Polish-born Father Szymon Galazyn, 35, did not expect to end up in the United States.
“I feel that I have been brought here because I am needed here,” he said. “The most important thing for me is to listen to God.”
Son of Zofia and Stanislaus and brother to Grzegorz, Lucyna and Iwona, Father Galazyn grew up in a strong Catholic home in Malbork, in northern Poland.
His parents led their children by example, making prayer and faith fundamental in their daily lives. Father Galazyn followed suit, serving the church as an altar server and then as a lector.
Moving away from home to go to college, he initially received a degree in theology in Warsaw, but things just did not seem right. He also had not truly discerned whether he was called to fatherhood in a family or fatherhood in the church.
He decided on a change of scenery and moved to London. Although he did not speak English, he was able to secure a job making grills for restaurants. It was there that he was able to hear God more clearly. Clarity came to him during confession.
He returned to Poland and enrolled in SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Krakow. Father Galazyn considers St. Maximillian Kolbe a personal role model, and wanted to follow in the saint’s missionary footsteps.
SS. Cyril and Methodius trains men for the priesthood in the United States and educates its students in Krakow and then in Michigan. When he arrived in Michigan it was time for him to begin to discern what diocese he would serve.
Brooklyn seemed like a natural choice because of its large Polish population and familiar city landscape. Father Galazyn said meeting Bishop DiMarzio also played a large role in his coming to New York.
Once he had chosen the Diocese of Brooklyn, he was assigned to serve at Our Lady of the Angelus, Rego Park, and St. Anselm, Bay Ridge. Serving in these parishes has shown him the goodness of people in the diocese.
As he was approaching the day of his ordination to the priesthood, Deacon Galazyn said he felt a deep peace along with a warm invitation from God for prayer.
Msgr. John Maloney and Father John Mendoca, the pastors of his summer assignment parishes, will vest him at ordination.
Father Galazyn will celebrate his First Mass of thanksgiving at St. Anselm in Bay Ridge, on Sunday, June 4, at 1:30 p.m.
Then he will visit his childhood home and celebrate a Mass of thanksgiving June 18, at Mother of God of Perpetual Help in Malbork, Poland.