Bishop Ryś: In the Church, we don’t focus on getting our own way

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Bishop Grzegorz Ryś ordained to the priesthood eight brothers of the Polish Province of the Dominican Order on Saturday, May 12, in Krakow. He encouraged them to combat the temptation to “get their way” and give themselves wholeheartedly to the service of the Church.

“In the Church, we don’t focus on getting our own way, even if we happen to be right. Fr. Józef Tischner [the eminent philosopher] frequently repeated: ‘Perhaps you are right, but what good comes from that?’” These were the words of the auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Krakow to the brothers about to be ordained as priests.

The bishop drew on the experience of Saint Paul to support what he was saying. Paul was “absolutely uncompromising,” the bishop said, “and he stood by his principles firmly. But he came to understand that he would have to tear down great barriers within himself in order to be able to encounter other people.”

“I hope that each of you will be able to find that ability within yourselves,” said the bishop to the brethren, adding that he trusted that they, like Saint Paul, would “rely on the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the Church.”

“In your priestly life, you will encounter many situations that are confusing to you. You may be disappointed, feeling that you can do nothing when you would very much like to help,” said the bishop. Yet he added that “there are many situations, and this is true not only in priestly life, that one begins to understand only a long time later.”

The bishop referred to the part of the Rite of Ordination in which he asked the superior the formal question, “Do you know if they are worthy?” and commented, “How could we measure or weigh your worthiness to be priests? To which generation would we have to penetrate your family history in search of an answer to the question of whether you are suitable for the priesthood? It seems more appropriate to assume that you are not worthy of the priesthood, and that in spite of many flaws, the Lord has chosen you.”

Bishop Ryś ordained the following brothers as priests: Paweł Adamik, Vitalij Sadvari, Krzysztof Lorczyk, Tomasz Pękala, Mateusz Lipnicki, Krzysztof Frąckiewicz, Dominik Jarczewski, and Marcin Karwacki. The Provincial of the Polish Province of the Dominican Order, Fr. Krzysztof Popławski, encouraged the newly-ordained brethren “not to stint in giving yourselves to God and other people, for only when you give of yourselves generously will you experience the mercy of God and your fellow human beings.” The Provincial expressed his joy that “a new generation of brothers are going out to preach.” He added, “In your preaching you will find that many others accompany you: your parents, your friends, and all those who have supported you through the years of your formation.”

The Provincial addressed himself to the parents of the newly-ordained, saying, “I thank you for your support, and I hope that you will continue to help these brothers. The things each of us learned in the home are a storehouse of riches which we bring with us to the community and share with everyone we meet.”

Many guests from abroad were present in the Basilica of the Holy Trinity for the ordination, including the superior of the Dominican Vicariate of Russia and the Ukraine, Fr. Maciej Rusiecki. The prior of the Krakow community, Fr. Paweł Kozacki, welcomed him and all the distinguished guests. Fr. Kozacki observed that, on a day when new priests are to be ordained, like on days when the brethren are to make final vows, “the halls of our priory are filled with a special kind of joy, from the earliest hours of the morning.”

There are approximately 450 members of the Polish Province of the Dominican Order, the majority of them priests. As a rule, the brethren are ordained after they finish a six-year course of studies in the Dominican College of Philosophy and Theology (sometimes called the Dominican House of Studies) in Krakow. In general, they receive diaconal ordination twelve months prior to priestly ordination. They make final vows in the Order a few weeks before being ordained as deacons.