According to the instructions of the Constitution and the General Directory of the Order of Saint Paul the First Hermit, as well as the Statutes of the American Province, on June 16-17, 2020, an ordinary canonical visit was carried out in the Pauline religious house, Corpus Christi parish and the parish of St. Stanislaus in Buffalo, NY. The visit was conducted by Father Provincial Tadeusz Lizińczyk in the company of Father Karol Jarząbek, Secretary of the Province.
On Wednesday June 17th, a special mass was celebrated at Corpus Christi Church in Buffalo to bless a new painting of Pope St. John Paul II. The Mass was celebrated by the Father Tadeusz Lizińczyk, Provincial of the Pauline Order in the USA, who gave a beautiful homily about how Pope St. Pope John Paul II, “taught us about God.” The saint is known as being, “the pilgrim Pope” visiting 129 countries during his papacy and for being a spiritual protagonist in two main world events: the fall of European communism and the passage to the third millennium of Christianity. The saint is also known for instituting the World Day of Consecrated Life, World Day of the Sick, World Meeting of Families, World Youth Day, Divine Mercy Sunday, and the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary.
Before the final blessing, the Provincial dedicated a portrait of Pope Saint John Paul II, painted by parishioner Roman Kujawa. Br. Piotr Lisiecki, who served in Buffalo in 2004-2009, is remembered as a prayerful and hard-working Pauline. During a meeting with the artist, it was suggested to paint a portrait to celebrate 100th Anniversary of the birth of the Saint from Wadowice. The painting was rendered by artist Roman Kujawa who is known for his restoration work on the church’s expression of “the Disputa” which appears above the main altar.
Roman Kujawa graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow in the field of conservation and of works of art. After studying, he worked for a year in Poland. During this time he did some serious work, including reconstruction of a large bas-relief on Florianska Street in Krakow and conservation of stucco in the castle in Libiąż. He then came to the USA. For 5 years he worked in a private painting conservation studio. He preserved the works of many European masters: Rubens, the crucifix of Francis de Zurbarán, and the works of American masters that hang in museums, such as Winslow Homer’s portrait.
Roman Kujawa and his brother Grzegorz, with emotion, took part in the liturgy and the ceremony of consecrating the image. The Pauline fathers, parishioners and people participating in this event paid tribute to the artist for gratitude for such a unique gift to the parish to honor the Pope and his own Polish heritage. The artist is also known for his conservation work, which he performed in 2012, renovating the vault above the main altar at Corpus Christi Church.
During the visit, parish books were reviewed in the parishes of St. Stanislus and the Corpus Christi parishes and they got acquainted with the condition of the buildings: the church, convent, presbytery and other buildings belonging to both parishes.
Evening prayer in the monastery chapel and the blessing of the Provincial of the Pauline Order in the USA ended the two-day ordinary canonical visit to Buffalo.
Fr. Michał Czyżewski, OSPPE