A decision about priestly ordination of an Orionist was made quickly, as he is fatally ill. In a few weeks his health condition may worsen so much that receiving the sacrament of ordination might be impossible. – His greatest dream was priesthood. He wanted to celebrate at least one Holy Mass – says Mariusz Talarek, a friend of Mr. Michał.

Priestly ordination in hospital

A 30-year-old cleric got to know about his cancer over a month ago. When his health condition worsened, the authorities of his religious order made a request to the Holy Father Francis for dispensation from provisions of the constitution of the religious order of Little Work of Divine Providence, and also for repealing a required period of time between ordination of diaconate and presbyterate. – It was an ecclesiastical express. Documents were submitted in Vatican on Monday 20 May, and on Wednesday 22 May we had a papal document – said Fr. Michał Szczypek, a secretary of the Polish province of the orionists. Orionist priests did not lose their time. On Wednesday they got the dispensation from the pope, and the following day in hospital they organized a ceremony of making perpetual religious vows, and on Friday – a liturgy, during which an auxiliary bishop of the diocese of Warsaw Marek Solarczyk gave the cleric Michał ordination of diaconate and presbyterate. – Although there are no provisions about giving these ordinations during one liturgy, we referred to the explicit document from Vatican. Pope Francis wrote that he gave all necessary dispensations so that Michał Łos would receive priestly ordinations – Fr. Szczyek explained.

The room of the Warsaw hospital by Szaserów street had to replace the presbytery of a church. The ordinations took place in the presence of orionist priests, family and acquaintances. Michał Łos received the sacrament of ordinations when lying in bed. When he was celebrating his the first Holy Mass he had longed for, he was also lying in his hospital bed. – I entrust you, Michał, to God and everything which will be done in you by the sacrament. I ask God to let you be the witness of His Love – said bishop Solarczyk and he added: - The greatest sign of God’s love is the gift of life. We are realizing it in various ways, and you are also bringing this message today.

God’s determination

Fr. Michał Łos will turn 31 this June. He has MA in theology. He had just had 2-year apprentices of the religious order in Kalisz, which would end with perpetual vows next year. He was helping in a parish and taught RE at school. – His severe illness disrupted his formation but thanks to engagement of many people and a decision of pope Francis, he became a priest. His difficult story tells us that provisions are for people, not people for provisions – Fr. Antoni Wita FDP, a parish priest of the church of Divine Providence in Kalisz, emphasized. – Michał with his ordinations, watched by thousands of people, is a sign for all of us. Through his suffering and desire for priesthood he entered the mission of Jesus Christ. His attitude has a very strong evangelization dimension which may bring fruits in a way not predictable for us.

The neo-presbyter is severely ill from cancer. In the human understanding, his health state is very hard that doctors feel helpless. – In his suffering he is very humble and trusts God. With determination of a child of God, he wanted to become a priest and it happened so – said Marisz Talarek. May so many people want to realize their priesthood like him.

Chasuble from Panama

After the liturgy of the ordinations and blessing, bishop Solarczy kneeled at the bed of Fr. Michała, kissed the priest’s hands and asked him for his first blessing. Also orionist priests and his family asked the neo-presbyter priest for his blessing. The bishop gave Fr. Michał his chasuble as a gift, in which he had celebrated the Holy Mass on the World Youth Days in Panama in 2019. – It has been a bit worn up – he joked.

The orionist priests all over the world are praying for the grace of recovery for Fr. Michał. They thank everyone who were accompanying him in this touching ceremony via broadcast in social media. The fatally ill neo-presbyter showed that priesthood is a great gift and a great miracle. – He is a witness of faith for all of us. He is also an important symbol for the Polish Church in difficult times, as not all priests have a respectful attitude towards their priesthood – said Fr. Szczypek.

Translated by Aneta Amrozik

Niedziela 22/2019 (2 VI 2019)

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl