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Recently Departed Marians

Father Marek Martiška
(03.03.1980 - 08.20.2018)

Father Marek Martiška, son of Anton and Emilia (née Homolová), was born on March 3, 1980, in Trenčin, Slovakia, as the youngest of the family’s four children (he had a sister Helena and two brothers: Pavel and Peter). Marek got to know the Marians in his home parish of Omšen, where they were serving at the time. As a teenager, he actively participated in the parish life, serving as an altar boy and attending retreats organized by the Marians.

During 1994-1998, he went to the technical school of mechanics in Dubnica on Váh, where he also obtained his high school certificate with honors. In 1998, he joined the Congregation of Marian Fathers and after a month-long postulancy – customary at that time – he began his novitiate in Skórzec, Poland, under the direction of Fr. Jan Migacz, MIC. Having made his first profession of vows on Sept. 8, 1999, he went to study philosophy and theology at the Major Seminary of the Congregation of Marian Fathers in Lublin, Poland. He did well in his studies and also easily adjusted to his religious community. On Sept. 20, 2003, he made his perpetual vows before the then Superior General, Fr. Mark T. Garrow, MIC. Brother Marek graduated on Apr. 26, 2005, defending his Master’s thesis in moral theology and bioethics entitled “Moral evaluation of eugenic activities in the light of the teaching of the Catholic Church,” written under the direction of Fr. Piotr Kieniewicz, MIC.

On May 8, 2004, Bishop Wiesław A. Mering of Włocławek ordained Brother Marek a deacon at the Basilica of Our Lady of Licheń together with Brs. Grzegorz Leszczyk, MIC and Adam Stankiewicz, MIC. Deacon Marek’s ordination to the priesthood took place on Apr. 30, 2005, at the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Church in his home parish of Omšen in Slovakia. Bishop Marián Chovanec, Ordinary of the Diocese in Nitra, performed the ceremony.

The following two years after ordination Fr. Marek spent serving at the parish in Dudince (Slovakia), where the Marians had a residence at the time. In 2007, he was transferred to the religious house in Hrádek (Czech Republic) and appointed treasurer of the local religious community and the vocation director for the Czech Republic. In 2011, he was named the house superior in Hrádek. In 2015, Fr. Marek was transferred to the religious house in Brumov-Bylnice in Moravia and appointed 1st councilor of the local community. In 2017, he was appointed the house superior and the 1st councilor and treasurer of the Czech Vicariate.

Father Marek showed willingness to work wherever there was need: be it in England or in Rwandan missions. However, his superiors recognized that his service was more needed in Slovakia and Czech Republic, and Fr. Marek obediently accepted their decision. Already as a seminary student, the Prefect described him as someone marked by faith, trust, and straightforwardness. Everywhere he served he became known as a priest devoted to pastoral ministry and religious community. His big passion was hunting. He endeavored to come out to meet people without waiting for them to come to him.

He died suddenly, on August 20, 2018, while vacationing in Croatia with his relatives. The presumed cause of death was drowning.

Brother Roman Wolski, MIC
(05.18.1923 - 03.10.2018)

Brother Roman Wolski, MIC, son of Stanisław and Helena Wolski, was born May 18, 1923, in Lodz, Poland. He was a graduate of the local elementary school, where he became member of the Eucharistic Crusade, and after graduation he became a member the Association Catholic Male Youth movement in his parish, carrying out the duties of its secretary. At the suggestion of his parish pastor, he undertook the duties of the sacristan, which he fulfilled until the outbreak of World War II. During the general mobilization, together with his father, he volunteered to fight in defense of their homeland. He was taken prisoner, and, after his release, he resumed working as the parish sacristan. In March 1941, the Germans arrested him together with priests from his parish on charges of resistance. After a two-month imprisonment, he was deported to work in Grossroschen, Germany, where he stayed four years, carrying out various duties at the glassworks. In May 1945, he returned home from captivity and started working at a Lodz factory as a lathe worker.

A year later, he applied for admission into our Congregation. After six months of postulancy in Skórzec, he began his novitiate. He made his first vows on March 25, 1948. From 1948-1950, he fulfilled the duties of a sacristan in Grudziądz, and then he was transferred to our religious house at Wileńska St. in Warsaw, residing there until 1957, where he served initially as a sacristan and then was in charge of the house maintenance. In 1953, he made perpetual vows in Licheń. In 1971 he was transferred to the religious house in Skórzec, where he was also in charge of the house maintenance. From 1981-1984, he was a house treasurer in Skórzec. In 1985, in response to the request of the Portuguese Vicariate Superior, Brother Roman went to Portugal, where he managed renovation works at the monastery in Balsamão. After their completion, in August 1997 he returned to his native Province and was sent to the religious house in Elbląg. In 2014, he was transferred to Licheń, where he spent the last years of his life, surrounded by the care of the confreres. He died shortly after midnight on March 10, 2018.

