This year, Fathers Slawomir Obłąk and Maciej Pająk celebrated their 25th anniversaries of ordination to the priesthood. I had the chance to ask Maciej a few questions, which I would like to share with you.
Maciej this year you are celebrating 25 years of priesthood, which you recently celebrated with your parishioners. Tell me why the Oblates? How did you meet them and what captivated you about them that made you become an oblate?
- I first learned about the Oblates when I joined the Minor Seminary in Markowice. Before that, I didn’t know them. Since the second grade, I served at the church altar and still do. During my time in Markowice, my understanding of the Oblates grew. I was impressed by their work all over the world. Their bravery in today’s tough world made me want to join them in their mission.
Over 25 years, a lot must have happened in priestly and Oblate life. Tell me, is there any event that has marked your priesthood, Oblate life, something for which you are particularly grateful to God?
- To me, being a missionary is a top honor, serving God and the Immaculate every day. I’m thankful to God for the different roles He gave me. I started as a religious teacher at Katowice High School. Then, I worked with the youth in St. Maximilian’s parish. Later, I became pastor at Holy Ghost parish in Winnipeg, where I also helped run a Catholic school. I also spent seven years as a hospital chaplain, helping patients and staff. In all my roles, I felt God guiding me.
What is your “recipe”, a way or some advice to make it to such a significant anniversary?
- Being close to Jesus and Mary gives us strength. By following their ways, we can face any challenge. They are our guide and strength in life.
Fr Maciej Pająk OMI was ordained on June 20, 1998, in Obra. His first assignment as a priest was in Katowice, Poland, where he served for one year. Next he was sent to Canada in 1999 and has been working with Polish-Canadian Catholic communities since then.
We wish both jubilarians many graces of God and the protection of our Immaculate Mother for the further years of their priestly and Oblate lives.
text: TJ OMI
review and correction – fr Daniel Janulewicz OMI