On Saturday, March 19, 2022, Friars Bartłomiej ROCHOWIAK and Szymon DENDYS of Province of St. Anthony and Bl. James of Strepar in Poland (Cracow) were ordained to the diaconate by the Most Reverend Robert CHRZĄSZCZ, Auxiliary Bishop of Cracow, Poland. The celebration took place at the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Cracow.
In his homily, the bishop highlighted two short phrases: “Let us offer each other the sign of peace” and “Go in the peace of Christ.” He said both of these phrases sum up the definition of the entire ministry of the deacon, and also his special privilege, because “blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
He also added: “Today we thank God for all those, who, with humility and enthusiasm, have responded to the Lord’s call: ‘Follow me,’ and have become instruments of peace in his hands. Where there is hatred, they shall sow love; where there is offense, forgiveness; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.” He referred to the ongoing war in Ukraine and the prayer for peace by the representatives of different religions in Assisi, which was initiated by Pope St. John Paul II in 1986.
Bishop CHRZĄSZCZ then pointed out a model for the new deacons to emulate, the patron saint of the day, St. Joseph, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. “Although St. Joseph did not receive, in any literal sense, the grace of priestly dignity in the Old or New Testament, he nevertheless remains a great teacher of life consecrated to God. St. Joseph made his life a life of service. Service is the key word needed to understand the path and place of the deacon in the Church and in the world. By its nature, the whole Church is ministerial because it participates in the life and mission of Christ himself: the Servant.”
Friar Marian GOŁĄB, the Minister Provincial of the Province of Cracow, thanked the newly ordained friars for their witness of faith. He thanked their families for teaching them to listen to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and he thanked the parish communities and pastors for looking after the faith life of these friars. He thanked the bishop for accepting the invitation and administering the sacrament; and he thanked the faithful for being present at the celebration. He asked everyone to help the friars in their ministry “so that they may be faithful to their mission and fulfill it with zeal, and so that their mission may be filled with love and service.”
The new deacons publicly declared that their ministry will be guided by the motto: “To be a servant is to be a spouse, and to serve means more than to love.” They thanked God for the gift of their vocation with the words of Psalm 146: “I will praise the Lord all my life, sing praise to my God while I live.”
Friar Jan Maria SZEWEK