- May 27, 2014
„I am Christ’s officer”. The 30th anniversary of Rev. Aszkiełowicz ordination
“At first I wanted to become a military man but after doing my military service in soviet army I understood that the Soviet Union is not my country” – said Father Józef Aszkiełowicz to zw.lt in the 30th anniversary of his ordination.
Photo: Ewelina Mokrzecka
Rev. Aszkiełowicz didn’t want any pompous celebration that is why parishioners who were involved in everyday May Mass gave him best wishes. “Accept out thanks for your noble decision, for many years of youthful sacrifices and for your preservation in Christ. Look around, this world is dying, this world is turning away from God. You are to give Christ to it, this is your aim, job, and way” – the faithful from the parish dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary in Mejszagoła (Maišiagala) congratulated the parish priest with these words.
”God called me in 1977 at the airport „Bieżeck” in Moscow Oblast. The Holy Spirit descended from heaven, God’s love and this heavenly feeling flooded me. I kneeled and then this thought came: “I have to go to the seminary”. I understood that God is calling me, and we are in no position to refuse him” – Rev. Aszkiełowicz told zw.lt about the beginnings of his ministry.
At first, the clergyman was dreaming about becoming an officer. “However after I’d done my military service I understood that I didn’t want to continue because the Soviet Union is not my homeland, my country” – emphasized the priest.
His dream came true since he became a part of God’s Army. “At the first day of my holy orders I’ve felt as an officer of Christ’s army. I understood that not only I finished my seminary but also in some sense a military academy. Christ’s army is fighting with the powers of evil and lie. I am one of the soldiers who are used by God to fight with the kingdom of Satan by sending them on various front lines. The kingdom of Satan is winning for the time being, but Christ’s goodness will win at the end” – persuaded the parish priest of Mejszagoła congregation.
The clergyman stressed that the choice between the ministry and laity was not easy. “I would have never decided for the clergy because it is a separation from the laity. It means leaving the family, living without a wife, kids. It seems that life in such conditions has no meaning. But, in retrospect, I see that if God is calling someone he takes care of that person, shapes him and helps” – emphasized the priest.
During all his life, Rev. Aszkiełowicz learns how to follow Christ. After 30 years he states confidently: “Being a good clergyman is hard if you are not demanding towards yourself. People when young have strong bodies but undeveloped souls. With time those bodies become weaker and souls are maturing as brandy – with years it gets power and stars. People have to mature to be like Christ and to be resurrected”.
In the opinion of the parish priest of Mejszagoła congregation life is a continuous fight of evil and good. “The life is a fight with Satan in a ring. This year I experienced such enormous temptations that I’ve never experienced before. I am planning to stay faithful to Jesus. Christ told us: “Who is standing has to be careful not to fall”. It means that one has to remain faithful to God because the end of this is the hardest yet the most important one” – stressed Fav. Aszkiełowicz.
The clergyman has ministered to a Mejszagoła parish for 12 years already. Earlier he was a parish priest in Ejszyszki and Turgiele.
Tłumaczenie by Małgorzata Łabuda w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Małgorzata Łabuda within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.