SPECIAL REPORT: New priest to be at the service of a holy people, says Archbishop Costelloe
Archbishop Emeritus Barry Hickey, Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB, newly ordained Fr Grzegorz Rapcewicz and Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton following the ordination to the priesthood of Fr Grzegorz at St Mary’s Cathedral, Friday 12 August. Photo: Ron Tan.
By Jamie O’Brien
Newly ordained priest Fr Grzegorz Rapcewicz is called and sent to care for a chosen race and a royal priesthood, said Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB.
Speaking at the ordination of Fr Grzegorz last Friday 12 August, Archbishop Costelloe highlighted that Fr Grzegorz will be at the service of a holy people.
“A people endowed with great dignity through the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit within them, and through their growing conformity to the Christ who lives within them,” Archbishop Costelloe said.
“And if it is true that sometimes this holy people may be harassed and dejected, a little like sheep without a shepherd (cf Matthew 9:36), then at those times it will be especially important that it is the presence of the Good Shepherd that Grzegorz brings alive through his life and ministry,” he said.
Speaking at the ordination of Fr Grzegorz last Friday 12 August, Archbishop Costelloe highlighted that Fr Grzegorz will be at the service of a holy people. Photo: Ron Tan.
Hailing originally from Warsaw, Poland, Fr Grzegorz is the third of seven children – all boys, and celebrated his 33rd birthday on Sunday 14 August.
He has spent the past year as a transitional deacon at the parish of Osborne Park, under the guidance of Parish Priest, Fr Wilson Donizetti Martins.
Parents Dariusz and Agnieszka, together with their sons Krzysztof, Jan, Adam, Jerzy, Maciej and Antoni (19) travelled from Poland for the special occasion.
Newly ordained Fr Grzegorz Rapcewicz, centre, with his parents, Dariusz and Agnieszka Rapcewicz, fourth and sixth from left and his six brothers, from first left, Maciej, Jerzy, Jan, Krzysztof, Adam and Antoni. Mr and Mrs Rapcewicz and their six sons, travelled from Poland for the occasion. Photo: Ron Tan
Deacon Grzegorz arrived in Perth in March 2011 and was trained at Perth’s Redemptoris Mater Seminary, which functions under the auspices of the Neocatechumenal Way, and have as their mission the formation of diocesan priests for the "New Evangelisation".
Seminarians in training are members of Neocatechumenal communities which exist in a parish; in Perth there are some 15 communities across Mirrabooka, Cathedral, Cottesloe, Osborne Park, Midland and Kelmscott parishes.
Archbishop Costelloe explained that it is important for Grzegorz, and for us, to understand what it means to be a priestly people.
Archbishop Costelloe incences the altar during the ordination to the priesthood of Fr Grzegorz Rapcewicz, Friday 12 August, at St Mary’s Cathedral. Photo: Ron Tan.
“This is at the heart of the common vocation we all share and for that very reason it is at the heart of the vocation to the ministerial priesthood through which Christ enables the Church to live this vocation fruitfully,” Archbishop Costelloe said.
“And why? Because it is at the heart of the life and ministry of Jesus himself.”
During his period of diaconate, Dcn Grzegorz, who says he is naturally a shy person, highlights he has learnt much, particularly with regards to giving homilies.
“God has really helped me to come out of myself, to be more open to people, to listen to them and their experiences.
“To be able to give meaning to someone’s suffering, to be with people who are sick, it has all been a tremendous experience,” Dcn Grzegorz said.
Fr Grzegorz celebrated his Thanksgiving Mass at Osborne Park Parish, St Kieran’s Church, Sunday 14 August at 9am.
Grzegorz and Jolanta Miernik with Fr Grzegorz and his brother Adam, following Fr Grzegorz ordination to the priesthood, Friday 12 August, at St Mary’s Cathedral. Mr and Mrs Miernik and Adam Rapcewicz are from the same Neocatechumenal Community in Poland as Fr Grzegorz. Photo: Ron Tan.
Grzegorz and Jolanta Miernik present the chalice and plate to Archbishop Costelloe during the ordination of Fr Grzegorz Rapcewicz, Friday 12 August at St Mary’s Cathedral. Photo: Ron Tan.
Redemptoris Mater Seminarian Jupiter Bin Justin leads cantors from the Neocatechumenal Way during the ordination to the priesthood of Fr Grzegorz Rapcewicz. Photo: Ron Tan.
Fr Grzegroz Rapcewicz, who hails from Poland, professes his vows to Archbishop Costelloe during his ordination to the priesthood, Friday 12 August at St Mary’s Cathedral. Photo: Ron Tan.
Newly ordained Fr Grzegorz Rapcewicz with members of the third community of the Neocatechumenal Way from Mirrabooka Parish St Gerard’s Church. Photo: Ron Tan.