Congratulation Father Jan!!!
“Forty years have passed as though it were one day…” With this sentiment taken from the opening song of a popular Polish sitcom “Czterdziestolatek” (Being Forty), Father Provincial, Rafal Kopystynski, opened his homily on Sunday, May 22, 20011 during a Mass of thanksgiving in honor of Reverend Jan Urbaniak. Father Jan was celebrating his 40th anniversary in the priesthood as well as celebrating his 15th anniversary of being a Vincentian Priest and a member of the New England Province of the Congregation of the Mission.
Father Jan Urbaniak was born in Poland on May 24, 1942 in small village of Jadachy, diocese of Sandomierz, to Katarzyna (Catherine) and Jozef (Joseph) Urbaniak. In the early 1960’s, he entered the Diocesan seminary in Kilece. As Father Rafal mentions in his homily, Father Jan took a one year sabbatical to attend the seminary at Jasna Gora. After returning to the diocesan seminary and concluding his studies, Father Jan was ordained on February 28, 1971 by Bishop Walenty Wojcik, an Auxiliary Bishop of Sandomierz.
For over twenty years after his ordination, Father Jan was assigned to various parochial ministries in his diocese, including the pastorate of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Tomaszow, Mazowiecki where he had to build a new parish, which had no chapel, no rectory, and not even a chalice.
In 1994 Father Jan relocated to the United States and continued his pastoral service at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, Brooklyn, where he has cheerfully and dutifully served God and our catholic community to the present.
A year later, Father Jan was inducted into the Congregation of the Mission in the Province of New England starting his novitiate at the internal seminary on the feast of Assumption, August 15, 1995. Following his novitiate, he became a full member of the Congregation of the Mission.
Since 1999 Father Jan has been serving as a parochial vicar at St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish in Brooklyn. Upon the appointment of Father Rafal Kopystynski CM, then pastor of St. Stanislaus Kostka, to Provincial in September 2007, the administration of the parish was temporarily assigned to Father Jan. He was the Parish Administrator for nearly a year until Father Marek Sobczak CM was reassigned from his pastoral service in Ansonia, CT to become the current pastor and Superior at St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish. Father Jan remains at our parish and serves the faithful through the various ministries that our catholic community provides. Presently, he is the chaplain for the Living Rosary Society, Blessed Heart of Jesus Society and Usher Society.
As part of the Mass of thanksgiving, the children of the Saturday Polish School, the Parish, and the Krakowianki and Gorale presented Father Jan with flowers and recited inspirational verses for him.
After the Mass, participants filled the school auditorium to congratulate Father Jan and conclude the formal anniversary celebration over delicious homemade cakes and coffee.