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Father Jude Surowiec, OFM Conv.
Spiritual Testimony ~ July, 2019
My name is Jude Surowiec I am a 71 years-old Conventual Franciscan Priest in the Our Lady of Angels Province (USA). I am in residence at St. Hyacinth Friary in Chicopee, MA and am a professor at Holy Apostle’s College in Cromwell, CT . I was born on May 1, 1948 in Detroit, MI and I am primarily of Polish descent. I have one sister, one brother and many nieces and nephews. The parish where I grew up was very instrumental in helping me to get to know the Friars and my Uncle was a member of the Franciscans (St. Anthony Province at that time). I later attended St. Francis High School in Hamburg, NY which is staffed by the Conventual Friars so I knew the community very well.
I entered the novitiate of the Conventual Franciscans in Ellicott City, MD in August, 1966 and professed my first vows under the direction of my novice master +Fr. Dominic Slemba, OFM Conv. Friars in my class Martin Kobos, Vincent Vivian, Noel Danielewicz and Paul Miskiewicz. Several of my classmates are deceased. I professed my solemn vows on August 15, 1970 in Granby, MA.
I was ordained a Franciscan priest in Rome, Italy on June 29, 1975 after completing my studies at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. I later was assigned to teach at our seminary, St. Anthony-on-Hudson, Rensselaer, NY and I consider teaching my favorite assignment/ministry.
Various texts in Sacred Scripture come to mind when asked if I have a favorite prayer or devotion, so I would have to say Romans 8: 36-39 and Philippians 3: 7-16.
For those considering a vocation to our Order and Province I would say: “Reflect upon the ‘signs’ that the Lord provides for you in your life’s journey. It will help you discern where the Lord in leading you.”
And to our student friars: “Be open to the guidance of the Spirit – reorganize your gifts and talents and be willing to share them with others.”