On December 8, 2023, two friars professed their solemn vows at the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Cracow. The faithful in the basilica prayed that these religious might become more and more like Christ each day: chaste, poor and obedient.

One of the newly solemnly professed is Friar Vladyslav PASHAYEV of the Provincial Custody of the Holy Cross in Ukraine and a student at the Seraphicum College in Rome. The other is Friar Adam GRUSZCZAK of the Province of St. Anthony and Bl. James of Strepar in Poland (Cracow). He is currently serving in Neustadt, Germany.
The Minister Provincial of Cracow, Friar Marian GOŁĄB, presided over the Mass. Others present included the Vicar Custos of the Custody of Ukraine, Friar Stanisław PĘKALA; the Guardian and Rector of the Seraphicum College, Friar Adam MĄCZKA; the Custos of the Custody of St. Leopold and St. Nicolas of Flüe in Austria-Switzerland, Friar Dariusz ZAJĄC; and the Delegate of the Provincial Delegation in Germany and Guardian of the friary in Neustadt, Friar Stanisław ŚLIWIŃSKI.
“We don’t really know why the Lord God has called us to this form of life in the Franciscan Family, but we know, and are convinced, that this is what we want,” said Friar Vladyslav PASHAYEV, offering some words of thanksgiving. “Today, we have given a concrete response to the gift of the vocation we received.”
In his homily, Friar Stanisław PĘKALA explained that the vows are a form of entrusting oneself to the Church and placing oneself at the service of the Order. He referred to the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which fell on that day: “Let us follow Mary’s example, because she lived close to Jesus—in his shadow. In imitation of her, let us try to live constantly close to Jesus and frequently contemplate His wonderful face in the Blessed Sacrament.”
Friar Marian GOŁĄB pointed out that the profession of solemn vows is a special time of giving witness to one’s love of God. It is a special way of beginning one’s service to Him, because “solemn vows are not the end; they are not the finish line; they are just the start.” He wished that these friars might be a blessing to the communities where they will be sent, that they will bring harmony and joy, and truly be instruments of peace and goodness in the world. Moreover, he hoped that when they die, their Minister Provincial will be able to say to God, “Thank you, Lord, for the good and holy life of these friars.”

Friar Jan M. SZEWEK