Two gifts from Poland to Idaho - Ordained

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Two gifts from Poland to Idaho

Adrian Leszko, Pawel Pawliszko ordained to serve as deacons

 

From left, Deacon Adrian Leszko, Bishop Peter Christensen and Deacon Pawel Pawliszko. The two Polish natives were ordained to the Transitional Diaconate on May 9 at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Boise. They will return this fall for their final year of study at Sts. Methodius and Cyril Seminary near Detroit. (ICR photo/Vero Gutierrez)

 

By Gene Fadness
Editor

Two men, both natives of Poland, were ordained deacons on May 9, just nine days before the world-wide Church celebrated the 100th anniversary of the birth of another son of Poland – St. Pope John Paul II – whose pontificate inspired vocations worldwide, particularly in Poland. 
Ordained as “transitional” deacons were Adrian Leszko and Pawel Pawliszko, both seminarians at Sts. Cyril and Methodius Seminary near Detroit. The seminary is a formation center of primarily Polish men who wish to serve the Church in North America. Because the seminary is not tied to any one diocese, the seminarians not only discern their call to priesthood, but also where they will serve. In what Bishop Peter Christensen calls an “unexpected bonus,” Deacons Leszko and Pawliszko, chose the Diocese of Boise.

Their choice of the Diocese of Boise means that the Diocese may have three ordinations to the priesthood next year. In addition to Deacons Leszko and Pawliszko, seminarian Joshua Falce will be ordained to the Transitional Diaconate on June 6. (The Transitional Diaconate, as opposed to the Permanent Diaconate, is for men who are planning for ordination to the priesthood. Typically, men serve one year as deacons before they are ordained priests. The Permanent Diaconate is for men, many of them married, who choose to serve the Church as deacons throughout their lives.) 

Pawel Pawliszko and Adrian Lesko are prostrate before the altar as the Litany of Saints is prayed during their May 9 ordination to the Transitional

Diaconate. (ICR photo/Vero Gutiérrez)

 

The ordination ceremony at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist was like no other for the Bishop, the men to be ordained and the few who attended. While the liturgy was essentially the same, there was not the packed Cathedral that is typical of ordina-tions in this mission Diocese where ordinations 
are infrequent. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, attendance was sparse. There were not the family members and friends that usually come to support and pray for those being ordained. There were not the joy-filled moments where mothers assist in the vesting of their sons or when fellow deacons line up to embrace the newly ordained. 

Instead, the families of both the men watched the ordination Mass via computer laptops in faraway BiaƂystok, the hometown for Deacon Leszko, and Wroclaw, the hometown for Deacon Pawliszko. 
“My family and friends were not present, however there were many priests and faithful who did share the joy of these moments with us,” Deacon Leszko said. “The Holy Mass was also broadcast by the media, and so I was thankful that my loved ones and friends could also attend this momentous event. I did not feel any sadness or regret.”

Deacon Pawliszko said that even though there may not have been a large crowd physically in at-tendance, he knew that “the whole Church was praying for me and my vocation. It was a great feeling.”

Left, Adrian Leszko and Pawel Pawliszko kneel as they prepare to be ordained as deacons on May 9. (ICR photo/Vero Gutierrez)

 

Father Caleb Vogel, vocations director for seminarians and pastor at St. Paul’s Parish in Nampa, said the two men are a “tremendous gift” to the Diocese. “They come to us from Poland with a desire to serve our local Church. Just as the Irish priests came years ago, now Poland is sending men to serve in our parishes. What a gift! I pray that our Diocese will receive them with gratitude and open arms.”

Father Mariusz Majewski, the rector of the Cathedral where the men were ordained, is also a native of Poland and attended undergraduate studies at Sts. Methodius and Cyril Seminary before attending his final years in theology at Mount Angel Seminary in Oregon.
While neither deacon had ever met Father Mariusz before just recently, his presence here was definitely a factor in their decision to come to this Diocese. “I’ve heard a lot of good opinions about him and his mission here,” said Deacon Leszko in an earlier edition of the Idaho Catholic Register.
The two deacons’ journey to Boise had a rocky start, but a smooth finish.

Father Nathan Dail, vocations director for recruitment and parochial vicar at All Saints Parish in Lewiston, had emailed Sts. Cyril and Methodius Seminary inquiring as to whether seminarians there might be considering the Diocese of Boise. Not long afterward, Deacon Leszko responded expressing an interest, but Father Dail did not see his email. He did, however, see a follow-up email from Deacon Adrian indicating that perhaps Boise was not the place.
Father Dail immediately contacted Deacon Adrian and invited him to a “Quo Vadis” (Latin for, “Where are you going?”) retreat he was organizing for men discerning seminary that just so happened to be a week later in Hailey.

By the next day, Deacon Leszko had his airline tickets. “It was one of the smoothest things that could take place,” Father Dail said, noting the timing just before the retreat when Deacon Leszko would have the opportunity to meet priests and fellow seminarians. “He fit in so well with the seminarians and got a chance to meet Father (Justin) Brady, Father Vogel and Father Jose,” he said, referring to Father Jose Ramirez, who, at the time, was vocations director for Hispanic seminarians.

Deacon Leszko was impressed with what he witnessed. “I was so amazed about Idaho,” he said. “I found very profound faith and devotional people. I saw Christ in those young people who, with their whole heart, were participating in this holy time.”

The Quo Vadis retreat was a deciding factor in his decision to choose the Diocese of Boise, as well as his decision to tell his friend and fellow seminarian, Pawel Pawliszko, who also then chose Boise.

“It was such a grace, I felt like God pulled them here with so little effort on my part,” Father Dail said. “I’m confident the Holy Spirit was working behind this because it was just so smooth, and they both fit in so well.”

During his ordination homily, Bishop Peter exhorted the men to follow Jesus’ example of love. “His love is self-giving. The greater the self-giving, the greater the love,” the Bishop said.

“When we put our lives at the service of others, when we live in order to give and not to take, when we are willing to suffer so that someone else can rejoice, then we may call ourselves His disciples,” the Bishop said.

Christ accepted mockery, suffering and death, “not because he was too weak to resist, but rather to show what love really is: self-giving, self-forgetting generosity,” the Bishop said. “This love is far from the emotions of what’s in it for one’s self.” He told the men that their ordination “is not so much about you, as it is about the Lord who desires to do great things in you.”

The deacons’ task, the Bishop said, will be to “build up the body of Christ, not so much in converting the converted, but rather to get out in the world in which you live and offer your care to those who hunger and thirst to know a God who truly loves them as His own. By your words, but, more importantly, by the witness of your loving actions – which find their origin in your friendship with Christ, they, too, will desire to know the One whom you serve.”
Both men will return this fall to the seminary, where each will complete his thesis and final year of study.

 

This online version of the Idaho Catholic Register is made possible by those who continue to subscribe to the ICR. If you read the paper online, please consider an annual donation of $20 to the Idaho Catholic Register either through your parish, by contacting the ICR at 208-350-7530, or Donate Here. When you donate through your parish, your parish gets a $3 credit for each subscription. Much of the work of the Diocese of Boise’s Communications Department – videos, social media posts, the online edition and the print edition of the ICR – is supported by your subscriptions to the Idaho Catholic Register. Thank you and God bless you! 

 
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