Reverend Marian Ogorek Celebrates 80th Birthday Saturday August 20, 2016
Last Updated on September 1, 2016
REGINA…..He stood at the door and greeted everyone personally who came to help him celebrate 80 years of life, 54 of those years as a priest with the Society of Christ Fathers.
Reverend Marian Ogorek, was born in Wielkie, Lublin, Poland, August 22, 1936. “Yes, I remember the war,” Ogorek said in an interview with the PM. His brother was born in the summer of 1939 and the war started September1. No immediate family members were lost during the war but several cousins perished shortly after the war began. After the war, the country was taken over by the communists.
Ogorek entered the seminary of the Society of Christ Fathers right after high school. The communists didn’t much hinder the seminary or the churches. “Poland is 95% Catholic so everything was open.” They didn’t have to go underground as in some other communist countries. He completed his studies and was ordained June 9, 1962 and immediately assigned to Poznan then Goleniow where he was the Vicar. He began his missionary work to Polish immigrants in 1970 with an assignment in the United States. His first assignment in Canada was to Calgary in 1979, then back to the U.S. for assignments in several locations. He returned to Calgary for a few years, then went to Windsor, Ontario and another return to the U.S. before coming to Regina in 1993 from Houston, Texas. He remained parish priest at St. Anthony’s until 2012 when a bout with cancer took him into retirement. He battled cancer and, according to current St. Anthony’s Pastor Reverend Stanislaw Poszwa, was twice near death. “He was anointed twice by Archbishop Bohan and other clergy.” Poszwa said Ogorek stopped taking chemo about a year ago and has been cancer free since. He is currently Priest in Residence at St. Anthony’s and helps with sacramental ministry.
More than 100 people showed up for the party and after being greeted by Ogorek sat at decorated tables in preparation for the meal. “It’s all Polish food,” said Poszwa catered by Wallnuts Expressive Catering. Prior to and during the meal Djoi Louise entertained with her violin. Poszwa emceed the event and led the group in several traditional Polish songs of blessing.
After the meal, the party enjoyed a slide presentation of Ogorek’s life and service dating back to his early years in Poland and service in the U.S. and Canada.
Ogorek thanked everyone for coming, received a blessing from the congregation and he in turn blessed them.
As to his future the affable priest shrugged his shoulders, “Only God knows,” he smiled.