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Fr. Waclaw Hlond – priest for 55 years

It was May 15, 1955. Deacon Wacław A. HŁOND CM and two his other Confreres received priesthood ordinations in the Province of Poland of the Congregation of the Mission in Krakow. Times were hard those days in the country. Europe behind Iron Curtain looked much different from the other part of the continent under Marshal Plan. Church was persecuted. To become a priest in those days was bigger challenge than before. First assignment of the new ordained priest was in Our Lady of Rosary Parish in Pabianice, in the heart of Poland. After three years there he arrived to the United States.

Fr. Waclaw Hlond (pronounced: Va-tz-wa-v) was born on July 12, 1929 in Blachownia, a town near Czestochowa, Poland. He was received into the Congregation of the Mission in October 1951. Ordained in 1955. His first and only assignment in Poland was in Pabianice where he was vicar and religion teacher.

As first Missioners did almost 55 years earlier, Fr. “Wacek” (pronounced Va-tz-ek) came to St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr Parish in New Haven, Conn. as his first post in then Polish Vice-Province in the United States in the second half of 1958. Next year (1959) became Vicar at St. Stanislaus and hold it until being sent to new post in St. Joseph Parish, Ansonia, Conn. After three years as Vicar there, in 1964 was ascribed to Mission House in Whitestone, New York. He was involved in parish mission and sent to Washington.D.C. to Michigan University Extension. In 1967 moved to Mission House in Utica, NY where he served as second superior (succeeding Fr. Arciszewski) until end of 1973.

On February 1, 1974 he took position of pastor of St. Stanislaus Parish in New Haven welcomed as an old friend by the parishioners. During his tenure as pastor the happy occasion took place at 9 Eld Street. On April 23, 1975 autonomous Vincentian Province of New England was established there and the house became first Provincial Residence. As a pastor. Fr. Hlond’s first major activity in New Haven was to supervise the actual construction of new four-car garage (blueprints were prepared by previous pastor Fr. Julian Szumilo). Another accomplishment was continuation of repainting of the church by Anthony Amato in 1974, furnishing the sanctuary with new chair of celebrant, concelebrants and new lectern. In 1975 he supervised redecoration and renovation of the auditorium repainting of convent chapel. In the year of Diamond Jubilee of the parish (1975) Fr. Hlond additionally became superior of the house.

From 1973 to 1975 was member of Vice-Provincial Council. Again in 1979 – 1981 was Provincial Councilor. On September 8, 1981 was elected the third Visitor (Provincial Superior) of New England Province succeeding Fr. Julian Szumilo. In 1984 re-elected for second term. He stayed in the Provincial House in West Hartford, Conn. for another year and since 1988 served as superior (until 1994) and pastor (till 1996) in Ansonia, Conn. In 1996 returned to New Haven for the third time, again as superior and pastor. Since 2006 is assigned to St. Joseph in Ansonia again.

On this special jubilee celebration day we wish Fr. Waclaw abundant graces from Jesus, the Eternal Priest, in his life, health and Vincentian ministry. May the Lord bless and protect you Father!


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