Brother Antonio dos Reis Fernandes, MIC
(12.24.1930 - 01.16.2018)

Brother Antonio dos Reis Fernandes, MIC, was born Dec. 24, 1930, in Vale de Pena – Vimioso, in the northeast part of Portugal. From an early age, he felt a call to the consecrated life, and with this desire in his heart he started working as a servant in the House of Bishop Bragança, Dom Abílio Vaz das Neves. The bishop introduced Antonio to Fr. Marian Wiśniewski, MIC, who came to the Seminary of the diocese of Bragança on May 10, 1949, in order to facilitate the Marians' return to Portugal. Under the spiritual direction of Fr. Marian Wiśniewski, young Antonio asked to join the Congregation of Marian Fathers, and –after Fr. Jan Szurek, MIC, arrived in Portugal, in August 1953, – Antonio became a member of the first reinstated Marian community in Portugal; for several months he lived in the diocesan seminary in Bragança. On Feb. 2, 1954, he arrived in Chacim with the above-mentioned Polish priests to take part in the reconstruction work of the monastery in Balsamão. On May 1, 1954, the community took up residence near the tomb of the Venerable Servant of God Fr. Casimir Wyszyński. On Dec. 7, 1954, together with his cousin, Antonio joined the Marian Fathers' novitiate that opened in Balsamão. In October of 1955, while still in the novitiate, Br. Antonio witnessed the "miraculous" tolling of the bells of the church of Our Lady of Balsamão, which occurred during the exhumation of the Venerable Fr. Casimir's earthly remains. After a brief leave of absence, Br. Antonio returned to Balsamão in August of 1956, and was re-admitted to the novitiate on May 30, 1957. He made his first vows on May 31, 1958, and three years later – on May 31, 1961 – he made his perpetual profession of vows as the first Portuguese member in the renewed Congregation of Marian Fathers. During the first years of his religious life, Br. Antonio served as a gardener and the monastery's assistant treasurer, as well as helped with the upkeep of the Marian Fathers' Minor Seminary of in Balsamão, which opened Oct.24, 1960. In the summer of 1966 Br. Antonio was transferred to Curitiba in Brazil to assist Fr. Bolesław Jakimowicz, MIC, in pastoral work at St. George's Parish, thus becoming one of the pioneers in establishing the Marians' presence in Brazil. A few years later he returned to Portugal and continued to serve as the gardener and caretaker of the monastery in Balsamão. In 1983, he was assigned to assist Fr. George Predko, MIC, in setting up the House of Studies in Telheiras in the Lisbon parish of Lumiar, serving there as an assistant treasurer and assistant in pastoral work in the Church of Our Lady of the Gate of Heaven in Telheiras. He then returned to Balsamão, where he lived until his dying day, earning praise for his spirit of service and prayer, his witness to brotherly love that manifested in his visiting the sick and the prisoners, as well as in his hospitality towards the pilgrims and guests coming to the monastery in Balsamão. He died on Jan. 16, 2018, at a hospital in Bragança. May he rest in peace.

Father Gerard Leon Domański, MIC
(03.30.1935 - 12.01.2017)

Father Gerard Leon Domański, son of Antony and Helena nee Marciszewska, was born on March 30, 1935, in Kałuszyn, Poland. In 1940, his family moved to Międzyrzec Podlaski, where he attended school from 1942-48. Admitted to the Marian junior school, he completed two grades in 1948-1950: in the facility at Wileńska Street and at Bielany.

In 1950-51, Fr. Gerard completed his novitiate in Skórzec and made his first religious profession on Aug. 15, 1951. From 1951 to 1952, he continued his education at Bielany, and from 1952 to 1958 he resided at Wileńska Street in Warsaw, where he first obtained his high school certificate in 1954, and then went to study philosophy at the Metropolitan Seminary. From 1956-57, he worked at the parish office. On Aug. 15, 1957, he made his perpetual profession in Gietrzwałd, after which he completed his theology course, and on May 21, 1961, he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Franciszek Korszyński. The ceremony took place at the Włocławek Basilica.

After his ordination, Fr. Gerard attended a one-year pastoral course at the Institute of Theology run by the Order of Friars Minor Conventual in Krakow. Licheń was his first pastoral posting, where he fulfilled the prefect's duties from 1962-63. Following, from 1963-65, he assisted with pastoral ministry and was the prefect in Głuchołazy, and then at Marymont in 1965-66. From 1966-1972, Fr. Gerard served in Grudziądz as a catechist and rector of St. Francisl Xavier's Church. From 1972-73, he was the youth pastor in Praga, a neighborhood of Warsaw.

