Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of November 1, 1999
Strankowski loved serving as a priest
By ANH HOANG
WCR Staff Writer
There was nothing sensational about Father Marian Strankowski.
He loved his life as a priest and he served God.
"That's what made him a good priest," said Father Karol Zynel, a longtime friend of Strankowski. "He was a priest according to the heart of Jesus. He was dedicated to the Church, to the people he served. He left the parish only for holidays."
Strankowski died Oct. 20 at the age of 64, 10 years after being diagnosed with cancer.
"He enjoyed being a priest," Zynel said. "It wasn't just being a priest and doing his work, he enjoyed it. He was proud to be a priest. He walked side by side, hand in hand with the people.
"He worked (in the parish) until the very end."
Strankowski retired from parish duties at St. Mary's Church in Provost in July, after his cancer came out of remission.
"Even when he was sick, he was still very talkative," Zynel said of Strankowski's last days. "He was conscious till the last hours."
Strankowski was ordained in 1960 in his native Poland. He taught catechism courses before an invitation from Archbishop Joseph MacNeil brought him to the Edmonton Archdiocese.
He worked and studied at St. Angela's Parish in Edmonton for a short time before taking on administrative duties at St. Columba's Parish in Clandonald. He served 10 years in Lamont before going to Provost.
While at Lamont, Strankowski took an active role in celebrations at the Skaro Shrine, including the annual pilgrimage and a Marian Year closing Mass in 1987. For this event, he composed postcards and a souvenir book, My Soul Proclaimed the Greatness of the Lord.
Strankowski also oversaw renovations at Skaro church.
In 1998, Strankowski was honoured by Archbishop-Metropilita Stanislaw Szymecki of Bialystok, Poland, by being permitted the title of Right Reverend.
Throughout his stay in Edmonton, Strankowski showed his support for St. Joseph's Seminary and his hometown seminary in Poland through financial contributions.
Strankowski's nephew, also named Marian Strankowski, will be ordained a priest next May.
"You can't put a person's life in two sentences, but I as a priest, a friend, appreciated that (Strankowski) knew what he wanted till the end, which was a commitment to God," Zynel said.
A funeral for Strankowski was held at St. Joseph's Basilica Oct. 26. His body will be flown back to Poland for a service with his family and buried in his home parish in Nowy Dwor.