Polish Missionary With 25 Years in the Caribbean Named Provinicial

Theresa Carson, Public and Media Relations Director - Chicago Province

Polish Missionary with 25 Years in the Caribbean Named Provincial

Adam-Oleszczuk-2B.jpgSuperior General Father Paulus Budi Kleden SVD has appointed Father Adam Oleszczuk SVD as the next provincial superior of the Society of the Divine Word Chicago Province.

Elected by fellow Divine Word Missionaries, Father Oleszczuk, 52, has held several leadership roles in the Society of the Divine Word; the Archdiocese of Kingston, Jamaica; and the Diocese of Willemstad in the Caribbean.

Born in Pasłęk, Poland, he professed vows in 1991. After completing a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Divine Word Seminary in Nysa, Poland, and a master’s degree in theology from Philosophisch-Theologische Hochschule St. Gabriel in Mödling, Austria, he was ordained to the priesthood in 1998.

Father Oleszczuk served his first assignment at Our Lady of Assumption in Morant Bay, Jamaica, joining a pastoral team that focused on basic Christian communities and the area’s youth. Their efforts resulted in several archdiocesan awards for the church youth groups.

He later was assigned to Portmore, Jamaica, where he built upon the unique ecumenical history of the Church of Reconciliation and Good Shepherd parish. Two faith communities—one Roman Catholic and one Anglican—share the parish buildings, as well as pastoral, social and fund-raising activities.

Adam-Oleszczuk-3.jpgHe increased parish membership, developed lay leadership, renovated the pastoral center and began a breakfast program at a local school. The renovated pastoral center was equipped with computers so that students had a place to do homework.

In 2015, Father Oleszczuk was assigned to St. Martin of Tours in Philipsburg, St. Maarten in the Dutch Caribbean. As pastor, he oversaw the restoration of the parish after the destructive Hurricane Irma in 2017. Three years later, he led the parish through challenges of the pandemic and instituted precautions so that parishioners could continue to receive the sacraments.

He also was president of the Bishop Ellis Foundation, which provides non-perishable food to an average of 250 people each month.

On June 1, Father Oleszczuk succeeded Father Quang Duc Dinh SVD, who served two terms as provincial superior. As provincial, he will direct activities of the Society of the Divine Word in Canada, the Eastern and Midwestern United States, and the Caribbean.

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