In October of 1973, Fr. Gerard went to England to minister to the local Polish community there and since 1978 also fulfilling the duty of the provincial secretary. According to the information found in our Elenchuses, starting with 1981, Fr. Gerard resided in our house in Reading, serving the local Polish community. From 1981 to 1987, he was the provincial superior in England and stayed in our religious house in Fawley Court. The year of 1988 saw him recovering from health problems. Starting in 1989, Fr. Gerard served as local superior and pastor in Hereford. From 1994 to 2000, he was the pastor of a Polish-speaking parish in Slough, and from 1995-1999 also as the rector of this residence. In 2000-2001, Fr. Gerard served in London as a vicar and pastoral assistant. In 2001, he asked for permission to spend his sabbatical year in Grudziądz, Poland. At the end of that year, he decided to remain in Grudziądz where he lived until his dying day. Father Gerard passed away on Dec. 1, 2017, at our religious house in Grudziądz.

Father Czesław Szyszko, MIC
(02.10.1936 - 09.21.2017)

Father Czesław Szyszko, son of Ignacy and Agnieszka nee Szymanek, was born on Feb. 10, 1936, in Rudno, in the district of Lubartów, in the diocese of Lublin. After grammar school in Rudno, he went in 1952 to a school in Lubartów, where he completed two years. In 1954, he moved to Lublin, where he took a job and continued his studies at a night school for working people, finishing his studies in 1956. That same year he was admitted to the Marian Fathers' novitiate in Skórzec.

He made his first religious profession on Sept. 15, 1957. In 1957-58, he attended high school in Nysa, and in 1958-60 he studied philosophy at our Wileńska Street house.

In 1960-61, he interrupted his studies and started working at our Wileńska Street house. In 1961, he was sent to study theology at the Major Seminary in Włocławek. He made his perpetual vows on Aug. 15, 1963, at the shrine of our Lady Queen of Peace in Stoczek Klasztorny, and on June 20, 1965, Bishop Antony Pawłowski, the Ordinary of Włocławek, ordained him to the priesthood at the cathedral basilica in Włocławek.

Even during his vacation time immediately following his ordination, Fr. Czesław served in Góra Kalwaria at first, and then in Miłosna, after which he was transferred to work pastorally and as a catechist in Licheń, starting Sept. 1st. In 1965, he became 2nd house councilor, and in 1967, the house treasurer.

In 1971, Fr. Czesław was dispatched to work at the All Saints Church in Elbląg and appointed the auxiliary vicar for St. Nicholas Parish. In 1972, he became the 1st house councilor in Elbląg.

Starting in 1975, Fr. Czesław carried out the duties of house superior and treasurer in Stoczek Klasztorny, as well as the administrator of the parish in Stoczek. Also from that year on, he was the moderator of the candidates to our Congregation, who were making their postulancy in Stoczek.

In 1981, he was transferred to Goźlin, where he was elected the house superior and also named the pastor of the local parish. In 1984, he was transferred from Goźlin to Skórzec, and entrusted with the duties of the house superior and treasurer. The diocesan authorities appointed him as pastor of the parish in Skórzec. From 1987-90, Fr. Czesław served as the 1st house councilor, and from 1990-96 fulfilled again the functions of the house superior and treasurer.

Transferred to Rdzawka, from 1996-99, he was the house superior and treasurer, as well as the pastor of the local parish.

In 1999, he was moved to Licheń and assigned to work at the shrine of our Lady of Licheń as a preacher and confessor; he also ran parish retreats there. From 1999-2005, he was the 1st house councilor. The provincial government assigned him to run retreats for our young confreres prior to the profession of their solemn vows.

In 2003, the visiting General Superior named Fr. Czesław the local superior in Góra Kalwaria. Having completed this service, he was moved again to Licheń, where he took over his previous duties, as well as elected 4th house councilor. From 2008 – 2011, he was the 2nd house councilor.

During the last years of his life until 2016, Fr. Czesław continued to serve as a confessor in spite of his worsening health. He died on Sept. 21, 2017, in our religious house in Licheń.

