Different publications were prepared to mark these milestones of our Canadian Community. Catholic Register ran two articles: one on our Community and one on our Retreat Centre. Several Polish local newspapers placed an article written by Fr. Andrew and Fr. Waclaw. Diocesan newspaper of London Diocese also had a piece about our Community and its Jubilee celebrations. Fr. Joseph Morawski and Fr. Joeseph Dabrowski prepared colorful booklets that were used during banquet jubilations in London and Toronto. Fr. Mathew Sobierajski designed a cover for the special prayer card used during our Jubilee Year. Fr. Andrew prepared the English version of St. Michaels exhibition. These are special fourteen panels depicting St. Michael in coins, stamps, pictures, statues, etc.
To mark the Golden Jubilee of the Michaelite Fathers in Canada we have commissioned a book that will tell the history of our Canadian presence. The book was written by Fr. Jan Walkusz, professor of the Catholic University of Lublin, Poland. It arrived on time for the celebrations and was a hot commodity to have.
Part of the jubilee celebrations were several visits to TV and Radio stations where special guests presented our Communities, its spirituality, charism, founder and pastoral work in which Sisters, Brothers and Priests are involved.
We were very happy to have special guests joining us for these celebrations. Among them were: Bishops of London, Toronto, Hamilton and Detroit and also Fr. Aleksander Ogrodnik, former General Superior; Fr. Jan Kaszuba, Superior Delegate for Caribbean Islands; Fr. Lucjan Lepek, Superior in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and Rector of the Catholic University of Lublin, Fr. Antoni Debinski. Special welcome was prepared for the Michaelite Sisters who not only came to celebrate with us but also are for the first time in Canada: Sr. Maksymiliana Ciepala,Vicar General and Sr. Dawida Ryll, General Secretary.
With a great joy we entered into the first week of September as we opened the main celebration of the Jubilee Year within our Religious Community. The year marks:
50 years of the Michaelites presence in the Diocese of London
100 years of our Blessed Founders death
On the last day of August our Community welcomed our General Superior Fr. Kazimierz Radzik, who together with Fr. Jerzy Sosinski, General Treasurer came from Poland to do pastoral visit. Their official visit will take them to all of our confreres and their places of ministry: London, Lucan, Sarnia, Toronto, and Detroit. They will also participate in the main celebrations of our Jubilee year. We hope their visit, though official will also be cordial and full of rest.
It is noteworthy to mention as well, that on that day one more member of our Congregation was added to our Canadian community. Fr. Piotr Wojakiewicz comes to us from Castel St. Elia, Italy and will be helping at St. Marys Parish. Fr. Piotr, we hope you will not miss too much of your Italian pasta our Canadian is as good if not even better.
On the first day of August history was made in the annals of our Congregation, as the Michaelite Fathers took the custody of St. Clare of Montefalco parish in Grosse Point Park, Michigan, USA. It is our first Michaelite parish in the USA. Until then, the parish was administered by the Augustinians Friars from its beginnings in 1926. Fr. Andrew Kowalczyk was appointed as the pastor. Fr. John Burczyk will serve as the Administrator of the parish until Fr. Andrew receives his immigration papers. The parish has an elementary school for about 140 students where Servite Sister is the principal. There are around 750 families registered in the parish. The nearby parish of St. Philomena is clustered with St. Clare. As we embark on this new and exciting journey south of our border we ask for prayers and we invoke special intercession of St. Michael.
End of August brings annual gathering of our London Deanery presibiterate to the Michaelite House. In the past these gatherings took place by the pool but this time it was a rainy day so Otto and Company prepared the meal at our fireplace room. Despite the gloomy outside inside was great and bright with conversations, laughs and jokes
Shortly after we finished celebrating Canada Day, our community rejoiced with a visit of our seminarian from Cracow, Poland, Jacek Majbrodzki. Jacek is a theology student and comes to us for summer English language experience. He will reside at Our Lady of Czestochowa parish and will be helping the parish during the summer vacation.
We also welcome a new addition to our Canadian community. Our General Superior at the petition of our local Superior transferred Fr. Eugeniusz /Eugene/ Dziedzic from Poland to Canada. Fr. Eugene was ordained in 1996 in Poland and his last appointment was in Miejsce Piastowe where he was the vice principal of a school run by the Michaelite Fathers. Fr. Eugene will be helping in London and Toronto while other priests take their summer vacation. Fr. Eugene and Sem. Jacek welcome to Canada and we hope you will like it here.
With millions of Canadians we gathered on the first Sunday of July to celebrate, pray and give thanks for our country. This Sunday also had begun very busy times for those in transition to take new assignments in their pastoral ministry within our Community and Diocese. Four members of the Michaelite Community were involved in the moves this year.
Fr. Jan Burczyk, after being the pastor of St. Teresa parish in Etobicoke, Toronto, for ten years, was transferred to our headquarters in Melrose. Fr. John was appointed as the Superior of the Michaelite House and a new Director of the Retreat Centre. In addition to this assignment, Fr. John will be the administrator of St. Clare parish.
Fr. Adam Gabriel, after seven years of ministering as the pastor of Holy Angels parish in St. Thomas was appointed as the new pastor at St. Teresa parish in Etobicoke, Toronto.
Fr. Andrew Kowalczyk, after five years of ministering in Melrose, was named pastor of St. Clare of Montefalco parish in Detroit, Michigan.
Fr. Jacek Kokosa, was assigned to Holy Redeemer parish in Walleceburg as the Associate Pastor.
To all those involved in the moves we wish many blessings in their new environment.
The end of June brought the first day of summer and it turned out to be the time of full activities in our Community. First Br. Janusz Kolbusz passed the Ontario Driver Licence test, then the Community gathered for the last meeting before summer vacation, then Fr. Wladyslaw Krukar was taken to the hospital for two weeks, finally farewell celebrations for those involved in the moves this summer: Fr. Jan, Fr. Adam and Fr. Jacek. Simply buzz around the house. With Canada Day fast approaching we start our well deserved summer break.