By Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello, diocesan vicar for development
Father Miroslaw Podymniak, O.F.M. Conv., known as “Father Mirek” to his parishioners, has been the pastor at St. Adalbert for the past year and half. He loves his parish community and is enjoying getting to know its members through his work on the Generations of Faith campaign. The parish is in Block 2 and has a goal of $435,000.
“Generations of Faith has given me the opportunity to get to know my parishioners better. Since I need to approach people individually, I have approached people in their homes and at the parish, so it helps me (learn about my parish) better,” Father Mirek explains.
He explains they have “been giving and they support Generations of Faith. It’s a beautiful sign for them to support their parish and the diocese … I don’t need to beg for money, I ask for what the people can give.”
St. Adalbert’s is also an Order parish, conducted by the Franciscan Friars, which makes Father Mirek even more excited to be a part of the campaign. Allocating funds to the Franciscan Friars retirement “is a very generous gesture from Bishop DiMarzio. It has encouraged parishioners to participate even more and it allows us to answer the call from the Bishop to grow our Catholic community and be excited about our faith,” Father Mirek says.
He says he is familiar with the parish’s history of campaigning, both with the Alive in Hope campaign in 1996, and other parish drives, mentioning that Generations of Faith is “a little different, there are different goals. Lots of the money comes back to the parish and all of it will be used for important projects which include repainting the church interior and repairing leaks in the windows and repairing the sidewalks around the church.”
Father Mirek expands on his experience to date, “The face of the campaign needs to be the pastor and a volunteer team. Our parishioners need to be part of the project, too. Visiting or inviting the parishioners to the rectory is the best way to meet with people.”
St. Adalbert has come a long way since Polish Catholic immigrants moved to the neighborhood more than 125 years ago. It is a vibrant community with 900 families. Generations of Faith provides the parish with the opportunity to strengthen the parish family.
“The campaign came to our parish at the perfect time,” Father Mirek says, because 2017 is the church’s 125th anniversary year!
He adds, “It’s a wonderful time that helps us to beautify the church and its surroundings and to keep people together and united for an even more vibrant future.”
Father Mirek concludes, “Generations of Faith has gone above and beyond my expectations. Everyone that has participated in the campaign so far has been very generous. I have a feeling we will go over our goal!”