September 26, 2017

Bishop Rozanski and Father Dailey visit diocesan seminarians in Rome

By Sharon Roulier

Bishop Rozanski is pictured with three Marian Fathers. (IObserve photo/courtesy of Bishop Mitchell Rozanski)


SPRINGFIELD – Springfield Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski has traveled to Rome to visit a diocesan seminarian currently studying at the Pontifical North American College (NAC) who will be ordained a transitional deacon on Thursday, Sept. 28.

Frank Furman, from Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Easthampton, along with 30 classmates from NAC will be ordained at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter’s Basilica, which overlooks the famous Holy Spirit window.

The bishop is traveling with Father Gary M. Dailey, vocations director for the diocese. The two spoke about their visit thus far in a telephone interview with iObserve Sept. 26.

“Frank Furman has been in formation for six years and it’s wonderful to be able to witness this very important step in his journey to the priesthood,” said Bishop Rozanski. He said that Bishop James Checchio, who served as rector during the seminarian’s first year at the college, will be the ordaining bishop. Bishop Rozanski, along with Bishop Robert J. McManus of Worcester, Mass., will be concelebrants with several other bishops from throughout the United States.

“It’s always good for the seminarian whenever the bishop comes to visit,” said Father Dailey.  “He’s the spiritual leader of the diocese and it shows that the bishop cares and has taken time out of his schedule to be with him for his ordination. “

Father Dailey said it is important to continue to pray for the newly ordained deacon for his “perseverance” as he continues his journey toward ordination to the priesthood.

“At this point he’s no longer discerning priesthood he’s beginning to form a priestly heart and prepare for priestly ministry,” said Father Dailey.

Once the bishop lays his hands on the seminarian’s head, he will receive the title of “Reverend Mister,” noted Father Dailey, taking on the role of transitional deacon.

“The role of the deacon is basically that of charity,” said Father Dailey. “It’s learning how to serve and in a very special way give a life of service to the community,  through distributing Communion, preaching,  performing baptisms, witnessing marriages and burials.”

During their stay in Rome, the bishop and Father Dailey also visited the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, meeting with Marian Father Andrzej Pakula, superior general, Marian Father Joseph Roesch and Marian Father Casimir Chwalek, provincial of the Marian Fathers, who is stationed in Stockbridge.

“We were able to speak with them about their mission in the world and particularly about their presence at the National Shrine of (The) Divine Mercy in Stockbridge. Both Father Gary and I were able to share our appreciation of the ministry of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception and to thank Father Pakula for the Marian presence in Stockbridge,” said Bishop Rozanski.

On a personal note, the bishop also met with two priests whom he knows from his home Archdiocese of Baltimore. He met with Father McLean Cummings, a priest the bishop had been stationed with in a parish in Baltimore, who currently works in Cardinal Leonardo Sandri’s office. Cardinal Sandri is the prefect for the Congregation of the Oriental Churches. He also met with Father Albert Anuszewski a priest from the bishop’s home parish who is serving as secretary to the general counsel of the Trinitarian Fathers in Rome.

On Friday morning, Sept. 29, the bishop and Father Dailey will celebrate Mass in St. Michael’s Chapel of St. Peter’s Basilica, during which Frank Furman will serve his first Mass as a deacon.

Deacon Frank Furman and Deacon Michael Kokoszka are scheduled to be ordained priests in St. Michael’s Cathedral in Springfield on June 30, 2018.