Deacon Majewski is grateful to be a servant to others

By Jeff Kurowski | The Compass | July 28, 2022

Jubilarian enjoys helping with RCIA, Alpha and confirmation

Dennis Majewski

PULASKI — Deacon Dennis Majewski’s journey to the diaconate included a few doors that unexpectedly closed before one opened again.

Deacon Majewski, who marked 20 years as a deacon in May, wanted to be a priest during his youth. But then his father died on the first day of his sophomore year of high school, so he was needed to help care for his mother and sister. An aunt offered to pay for seminary, but then she also died.

“I figured God didn’t want me to become a priest,” he said.

Deacon Majewski was called to the vocation of marriage with his wife, Joan. He grew in his faith through involvement at his home parish, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Pulaski. He served as a lector, usher, extraordinary minister of holy Communion and sang in the choir, along with Joan.

An invitation from Joan would indirectly lead Deacon Majewski to consider the diaconate. She taught religious education and asked him to assist her. Unfortunately, class was the same night as his regular bowling outing.

“One Monday, as she was getting ready to go teach class, she asked me why I wasn’t getting ready to go bowling,” recalled Deacon Majewski. “I told her that I wasn’t going anymore. … I’m going to help you teach religious ed class. She looked at me and said, ‘You don’t know how long I’ve prayed and waited for you to say that.’”

Deacon Majewski found he couldn’t answer some of the questions from the first and second graders, which spurred him to reflect on his faith.

“Scripture says that the little children will lead them,” he said. “A few years later, a friend of ours was ordained a deacon for our parish and he started talking to me about the possibility of being a deacon. As I was beginning to learn more, they closed the diaconate program down in the diocese.”

Joan was dealing with some health struggles, so Deacon Majewski focused on her and their four children. After a few years, her health stabilized. Deacon Majewski’s eldest son, a teenager at the time, challenged him to pursue a vocation to the diaconate.

“He said, ‘Dad, you always told us that if we put our mind to it, and with God’s help, we can be anything that we want to be, right?’ said Deacon Majewski. “… Then he asked me, ‘You’ve felt called to become a deacon, am I right?’”

During that conversation, Deacon Bill Doran called to inform him that the diaconate program had reopened and that an informational meeting was scheduled.

“I told him, ‘I think the Spirit just spoke through my son, and yes, I will be going,’” he recalled.

Deacon Majewski said his wife, Joan, has had the biggest influence in his faith life.

“So many times, she has shown me how to be a servant to others and a vessel for the Spirit to use for the good of his people,” he said.

Deacon Majewski also pointed to the Franciscans from the Assumption BVM Province and the friars who worked at Franciscan Publishers in Pulaski for their faith examples, especially Fr. Regis Burzynski, Fr. Bob Konkol  and Fr. Patrick Gawrylewski for “just being there and listening to me when I had questions. Also, the many parishioners of the three parishes I serve.”

In addition to Assumption BVM, Deacon Majewski also serves St. Stanislaus Parish, Hofa Park, and St. Casimir Parish, Krakow. 

Other ministries he has been a part of include serving on the pastoral team at Assumption Parish since 2002, youth ministry volunteer, member of Anchor of Hope Teens Encounter Christ retreat team, spiritual advisor for the Green Bay Council of St. Vincent de Paul and field advocate for the marriage tribunal. 

Deacon Majewski helped start St. Vincent de Paul Conference 32 at Assumption Parish. He is also a member of the Knights of Columbus, Third Degree Council #4439 and Fourth Degree Assembly #1197.

Some fond memories from his diaconal ministry are “being able to witness most of my children’s marriages and grandchildren’s baptisms.”

“My favorites now are helping with RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults), Alpha (a course to introduce the basics of Christian faith) and confirmation retreats,” he said. “I also love being able to help at the parish school, being able to help the children and the staff understand their faith, and to be able to help them share that faith with others. I did a program I called ‘Fishing for Answers’ where they could ask any questions about the church or their faith and I would come into the classroom and try my best to answer them.”

Whenever Deacon Majewski proclaims the Gospel or gives a homily, he said he prays, “Lord, send your Spirit down upon me that he may use my voice to proclaim your word that the people may understand.”

The Holy Spirit guided him during a homily in which he had 30 seconds to prepare following a late request to preach by the priest..

“I was told I gave the best homily that I’ve given so far,” he said. “And I credit it all to the Spirit because I still have no idea what I said, but was told many times it’s exactly what they needed to hear to start Lent that year.” 

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