Bishop-Elect Dąbrowski Biography
Bishop-elect Dąbrowski, 50, was born on July 17, 1964 in Poland, the second of five children. The son of Czesława and Ludwik, he grew up in Wysoka Strzyżowska, a small village in Poland. He is fluent in English, Polish, Italian, and has studied Russian, Latin and Spanish.
Dąbrowski experienced an abundance of faith nurturing throughout his life. First and foremost, his priestly vocation is something which found its birth in his upbringing. He was raised by very religious parents, who placed the importance of prayer as a daily priority. His family was very close. They prayed together, ate together, and always attended Sunday Mass as a family. Although he states that life at home “was simple”, he reminisces on joyous times together, whether this involved playing with siblings, working hard on the family farm, or their devotion to family prayer.
His uncle, a hardworking, faithful and committed priest, is credited with influencing his call to the Priesthood.A Michaelite missionary priest sparked Dąbrowski’s initial interest in serving the poor and marginalized overseas, far from his Polish home.
As a seminarian, “Fr. Joe” also had the privilege of serving several Masses with St. John Paul II; and a few years later, he was deeply inspired as a result of meeting and concelebrating Masses with the late Holy Father.
After graduating from a high school administrated by the Michaelite Fathers, he decided to enter the Michaelite religious order. After completing his one year of Novitiate and one year of Internship in Poland, he was selected to study in Italy, at the St. Peter Institute of Philosophy and Theology in Viterbo. He graduated from the Pontifical Athenaeum of St. Anselm in Rome.
He was ordained at the Pontifical Sanctuary of Santa Maria ad Rupes, in Italy on May 4, 1991. Four days later, he was assigned to join the Michaelite Fathers community in London. Upon arriving in London, he took an English-language program at Fanshawe College.
Dąbrowski has served as associate pastor at Our Lady of Częstochowa in London from 1992-1993; St. Michael in Leamington from 1993-1996; St. Pius X (now Holy Family) in London from 1996-1997; and St. Mary in London from 1997-1998. In 1998 he was named pastor of St. Mary’s Church in London, where he still presently serves.
In 2013, he was appointed as the Superior of the North American Vice-Province of the Congregation of St. Michael the Archangel (the Michaelites).
Beyond his deep commitment to his parish and his religious community, Bishop-elect Dąbrowski is well known across the diocese and has served on the Ministry to Priests committee, the Council of Priests, the Cemetery Advisory Board, and the Linguistic Communities committee.
Bishop-elect Dąbrowski enjoys learning languages, travel, and playing the guitar. His favorite sports are volleyball, skiing, tennis, and soccer (he is a big fan of AS Roma).
Statement from Bishop Ronald Fabbro, CSB, Bishop of London
The naming of Father Joe as our Auxiliary Bishop is wonderful news for the Church in southwestern Ontario. This appointment is a great tribute to the talent, the experience and the abilities of a faithful and gifted priest. Let us join together in thanking God for this blessing. The Michaelite Fathers have served our diocese for over 50 years. It is truly fitting that this announcement comes during the Year of Consecrated Life.
Over the past 12 years, I have had the privilege of knowing and working with Bishop-Elect Dabrowski. He is a good friend and has made a significant contribution to the pastoral life of the Diocese of London during his many years of ministry. With his background as a religious order priest, his international experience and his knowledge of languages, he brings unique gifts to our diocese. We welcome him warmly as our new Auxiliary Bishop.
Statement from Bishop-Elect Dąbrowski
I would like to offer “thanks” to God for the gift of calling me to serve the Church, God’s people, the Michaelite community, and my brother priests.
When I was ordained approximately 24 years ago, I never would have dreamed that someday I would become a Bishop. Having been appointed to this office in the year dedicated to Consecrated Life, and on the Feast Day of St. Don Bosco, seems truly providential.
I am elated to work with our diocesan priests in nurturing our Catholic faith and promoting religious vocations to our youth.
As I begin this new chapter in my life, I look forward to working in tandem with our Bishop in journeying with the faithful in our Diocese. I pray that God will continue to bless me and my ministry, and grant me the knowledge, wisdom, and compassion required to serve the people in this great Diocese of London.
I wish to express my deepest gratitude to our Holy Father, Pope Francis, and our Bishop Ronald Peter for the trust and confidence they have placed in me.
I begin this new time in my life confident that the prayers of the Holy Father, the Michaelite community, my parents, my own family and friends, the diocesan community, the parish family, and the Catholic faithful, will be with me. Without this collective support I would not be able to accept this responsibility.
About the Diocese of London
The Diocese of London stretches across nine counties in southwestern Ontario, from Windsor to Woodstock and from Goderich to Port Dover, with 120 parishes and Catholic communities serving 444,000 Catholics. More info is available at www.dol.ca.