Fr. Zbigniew Zdanowicz SDS (1954-2016)

Przeczytanie artykułu zajmie Ci 3 minuty

Fr. Zbigniew Zdanowicz SDS (1954-2016)

Fr. Zbigniew Zdanowicz was born on May 2, 1954, in Wrocław (Breslau), Poland. His parents were Roman and Janina, and he was the only child in the family. From 1961 to 1970, he attended primary school, and from 1970 to 1974, High School (No. 10), in his hometown, Wrocław. After his final exams and graduation from high school he enrolled in the Mechanization of Agriculture College in Wrocław–Pracze.

As he once mentioned to his Master of Novitiate, he had felt his priestly and religious vocation already as a student in the 3rd grade of high school, and it was then that he began seriously thinking of following the Lord’s call. He contacted the Salvatorians through a friend of his who was a seminarian in the Major Salvatorian Seminary in Bagno. In January 1975, he arrived at Bagno and after a talk with Fr. Józef Zydek, SDS, he decided to leave the college where he was studying, and apply to become a novice in the Society. Already at that time he expressed his wish to become involved in the apostolic work in the parish and to serve as an educator of the youth. The ceremony of the beginning of the novitiate took place on March 1, 1975. Fr. Zbigniew took his first vows on March 2, 1976. From 1975 to 1981, he studied philosophy and theology in the Major Salvatorian Seminary in Bagno. He took his perpetual profession on September 8, 1980. He was ordained to the diaconate in Bagno by Bp. Adam Dyczkowski.

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Society of the Divine Savior the seminarians in Fr. Zbigniew’s year were supposed to be ordained to the presbyterate by Pope John Paul II in Rome, on June 14, 1981. Sadly, those plans were ruined on May 13, 1981, due to the attempted assassination of the Pope. Finally, together with his confreres, Fr. Zbigniew Zdanowicz was ordained to the presbyterate by Bp. Tadeusz Rybak in Trzebnica on June 8, 1981.

Trzebnica became also Fr. Zbigniew’s first apostolic post. On June 29, 1981, he was appointed a curate at the local parish church. Three years later he moved to the Salvatorian community in Dobroszyce, where on June 30 he also began to serve as a curate in St. Hedwig of Silesia Parish. By the decree of his superiors issued on June 3, 1987, he was appointed the Deputy Superior of the Salavatorian community in Dobroszyce. In June 1988 he moved to the Salvatorian community in Oborniki Śląskie, where he served as a curate in the Holiest Heart of Lord Jesus Parish. On June 30, 1990, he was appointed the community’s vice-superior. In June 1991, he moved to the Salvatorian community in Trzebnica, and on July 1, 1991, he was appointed its superior. He was deeply involved in the pastoral work in the local parish.

The next stage in Fr. Zbigniew’s apostolic work was his service to the Salvatorian community in Bagno, where, on July 30, 1992, he was appointed the Prefect of the seminarians, as well as the Socius to the Novice Director. He combined his duties of an educator with the studies at the Pontifical Theological Faculty in Wrocław, where, on May 21, 1996, he successfully defended his Master’s thesis in the History of the Church. On September 1, 1998, he was dismissed from the position of the seminarians’ Prefect, and entrusted with a new duty: he was appointed the Master of the Juniorate of Religious Brothers in Bagno. Owing to his warm personality and his kindness, he won the sympathy of the alumni, who were deeply loyal to him.

However, the progressive illness from which he was suffering was the reason why he was dismissed from that office on July 1, 2001. In July of 2003, he moved back to the Salvatorian community in Trzebnica, where he continued his treatment and, health permitting, became involved in the apostolic work in the local parish. Despite the physical limitations caused by his ailments, he was for many years deeply involved in the apostolic service in the Trzebnica parish. Among others, he conscientiously did the administrative work in the parish office.

To the Salvatorians he had educated, Fr. Zbigniew will forever remain a paragon of the true religious: a person full of kindness, but also showing the delicate firmness indispensable for a superior and an educator.

On September 17, 2016, Fr. Zbigniew Zdanowicz passed away in a hospital in Wrocław, having carried the cross of illness for over ten years. He was 62 years old. He was a priest for 35 years and a religious for 40 years.

The funeral ceremony was held at St. Hedwig of Silesia Shrine in Trzebnica on September 22, 2016, at 10:30 a.m. Fr. Zbigniew was buried in the cemetery in Prusicka Street in Trzebnica.




By Fr. Ireneusz Kiełbasa, SDS