On Monday, January 15, 2018, the funeral of Mrs. Franciszka STRZAŁKOWSKA, mother of our Blessed Zbigniew Strzałkowski, Martyr of Pariacoto, was held in Zawada, Poland.
The funeral ceremonies took place in a small parish church on St. Martin’s Peak in Zawada. Many priests and Franciscan friars came to pay their last respects, as well as Franciszka’s two sons, Bogdan and Andrzej, and other family members, friends and residents from Zawada and the surrounding area.
At 1:30 p.m., Friar Dariusz GACZYŃSKI, the Provincial Secretary for Mission Animation for the Province of St. Anthony and Bl. James of Strepar in Poland (Cracow), led a recitation of the Rosary.
The funeral Mass was presided over by the Most Reverend Andrzej JEŻ, Bishop of the Diocese of Tarnów. At the beginning of the liturgy he said: “Franciszka STRZAŁKOWSKA visited this church to immerse herself in the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity and experience closeness with Mary.”
Friar Marian GOŁĄB, the Minister Provincial of Cracow, concelebrated at the funeral Mass. His eulogy was filled with faith and hope. In it, he mentioned that Blessed Zbigniew’s mother, who lived eighty-five years, was now enjoying eternal life with her son.
Friar Jarosław WYSOCZAŃSKI, the Secretary General for Missionary Animation (SGAM), represented Minister General Friar Marco TASCA. His homily referenced the Liturgy of the Word, calling mother Franciszka a woman of great faith, close to the truth, having walked throughout her life alongside Jesus. Jesus not only gave her the grace of a beautiful life, but also the great gift of being able to forgive her son’s persecutors.
As his homily continued, he cited some condolence letters from Peru. Among them were letters from the Most Reverend Salvador Piñeiro GARCÍA-CALDERÓN, Archbishop of Huamanga, Ayacucho, and President of the Peruvian Episcopal Conference; the Most Reverend Luis Armando BAMBARÉN GASTELUMENDI, S.J., Bishop Emeritus of Chimbote; Maria Elvira VELÁSQUEZ RIVAS-PLATA, Peru’s Ambassador to the Holy See in Rome; Father Rafael REÁTEGUI; and many parishes in Pariacoto and Lima.
Franciszka STRZAŁKOWSKA’s funeral was a big celebration of thanksgiving for her life and for her having given Blessed Zbigniew to the Order and the Church. Her son remained faithful to Christ and the poor to the point of martyrdom.
Friar Jarosław WYSOCZAŃSKI, SGAM Secretary General