Staff Member: Fr. Andrzej Sudol, SCJ
Fr. Andrzej Sudol, SCJ
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Have been a member of the Priests of the Sacred Heart since taking first vows in 1990, at the age of twenty. Completed initial formation with BTh in Theology and was ordained to priesthood in May 1996 in Poland. A significant part of my training focused on the aspect of missions. The SCJ Seminary in Stadniki (Krakow) is the Mission Seminary (WSM) which may have been what led me to apply for mission work. I have spent most of my 26 years of priestly ministry in foreign countries.
My first work was in India, a challenging period in my life. I was young and without any experience, had to learn everything to survive and be useful in a new country and challenging mission. I was assigned to assist in formation work where I learned first to accompany young seminarians in their vocation journey. I had a chance to practice my priestly ministry in a nearby parish and had to study the local language of Kerala: Malayalam.
I was sent for further post-graduate studies on Spiritual Formation at Milltown Institute in Dublin where I spent two years. Completed the course, successfully defended my License thesis and received STL in Spirituality.
My next assignment was in the SCJ community in Rome helping in administration and studying Italian. At the SCJ Generalate just a few months I had to go to a new challenging call to the SCJ mission in the Philippines. One of the SCJ priests, Fr. Beppe Pierantoni, was kidnapped, held in captivity and when released had to leave his post.
Twelve years of my ministry were in the Philippines. First, I had to learn the local languages of Mindanao: Cebuano and Bisaya. I was assigned in a small parish as a vicar (associate of the pastor). The parish was composed of thirty chapels located on thirty different mountains. We had to travel and visit the local communities so we were on the move every day. The parish team worked with parish catechists and liturgists. We learned to deal with the tribal people (Cubanen) and their many issues. My work was the priestly work to perform sacraments, assist the youth and many parish groups.
Then, I was assigned as formation director in the SCJ Formation House in Cagayan de Oro working with postulants and Dehonian Youth as their formator. I had to become a “master” in human formation which was the main focus of the postulancy year which required attending several modules and workshops run by the Jesuits in the Ateneo the Manila. Later I became superior of the Seminary and continued working with the postulants and youth.
During my stay in Cagayan de Oro, I led many retreats and workshops for the SCJ novices, seminarians, and congregations. During a few summers and Holy Weeks, I directed retreats for different congregations of Sisters and Lay people. I was also involved in campus ministry at Xavier University run by Jesuits.
I love working with people in the parishes. When in the seminary or administration, I always had time available to help in local parishes. I kept in touch and practiced my priestly ministry weekly. My involvement with the youth for seven years enabled me to join Dehonian Youth Missions. It was a youth movement to help and organized youth and children in the remote chapels in the mountains far away from the city Cagayan. I learned and experienced a simple life in another local tribe of Mindeanao: Higaonon.
The last and probably most meaningful ministry was working with the victims of a typhoon. This was “an emergency call” to our SCJ community in Cagayan, where I was the superior. In December 2011 the typhoon Sendong (international code name Washi) hit the Island Mindanao (city of Cagayn and Iligan). A big part of the city was totally destroyed, many people lost houses, two thousand people killed. More than ten thousand were left homeless and lived on the streets and in relocation centers. With five other religious congregations we decided to build a village for the victims. SCJ seminarians, youth, and I were involved in this project on daily basis. It took much fund raising, energy, and time to start and complete the settlement for the victims. This village, officially called Village of the Mother of Divine Mercy, is home for more than six hundred families. A lot was learned from helping the victims. I was very active in community organizing, which gave me a wider perspective on the larger situation and challenges on the city and state level, and built rapport and trust with pastors of other denominations as well as community leaders at all levels. I had to organize and supervise the seminarians and youth so they could be more effective in the work in the village. It was a great and very fulfilling experience.
Then, I had a chance to take a sabbatical in Chicago (2014 – 2015). I attended a course (Hesburgh Program) at CTU, and rest of the year was spent at SHSST in Hales Corners. After my sabbatical, I was asked to become a member of the formation team in the SCJ community. It was an intercultural community of candidates, students, and religious brothers and priests. My ministry as formation director was to accompany our candidates and professed students, from different backgrounds and cultures, and help them integrate their education into their life experience, while discerning their vocation. I was assigned as director of postulants, and assistant to the director of novices at the Sacred Heart Novitiate in Franksville, as well as assisting some of the seminarians as formation director at the SHSST.
I am a member of the Board Directors at the SHSST since 2017. I spent weekends in Plainfield, IL ministering to the Polish community at St. Mary Immaculate Parish in the Diocese of Joliet.
Recently I completed doctorate studies (D.Min) at CTU resulting in defending my thesis on interculturality and formation: Challenges and Opportunities of Initial Formation for Interculturality in the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart in the United States Province.
My ministry now is here as your pastor at St. Martin of Tours.