Story and photos provided by Jim Savarese, Oblate Associate at The Shrine of St. Joseph the Worker
On December 27th, an icy-cold morning during the Christmas Octave, Fr. Piotr Dudek, OMI took his leave from St. Joseph the Worker Shrine in Lowell, MA after ministering there for just over 2 years. His new assignment is at another Oblate ministry site: St. Peter’s Church in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada.
St. Peter’s in western Canada was started by the Oblates in 1860, just 8 years before the Oblates founded St. Joseph’s in the eastern part of the USA in 1868. Continuity and internationality are hallmarks of Oblate ministry and the exchange of personnel has always enriched their pastoral works.
Prior to Fr. Piotr’s last day, a farewell reception was held on December 17, after the 10 AM Mass in a conference room at The Shrine. About 30 people gathered for refreshments and to hear Fr. Piotr express his gratitude to his fellow Oblates and the people for making his experience so enjoyable. Fr. Piotr described his time at St. Joseph the Worker as, “… a priestly experience…so focused on the Eucharist and Confession, the heart of being a priest.”
Jim Savarese spoke for the people of St. Joseph the Worker saying, “We thank Fr. Piotr for his great service at St. Joe’s – his dependability, pastoral sensitivity, youthful enthusiasm and eagerness to undertake new ventures as well as his reverence in celebrating the Liturgy were all well appreciated and will long be fondly remembered by all who worship here at the Shrine of St. Joseph the Worker.”