Fr. Stanisław Piwowarczyk SDS (1939-2020)

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Fr. Stanisław Piwowarczyk SDS (1939-2020)

The Salvatorian community farewells late Fr. Stanisław Piwowarczyk. In the memory of his confreres and many lay people to whom he served so eagerly, he will remain as a cheerful, pious and committed Salvatorian. The particular feature of his character was the passion in fulfilling his duties, as well as the care for the beauty of liturgy and for the esthetics of the church interiors designed by him.

   Fr. Stanisław Piwowarczyk was born on April 19th 1939 in Czernichów near Kraków. He grew up in religious atmosphere of his home. That was the reason that 8 years old Stanisław became an altar boy and was an active member of liturgical service. He received the sacrament of confirmation on July 1st 1955 in his home parish in Czernichów. As he wrote in his curriculum vitae, at that time the thought to follow the voice of priestly vocation was born. While he was a schoolboy in Krakrów, he was already sure to choose the priestly and religious vocation. In his paper “The History of My Vocation” he mentioned, that at that time he was spiritually guided by Salvatorian fathers.

   He started his basic religious formation in Bagno on September 7th 1957 and he chose „Alfred” as his religious name. On October 5th 1958 he professed his first religious vows and started his studies on philosophy and theology in the Salvatorian Major Seminary in Bagno. He professed his final vows on October 5th 1961 in Bagno. On October 28th 1964 in the seminary chapel in Bagno, Bishop Wincenty Urban ordained him to subdeaconate. After finishing his spiritual and intellectual formation, he was ordained to priesthood in Trzebnica on June 7th 1965 by Bishop Andrzej Wronka.
   According to the principle of that time, newly ordained priest from Czernichów was assigned to the Salvatorian community in Kraków-Łobzowska on July 1st 1965, where he continued his studies on theology during the Pastoral Year also known as Tirocinium. On July 1st 1966 Fr. Stanisław started his first pastoral work as a pastoral minister in a Salvatorian parish in Trzebinia. A year later he was assigned to our Salvatorian community in Kraków-Zakrzówek. In the years 1967 and 1968 he continued his theological studies on liturgy at Papal Faculty of Theology in Kraków, getting bachelor degree.
   In 1968 he was assigned to a diocesan parish in Podkowa Leśna near Warsaw. From 1970 he served there as a parish vicar. Already then he was engaged in youth ministry. He got permission to celebrate outdoor Masses for youth camping trips during the summer holidays. Taking into account his deep love to the liturgy, the superiors allowed him to start specialized studies on liturgy at Catholic University of Lublin. He moved to the boarding-school for student priests in Lublin and from 1970 to 1974 he studied in a pastoral section of the Faculty of Theology at the Catholic University of Lublin. In 1973 he started teaching liturgy in Salvatorian Major Seminary in Bagno.
   In January 1974 Fr. Stanisław Piwowarczyk was moved to the Salvatorian community in Wrocław. The superiors assigned him to be a lecturer in the Salvatorian Major Seminary in Bagno and allowed him to continue his studies on sacred art. A that time, Fr. Stanisław was also involved in catechesis of youth in Oborniki Śląskie. From 1975 to 1976 he was a vicar in a Salvatorian Parish of St. Hedwig of Silesia in Dobroszyce. For next two years he was again a member of the Salvatorian community in Wrocław. In 1978 the superiors assigned Fr. Stanisław to a Salvatorian community in Międzywodzie, where he served as a vicar for diocesan parish in Międzyzdroje from 1978 to 1981. In June 1981 he was moved to the Salvatorian community in Zakopane. For two years he served as a catechist and pastoral aid in Salvatorian rectoral church on Słowacki Boulevard in Zakopane. The next place of his pastoral ministry was our Salvatorian community in Krzyż Wielkopolski, where he was a vicar for local parish from 1983 to 1984. Then, the superiors sent him to the Salvatorian community in Mikuszowice Śląskie. From 1984 to 1986 he was a retreatist and people’s missionary. His next assignment was to be a chaplain of the Brothers Hospitallers of Saint John of God monastery in Zebrzydowice. He served there until 1987.
   Apart from the duties mentioned above, the idea of Ligh-Life Movement was close to the heart of Fr. Stanisław. He learned about it during his studies in Lublin. The founder of that movement, Fr. Franciszek Blachnicki, was one of his professors at the university. In June 1987 Fr. Stanisław was assigned to work for the Light-Life Church Renewal Movement and from 1988 he served as its chaplain and formator. Among his other duties, he helped to organize the New Evangelization Forum congresses in the 90’ of 20th century in Poland. Beside these activities, he also participated in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement as its spiritual attendant. The meetings of Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement took place in a Salesian church in Kraków-Dębniki and in a Cistercian monastery in Kraków-Mogiła. Together with the community of lay people he conducted many series of evangelization retreat for lay persons, clergymen and for the Home Church.
   At that time he was member of the Team for Church Building and Sacred Art of the Polish Province, established in Kraków by Polish Provincial Superior. Fr. Stanisław Piwowarczyk served with his advices and professional knowledge during decoration of the chapel in our Salvatorian community in Warszawa-Olimpijska and in modeling the interior of Salvatorian churches in Zakopane and Kraków-Zakrzówek.
   After 11 years of his pastoral ministry in Light-Life Church Renewal Movement he was assigned to the Salvatorian community in Zakopane. From 1998 to 2004 he served there as a confessor and pastoral aid in local church. The next place of his priestly ministry was the Salvatorian community in Więciórka. He was a pastoral minister in the Pastoral Center of BVM of Ostra Brama from 2004 to 2006. Then he was assigned to be a chaplain of the Roman Union of the Order of St. Ursula Sisters in Rokiciny Podhalańskie. He lived and served there from 2006 to 2008.
   Due to the fact that his health condition was getting worse, in July 2008 he was moved to the Salvatorian community in Kraków-Łagiewniki. The following years of his life were marked with the cross of developing illness and suffering. Because of many limitations caused by worsen health condition, in May 2014 Fr. Stanisław was transferred to the Nursing Home run by the Sisters of Mercy of St. Borromeo in Trzebnica. In the next years he constantly struggled with his illness, which slowly was limitating his existence.

After long illness Fr. Stanisław Piwowarczyk ended his earthly pilgrimage in the morning of May 2nd 2020 in Trzebnica. He died in his 81st year of life, 62nd year of religious life and 55th year of priesthood. The funeral mass took place on May 6th 2020 in the Divine Savior Church in Kraków. He was buried in a Salvatorian tomb at the Salvator Cemetery in Kraków.