Father Francis Jaworski, MIC
(06.27.1924 - 06.29.2017)

Father Francis Jaworski was born on June 27, 1924, in Jawór, in Silesia, Poland. During World War II, the German army forcibly recruited him, since the Polish lands in Silesia were annexed by Germany. After World War II, he entered the Marian Fathers’ novitiate in Hereford, England, and made his first vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience on Aug. 15, 1955, followed by his perpetual profession four years later (Aug. 15, 1958). From 1955-1960, he attended the course of theology at the Ateneum Angelicum in Rome. On July 3, 1960, he was ordained a priest, together with Fr. Jorge Predko († April 4, 2016), at the Benedictine Church of St. Anselm in Rome, by Luigi Cardinal Traglia. In the first two years following his ordination (1960-1962), he worked pastorally in England. On Dec. 21, 1962, he arrived in Balsamão to work in education, at the minor seminary conducted by the Marian Fathers, where he held the office of prefect of discipline (1963-1966), and also taught Latin. From 1966–1969, he was house superior in Balsamão and novice master. In Sept. 1969, Fr. Francis participated in the founding of the minor seminary in Fatima and served as its rector from 1969 to 1972. On Nov. 17, 1972, the Religious House of Our Lady of Fatima was erected, and Fr. Francisco was named its superior and treasurer, which offices he held until 1975. In 1975, Fr. Francisco was transferred to Balsamão as house superior; he carried out this office until 1981. After the General Chapter of 1981, Fr. Francisco was dispatched to work in the United States of America, where, a few years later, he was elected Superior of St. Stanislaus Kostka Province, and fulfilled this function from June 30, 1988 to July 9, 1993. In 1993, he returned to Portugal to administer the pilgrims’ house of São Paulo de Fátima, which had been acquired in 1988. He was a distinguished director of the São Paulo de Fátima house from 1993 to 2005. In Fátima, he also served as Counselor of the Portuguese Vice-Province of St. Mary the Queen (1993–1999, 1999–2005). He was also the Vice-Province treasurer from 1999 to 2005 and the Portuguese Vicariate treasurer of from 2005 to 2010. From 2010 to 2015 he continued to reside at the Fatima house, serving as a counselor of the Portuguese Vicariate from 2010 to 2013, and as chaplain of Dominican Sisters and the Sisters of the Covenant of Our Lady of Fatima. At the end of the year 2015, he was transferred to the Convent of Balsamão, where his state of health began to worsen, and he died at approx. 5:30 p.m. on June 29, 2017, at the Hospital of Macedo de Cavaleiros.

Father Lawrence Patrick Dunn, MIC
(08.17.1942 - 05.18.2017)

Father Larry was born on Aug. 17, 1942 in Brooklyn, New York. He served in the US Navy for four years before being honorably discharged. It was during that time that he experienced the desire to embrace the religious life: One day, while onboard a ship that was anchored off the coast of Haiti, he was deeply moved by the desperation of local children who would dive into shark-infested waters to retrieve coins laughingly tossed into the water by his fellow soldiers. This experience led him to seek to follow the poor Christ and to serve those in material and spiritual poverty. He made his first profession of religious vows with the Marian Fathers on Feb. 2, 1972 and perpetual vows on Dec. 30, 1979. Initially, he felt called to be a permanent brother but, after several years as a brother, he experienced a call to the priesthood and was approved by his superiors to begin his seminary studies. He was ordained a priest on Aug. 1, 1987. Before his priestly ordination, on June 28, 1987, he had the privilege of assisting as the Deacon of the Eucharist (or as his friends and Marian brothers would jokingly say, the “supreme deacon”) alongside Pope St. John Paul II during the Mass of Beatification for the Marian Renovator, Blessed George Matulaitis-Matulewicz.

Father Larry was a much beloved pastor wherever he ministered. He served from 1988-1990 at Our Lady of Grace in Greensboro, North Carolina. He came to Washington, D.C., in 1990. There, he celebrated Mass and heard confessions at the Divine Mercy Chapel, in Brookeville, Maryland, the Malta House Nursing Home in Hyattsville, Maryland, the chapel of the Oblate Sisters of the Most Holy Eucharist, including the Gospa Prayer Group, and he heard confessions regularly at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. When asked what he loved most about priestly ministry in places like the Greensboro Parish, Fr. Larry responded, “The people — I loved the people.”

In addition to his ministries, he provided a cheerful presence in the seminary community in Washington. He worked on the admission board and served for a time as the director of vocations. He would say about the young men applying to the community that the most important quality that he looked for was zeal, “because it's the one thing you can’t give.” Joking with the members of his community, he would welcome those who had been traveling by patting their back and saying, “Whose back? ... Your back!” And when a member would finish his meal, saying, “I’m done,” he would remark, “No you’re not. I’m Dunn!”

Father Larry loved reading about history, especially the Revolutionary War, and he was deeply devoted to St. Joseph and to the Blessed Mother.

Father Larry is buried in the Marian Cemetery on Eden Hill in Stockbridge.