Fr. Mieczysław BURDZY, OMI
7.1.1970 - I was born in Nisko, Poland and grew up in Przyszów Ruda, right in the middle of the Sandomierz Great Forest. Situated on the edge of the twisting river called Łęg, surrounded by beautiful forest, green meadows and lots of fresh air and place to play, it was the perfect place to begin the earthly pilgrimage.
In those days, Ruda belonged to St. Gwalbert parish in Stany where I was baptized on January 25 of January. And then participated in the life of the church through the sacramental life as and altar server in our mission church at Ruda and the catecheses.
The family of seven: parents, three older brothers and a younger sister, was a setting of wholesome growing up with playfulness and responsibilities that a small farm life demanded.
1976 - After a couple of months of the preschool I started attending the elementary school in Ruda for the first four years and then in Przyszów for the grades 5 till 8. Enjoying the life of close friendships of a small village setting. While serving at our small church few minutes away from our family home and watching the example of the encountered priests that that served at our church, these were the years of my dreams about serving in the far missions somewhere as a missionary.
1984 - I began the studies at 5 year - Technical Electrical School at Nisko, which I completed in 1989 as a Technician Electrician-Mechanic. In the mid-time the inkling of priestly vocation lied hidden behind the teenager’s and then young adult joys of life.
1991 - In January I left for the United States where I lived for almost five years, till December 1995. During that time the death of my dad in February of 1994 impacted be greatly and reawakened the thoughts about possibility of vocation to the priesthood.
1995 - After my dad passed away, the opportunity emerged to be sponsored for the permanent residence in Canada. And after two years of procedures towards it, right before Christmas, on Dec 19, 1995 I moved to Mississauga, Ontario. It is here, after encountering Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate at Saint Maximilian Kolbe Parish, that I renewed my practice of the faith and began active life in the parish and polish community. It is also from this parish that happened to sponsor me to come to Canada, that the decision of leaving behind the past came to begin the journey in religious life and priesthood crystallized and matured.
1997 - After participating in my first World Youth Days in Paris, France and the pilgrimage with Fr. Marian Gil and the Youth through Europe, in the fall year I was admitted to the pre-novitiate in Saint Albert, AB where a year passed quickly working and studying philosophy.
1998 – With great joy, that I found finally the courage to answer God’s call. In September I began the Novitiate in Święty Krzyż, Poland, which we started with a weeklong retreat and the first promise on September 7th.
8.09.1999 - On the 8th of September I professed the First Vows as a Missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate, and headed back to Canada for studies. While twenty-three of my confreres began their Scholasticate in Obra, Poland, I returned to Saint Albert and continued my philosophy and theology studies at Newman College in Edmonton, AB.
15.06.2000 - Second Annual Religious Vows. In this Year of the Great Jubilee of our Redemption, as the three years of preparations where dedicated to each Person of the Holy Trinity. Now came time to celebrate that Jubilee leading into a new millennium by our own, Pope John Paul II.
22.08.2001 - Third Annual Religious Vows renewal.
29.08.2002 - Fourth Annual Religious Vows. This Year was a special year due to the World Youth Days in Toronto, where as Oblate scholastics we participated in two months preparations and then participated in the meeting of the thousands of the young people with the now Blessed Pope John Paul II.
7.09. 2003 - Fifth Annual Religious Vows. This renewal of vows took place after completing my studies. I graduated from Newman College with Bachelor in Theology degree and began a year of ministry with Oblate Youth Team as well as Oblate Mission Team, running the retreats and missions in parishes throughout the Western Canada.
15.08.2004 - Sixth Annual Religious Vows. This I had the grace of making during our annual pilgrimage to the Shrine of Canadian Martyrs in Midland Ontario. After a move from the west to Ottawa, Ontario, I enlisted for needed courses in Canon Law and then in the fall participated in awesome 40 days Spiritual Exercises Retreat at Guelph, ON of which 30 days was a silent retreat. This experience helped me in and preceded the big decision of final commitment to the Oblates.
8.12.2004- A joyous day when I professed the Final Vows as a Missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate forever and ever! The event began a series of other dedications and commitments.
18.12.2004 - Ten days after my perpetual vows as a religious, I was ordained to the diaconate by Archbishop Gerald Wiesner, OMI at Holy Rosary Parish in Edmonton where I served as a seminarian for four years with the liturgical duties and the youth.
20.05.2005 - Ordination to the priesthood of Jesus Christ. What a gift. I’m a priest of Jesus Christ! “You have chosen me for Yourself, and I want to be only Yours, to work for You, to live and to die for You”. These words of Eugene de Mazenod that he wrote during his ordination retreat and I took on as my motto for Oblate and Priestly life. My first obedience, mission, as an Oblate Priest was Saint Maximilian Kolbe Parish in Mississauga as an associate pastor to Fr. Andrzej Sowa, OMI, who was my pastor and guide through the first two years of my priesthood.
2007 - Only two years of ministry in the biggest parish in North America ended with a special mission to Ottawa. Fr. Stanislaw Kowal, OMI was sick with cancer, and so I was sent to St. Hyacinth parish in Ottawa to take on the responsibility of the Administrator of the parish accompanying Fr. Stanisław in his illness, surgery and then death in February of 2008.
2008 - My, then provincial, Fr. Janusz Błażejak sent me for yet another challenging mission. Back to Toronto, I was named an assistant director of Catholic Youth Studio in Toronto, responsible for the operations of the office, radio program, magazine “Rodzina” and the Annual International Festival of Religious Song and of course of fundraising to keep these operational.
2009 - Another year, another change. This time the famous saying: “Go west young man” came true and I was named an Associate Pastor of Holy Ghost Parish in Winnipeg under the guidance of the pastor, Fr. Maciej Pająk, OMI. After several years spent in the West during my formation, this was a pleasant comeback, but as life shows, not for long.
2011 - In May I celebrated 6 years of my priesthood, two Sunday cycles of liturgical year and a new beginning. From August 30th I began my ministry in the newest, and most beautiful mission of Saint Eugene de Mazenod in Brampton, Ontario under the pastor: Fr. Adam Filas, OMI. Here, started a new period in my religious life and priesthood under a watchful eye and patronage of Our Lady of Ludźmierz, our bellowed Blessed John Paul II along with the founder of our congregation of Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.
2012 - Another test of the Vow of Obedience and test of being a Missionary. From August 1, 2012 I begin the ministry of awakening Vocations, as a full time Vocation Director in the Assumption Province of Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Canada.God calls, and sends.
2014 – On September 1, I began my ministry as pastor of St. Henry’s Parish in Melville, Saskatchewan.