Speaking of Cardinal Egan’s “golden jubilee (see post below),” I came across a very nice letter to an upstate newspaper about another priest who graduated with Egan from the Gregorian University in Rome in 1958.
Msgr. Joaquim Jose Antunes Olendzki has served as pastor for 18 years at St. Stanislaus (Polish) Parish in Pine Island, N.Y., way up in Orange County.
In a “letter”:http://www.strausnews.com/articles/2007/12/09/the_chronicle/opinion/2.txt to the Chronicle (which covers the Chester/Goshen) area, Father Thomas J. Curley of Chester writes of Olendzki:
He has served humbly in this Archdiocese for almost 50 years. Like our Cardinal, he is a scholar, a musician, a Latinist, is multilingual and multitalented. He earned two graduate degrees. He is now preparing to celebrate his golden anniversary of holy priesthood.
He also writes:
There are the princes and there are the grunts. We need both. Cardinal Egan daily confronts enormous and complex responsibilities, and shoulders impossible burdens for the Church. Msgr. Olendzki, likewise devoted, is, in the words of our great Pope about himself, Ã¢â‚¬Å“a simple worker in the vineyard of the Lord.Ã¢â‚¬?
Very touching, I thought.
Early this year, the “Times Herald-Record”:http://recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070122/NEWS/701220331 of Middletown reported that Olendzki was about to turn 75 (as has his cardinal classmate) and would soon retire.
At the time, Olendzki said that attendance at his church was way down:
“This church can sit about 300 people,” he says. “Today we have not even half the church full.”
The number of new priests is also dwindling. “Priests are dying,” he says. “Pray for vocations.”
“Sadly,” he says, to those in attendance and those not, “many have abolished Sunday. We need to make Sunday the Lord’s day. There can be no compromise.”