełmno near Bydgoszcz, in Northern Poland. He also learned about the Vincentians thanks to the Daughters of Charity who minister in that town since almost 350 years and where one of their provinces is settled. Before entering the Congregation, he spent two years in the seminary of Toruń. He is a very talented musician – a self-taught organ player. He ministered as a cantor in the seminary. During his vacation he will minister in the Marian Shrine in Odporyszów. In September there is a week-long parish festival dedicated to the feast of the Birth of Virgin Mary (September 8 – 15). Hundreds of pilgrims from around flock there for special. Deacon Jarosław will preach during this time. He is still in the process of writing his M.Th. thesis which is focused on bioethical issues. He is concentrating on the care of terminally ill patients. His supervisor is a prolific writer on bioethical issues – Fr. Andrzej Muszala, a priest who is engaged not only in academic pursuits but counsels many couples. He is truly an apostle among intellectuals and an intellectual among apostles. We are happy to see Jarosław working hand in hand with such a gifted mentor.
Maciej celebrated his first Eucharist (Prymicjein Polish) on the day following his ordination and Grzegorz celebrated the Eucharist in his home town the following week. Both celebrations incorporated many Polish traditions: typical dance, dress and music and many parishioners joined the celebration. At the same time seminary professors and students joined with the family and friends of the newly ordained and participated in the Eucharistic celebrations. The newly ordained priests also celebrated the Eucharist in our seminary chapel and those in formation felt strengthened and encouraged in their faith journey.
Por Jacek Piotrowski, CM
Province of Poland
Charles T. Plock, CM