Currently our parish is served by three priests and one deacon. Come and get to know them better.
Father Wojciech Gierasimczyk
Father Wojciech Gierasimczyk was born on June 14, 1980 in Gorzow Wielkopolski (Poland) to Czeslaw and Halina Gierasimczyk. His father died in 2013. He has a brother, Tomasz, who is 5 years older. Tomasz is also a priest and was ordained in 2001 in Poland. Since his childhood, Fr. Wojciech has been close to the Church. He was an altar boy, he prepared a group of young people for the sacrament of confirmation, and attended numerous pilgrimages around Europe and Poland. In 1995 he joined the Neocatechumenal Way, an Itinerary of Christian Formation, where his vocation to the priesthood matured. In 1999 he began to study finances at a local college. In 2002, after obtaining a diploma in accounting and management, he joined the Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary “Redemptoris Mater” in Denver. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 12, 2012. For his first assignment he was sent as a parochial vicar to St. Anthony Parish in Sterling. In 2014 the Archbishop sent Father Wojciech to serve the Parish in the Summit County. Father Wojciech enjoys traveling, visiting museums, reading good books, and watching good movies. He also likes to listen to music and go to concerts.
Father Fernando Londoño
St Anthony of Padua is blessed to welcome a new priest into its family. Father Fernando Londoño joined the parish as parochial vicar three weeks ago. For him, this isn’t just a new assignment – it’s his second. It was only three years ago, that he stood alongside six other men, at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, being ordained a priest. Father Fernando was born and raised in a small city called Pasto, Colombia and is the third of four brothers. He recalls being a rebellious child, but through it, experiencing God’s mercy. “I decided to enter the seminary out of a reconciliation with my father,” he said. “Before he died, my relationship with him wasn’t good. In a matter of a week, he got very sick, but before he died, the Lord granted me the opportunity to reconcile. When I reconciled, I experienced the forgiveness of my sins. I experienced the love of Jesus Christ. I saw He loved me the way I was. Then, the Lord gave me light to realize there are many that are suffering as I was suffering. They too need to listen that Christ loves them and forgives them.” Eight months later, Father Fernando left everything – country, family, businesses – to enter the seminary. He arrived in Denver in February 2006, to begin his priestly formation at Redemptoris Mater Seminary. “At the beginning, it was difficult because of the language and because of the culture,” he said. “But little by little, the Lord was helping me. I got used to it.” Now, as he begins another transition, he trusts the Lord to help him again, as He always has. For Father Fernando, being a priest is “the best thing that could happen to me.” And he’s glad to continue this journey at St. Anthony of Padua. “I’m very happy being here. I have known Father Wojciech for a long time,” he said. “This is a good way to continue my priesthood, to learn from him.” He says he hopes to learn a lot at St. Anthony of Padua. “Learn how to be a Father,” he said. “One thing I’ve seen is, it’s one thing is to be a priest, and one thing is to be a father. Here, I see the lord will help me to be a father.”
Father Peter Urban
There are two words that Father Peter has been unable to understand in his whole life – “Quit” and “Retire”. Technically, Father Peter is a retired priest, however, his love for God’s people has led him to be as active in retirement as he was when he was in full-time ministry. He has such a profound sense of who God called him to be that you cannot help to be inspired for his untiring service to God and His people. Father Peter also does not know the meaning of the word “Quit”. He has overcome many difficulties in his life by his constant dedication to his service of God, We are blessed that he chose to retire with us here at St. Anthony’s because we benefit greatly from his ministry. Father Peter is also the passionate about supporting the Miguel Pro Mission in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Please see their website and support the people of Juarez. http://www.miguelpromission.com/ Reaching out to my neighbors… In the Gospel last Sunday the Priest preached on “Who is my neighbor?” He really got to me, and challenged me to get to know those who live around me. My first challenge was the charming lady across the street. She is beautiful; all of us ogled. dressed to the nines; always gussied up, real knock out. It is too much to call her a real tomato. It was with some nervousness I approached her gate, her door “Just a neighbor, we need to be good neighbors you know” I blubbered saying the wrong things. She got mad, began to shout, rabid. “Get off my property and don’t come back” Her eyes bugged out her nose turned a strange red and a snarl formed.
She was no longer beautiful.
For some reason I was not disheartened. I started thinking of the thing the priest said: Blessed are you when they persecute you and say every slander against; when they calumniate you, saying all falsehoods about you because of me. Rejoice and be glad; your reward…” I was not disheartened. I thought someday we will come to better terms. Some day I will know her background; perhaps she was beaten up as a youth; perhaps she was abused. Sometimes beautiful people dress beautifully because they are trying to forget the ugliness of their past. I thought, I have no chance to ask her to be a neighbor; no chance to be a good neighbor, only, if I show her compassion. The most exciting thing: Will this neighborhood be tight some day? Some day, will we watch over each other? Am I the person who will make it happen?
Deacon Paul Zajac
Deacon Paul was ordained by Archbishop Charles Chaput in May of 2007 and has been assigned to St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church. He is a single father of five children aging from 5 to 18 years old. When he is not serving our parish he works in the computer industry. Before becoming a Deacon he volunteered as the Director of Retreat Ministries at the Peace Huts retreat center near Akron, Colorado. Deacon Paul loves the saints, who are witnesses to the love and truth of Jesus Christ, and guides for us as we strive to live holy lives. His most favorite is Saint Francis of Assisi, who was also a Deacon in the 1200’s. St. Francis has such a love and fire for God that he did not let anything stand between him and God. Deacon Paul also enjoys the outdoors, backpacking, snowshoeing and cycling. He has quite a passion for the beauty of our Colorado Mountains. What is a Deacon? In the Catholic Church there has always been the three degrees of the Sacrament of Holy Orders. The first, most fundamental expression of that Sacrament is to Diakonia – The Greek work for Servant. Men who are ordained as Deacons receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders so that they can serve the Church in by taking care of the poor and the sick, teaching and preaching. Deacon’s administer the sacrament of Baptism, they preach and minister the Precious Blood of Jesus during the Mass, they perform funeral rites and can witness the sacrament of marriage. Deacon Paul helps to take Holy Communion to the sick in our parish, teaches our Catechists, and serves the mass. Deacon’s may be married or single men, and most Deacons have full-time professional jobs, serving the Church as their schedule permits.
Homily Blog If you want to catch up on my last homily – it is on the web