LIKE A KIN TO HIS FAMILY
FR. MAREK ŁUCZAK
On the website of the diocese of Kalisz a message was placed about nomination of a new auxiliary bishop. The information is entitled: From Mary to Joseph. – These words are the hit the jackpot – comments Fr. Łukasz Buzun, a Pauline Father who was appointed an auxiliary bishop of the diocese of Kalisz by pope Francis
It was Sunday 5 July 2014. In media an information appeared that the prior of Jasna Góra Fr. Dr. Łukasz Mirosław Buzun had been appointed an auxiliary bishop in Kalisz. This information about the nomination the Father received during retreats he was conducting for priests in the seminary in Przemyśl. A few years before, he devoted his academic thesis to the issue of the mystery of Christ in spiritual life of a Christian man in the literature of St. Józef Sebastian Pelczar – a bishop of Przemyśl. Moreover, as he emphasized himself, he often addressed his prayers through the intercession of this saint of the archdiocese of Przemyśl and it decided that the particular patron of his bishopric ministry became St. Sebastian Pelczar.
A choice of a road
Half of his priestly ministry Fr. Buzun has spent in Wieruszowo so far, in the diocese of Kalisz where he is going to serve. – My relations with this local Church have their own tradition – he mentions. – I remember very well the year 1997 in which there was a pilgrimage of John Paul II to Kalisz. I took part in it as a young monk. I have known some priests since that time, thanks to my pastoral ministry in Wieruszowo I also met many laymen, children who are the youth now, and the youth of that time are adults now. I also think about those who were called by Lord to the eternity. On the occasion of the Holy Communion on Friday I also had a chance to meet with those who were related to bishop Stefan Bareła, most of these people have already passed away to Lord. So, I am going to Kalisz like their one to his, especially that a big part of this diocese are areas which belonged to the diocese of Częstochowa before the administrative reform of the Church in Poland. Bishop Buzun reminisces his youth as time of forming his personality in the clash with the reality. He speaks about the inner anxiety, being the cause of his youthful searches of his own path of life, and, finally about discovering and realizing his vocation for religious life. In an application form addressed to a monk responsible for vocations in the religious order, he wrote: ‘I am fascinated with the attitude of people completely devoted to God and Our Lady. I would like to be one of them and realize it in the Pauline Order’. Fr. Łukasz says that together with the period of maturation there appear new interests and youthful anxieties – what to do and what road to choose. In the secondary school he gradually feels vocation to serve to the man and God in the Church as a priest, awareness of the vocation becomes very clear at one moment.
He addresses the personal question about its realization to a catechist from childhood years and receives a hint – white monks at Jasna Góra in Częstochowa. So, to the sanctuary of Jasna Góra, he brings his youthful heart full of hope to the Best Mother. He chooses the Pauline Order, wanting to be close to Our Lady and white monks. Having completed the novitiate, where he meets good educators, delighted by spirituality of the Pauline Order, Mary and hermits, studies philosophy and theology on Skałka in Kraków. In his opinion, every vocation has its unique element, but the common denomination is aiming at what is ‘up’, being a cause of inner dynamics – the higher it is, the stronger vocation is and the better possibility of using the grace which the Holy Spirit gives. This youthful discontent about life and the desire for ‘something diffferent’ – says Fr. Buzun – cannot be a cause for pessimism but it is always a signal to treat one’s life seriously, stop living only on the surface and be interested in one’s own soul. It is not easy because it always requires transformation and entering a conversion path, hence there is so much resistance in the man, but the rewards is happiness to which it is not possible to open one’s humanity in any other way.
At the throne of the Mother
In the Pauline Order superiors assign various tasks for Fr. Buzun. First he is a catechist in a primary school, next – in a secondary school in Wieruszowo and Włodawa at Bug. At this time he has also got a function of a confessor of Religious Sisters in Złoczewo, which helps him realize the fact that the essence of vocation of a Christian man, especially a consecrated person, is not only the outer activity in the world, resulting from the noblest reasons, but also taking care of inner life and care about constant spiritual renewal. – The ministry of a confessor and a spiritual leader fulfilled once in two weeks among parish jobs – mentions Fr. Łukasz – has always been a subject of reflection for me on my own way of realization of my vocation and cooperation with grace. I got to the Order via an advice of a confessor, being also a spiritual leader on that stage of my life road, who was fascinated by the person of cardinal Stefan Wyszyński, the current God’s Servant, therefore, I am aware how important and valuable tool in God’s hands a priest is and what a gift a confessor is – says Fr. Buzun. So, the issue of spiritual leadership was a motif of his academic reflection during his BA studies at the Papal Theological Faculty in Wrocław. In fact since that moment of the interest of the future bishop also go towards more understanding of the man both from the spiritual and psychological point of view. Moreover, the desire of deepening knowledge about theology of spirituality is also connected with the period of catechist work and pastoral ministry, which resulted in his starting PhD studies at the University of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński in Warsaw.
Fr. Buzun at Jasna Góra was first an employee of Radio Jasna Góra, later he was a vice-director of this institution. – The Radio is an unusual place – he says. – Fr. Izydor Matuszewski , the former General of the Pauline Order, sent me from Włodawa to Jasna Góra, just with the thought about the radio. At present the radio is one of the ways to develop pastoral ministry. Besides the realization of the radio programme founded by himself, especially the ‘Word’ on Sunday, for 6 years Fr. Łukasz has been trying to make listeners be interested in reflection on inner life. He awakens love of God’s Word, Eucharist and Mary in their hearts. Besides evangelical threads patriotic texts take an important place, which express a concern about the young generation, so that it would understand and love Homeland and would be able to devote itself.
In radio programmes one can hear mainly a concern about maintaining and developing of Christian values in family, about upbringing children and the youth in the Catholic spirit. Wanting to be closer to problems experienced by families now, Fr. Łukasz takes up education in the sphere of psychotherapeutic help and serves in an office of family life at Jasna Góra and cooperates with the centre of crisis intervention in Częstochowa. Moreover, as the sub-prior, he takes care of ill co-brothers in the monastery. He notes how big fruits are born when both healthy people are with the ill and when elderly people are with the young, both parties benefit a lot from it. – I mean especially here – he adds – with wider understanding and I am thinking about what life is, which brings inevitably old age and suffering, as well as about how an illness can change the man facing these facts. It is always our chance to learn humble love bringing tolerance and understanding towards a suffering person.
– I was the most interested in spirituality – emphasizes Fr. Buzun. – It is not only my personal sphere of life, but also these qualifications which I gained as a monk and priest, stand on the guard of development of other people. I want to help others in this effort through my ministry, knowing how important spiritual development of the man in the Church is, so that spiritual life would become their participation and would be developed by them. I think that here it is important to be aware that we cannot fully participate in the life of the Church, not having inner life. Being in the Church, being rooted in the Church is the fruit of spiritual life of an individual and a community. Experiencing the role of grace in sacraments builds spiritual life. Today there is a particular interest, need of discovering one’s own inside, soul. So, as a priest, I do not do it for my own hobby. Entering the reality of supernatural life requires work on the development of the man, and in this situation, on the spiritual development which is being omitted today. Why? Because it is not easy; it is difficult, hence there is need for spiritual leaders and confessors. It is the most important, the development of inner life is important, not only of the material or economic one.
Fr. Łukasz Buzun smiles at the words at the end of our conversation that he is similar to young Karol Wojtyła. – I feel embarrassed when I hear it – he says. – Will it have an influence on my future ministry? – I ask at the farewell.
– Let God give it!