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Parishioners bid fond farewell to pastor

Roman Catholic Church welcomes new minister after long-time reverend retires
Rev. Michal celebrated his final Sunday Mass at St. Patrick’s Church, Sturgis on Aug. 28. Photographed with him, from left, were: Rev. Maceij Pajak OMI (Rev. Michal Pajak’s brother), altar server Samuel Korney and Rev. Michal Pajak OMI. Pajak left for his Sabbatical on Aug. 30.

STURGIS - On Aug. 25, St. Patrick's parishioners gathered at the Sturgis READ Club to bid farewell to their pastor, Fr. Michal Pajak OMI, stated Lillian Smith, parishioner.

Rev. Michal arrived in Sturgis on Sept. 1, 2017 to continue his ministry at St. Patrick's, and mission churches St. Anthony's, Rama, St. Anne's, Buchanan and St. Thomas in Norquay.

Born and raised in Poland, he joined The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Assumption Province and came to Canada where his brother Rev. Maceij had preceded him.

The evening started with appetizers and then a catered supper. Chairperson Marcia Yagelnesky, emcee for the event, recounted special events during his five-year stay. The program included presentations by Norma Appel for the Preeceville Council of the Catholic Women's League of Canada, former member and former president of the Sturgis Council Laurie Decker, and Barb Biccum past president who presented Rev. Michal with a gift of appreciation. Skip Beatty produced a Power Point of Rev. Michal's activities in the parish and community while Arlene spoke as a friend. A special song composed called Thanks Be To God highlighted the many things Rev. Michal was involved with in the Church, and was sung by the choir. Everyone joined in singing May The Lord Bless And Keep You.

Yagelnesky concluded by saying, "We will never forget you and I'm sure you will never forget us: the power outages, the extremely cold weather but also the beautiful summers, the walks, the kayaking, the sunsets! We wish you all the best in your journey of life."

Fr. Michal spoke of arriving in Sturgis, an English-speaking community, after working with Polish immigrants in Ontario. “It was very fruitful time for me to be here," he said, "where I learned English well enough to be able to speak my homilies rather than read them. Also I was alone here and you became my family, my friends always ready to help me so thank you for your friendship, hospitality and good works. I was able to grow in holiness through all the quiet time here when I was able to spend time in the church praying and reading. My future plans are to spend some time with my brother, a priest in Edmonton, then to visit my Mom in Poland. In October I will go to Italy to study theology and plan a trip to the Holy Land. I will help out other priests in Poland as I have time. Since I'm an Oblate in the Assumption Province of Canada, the Provincial will assign me my next duties when I return in June or July.” he concluded.

The evening concluded with Rev. Michal cutting the special farewell cake and socializing.

Rev. Michal left on August 30 and Rev. Andrzej Sowa, OMI from Melville, who had served here before, started his ministry here the same day.