Saturday, September 09, 2006

New Pastor at St. Hyacinth Church

From The Polish Weekly, September 7, 2006: Fr. Janusz Iwan - New Pastor of St. Hyacinth

On Sunday, August 20, Fr. Janusz Iwan was officially installed as the new Pastor of St. Hyacinth Parish in Detroit. A special Installation Mass was celebrated by a special guest from Poland - Bishop Ryszard Karpinski from Lublin. The Mass started with a procession with members of many local Polish folk dance ensembles ("Wawel", "Lajkonik", "Zajaczek", "Polskie Maki"). After the Mass, a luncheon was served at the Fr. Skalski Hall.

Fr. Janusz Iwan was born on June 15, 1949 in the town of Debica in southeastern Poland. He grew up in Ropczyce, near Rzeszow, where he completed his elementary and high school education. After high school, he went to the Jesuit order as a novitiate for two years. Upon his completion of his novitiate, he studied philosophy in Krakow for three years at the Jesuit University. Afterwards, he went to Warsaw to study theology at the College of St. Andrew Bobola and, after three years of theological studies, was ordained a priest in 1976.

Then, as a young priest, he began his graduate studies at the Academy of Catholic Theology in Warsaw. After earning a master degree in theology and philosophy in 1979, he preached throughout the countryside in Poland as a missionary. Father Iwan was responsible for directing retreats for all groups including nuns, priests, and students of theology. In 1992, the provincial sent him to the Polish Jesuit community in Chicago. While there, he worked as a radio director to broadcast the Holy Mass and conduct conferences for Chicago Polonia.

After three years, Fr. Iwan decided to apply for permission to remain in the United States. He became a citizen in 2000.

That same year, he was also incardinated into the Archdiocese of Detroit. His first parish assignment was at St. Veronica parish in Eastpointe where he remained for three years as an associate Pastor. Next, he was assigned to the Immaculate Conception parish in Lapeer for six years. Then, with tears in his eyes, he left Immaculate Conception parish and was appointed the Pastor of St. Stanislaus Kostka parish in Wyandotte in 2005.

This year Fr. Iwan was appointed the Pastor of St. Hyacinth parish in Detroit.

His desire as the new Pastor of St. Hyacinth, together with the hard work of the parishioners, is to prepare for the 100th anniversary celebration of St. Hyacinth parish. Moreover, it is in his heart to bring the people together and make them a strong community because he knows they were, are, and will continue to be strong and very active members of the parish.