The Compass: Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay
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May 18, 2001 Issue
Local News

St. Mary pastor celebrates 40 years

Franciscan priest lists liturgy and listening as gifts

By Joanne Flemming
Compass Correspondent

Fr. Roman Zbieranski, OFM, pastor for the last 11 years at St. Mary Parish in Manitowoc, will celebrate the 40th anniversary of his ordination Sunday at the parish with a Mass of Thanksgiving at 11 a.m.

He was ordained May 27, 1961, in Joliet, Ill., and is a Franciscan of Assumption Province, Pulaski.

The South Bend, Ind., native said the Franciscans - "very friendly ... a welcoming type of priest" - who came to his home parish to give missions and retreats influenced him. The missions lasted two weeks - one week in Polish, the second in English.

The stories they told in the classrooms about St. Francis also inspired him.


He entered the novitiate at Queen of Peace Friary in Lake Geneva and graduated from St. Francis College in Burlington with a bachelor's degree in philosophy. He attended Christ the King Theological Seminary in West Chicago. He has a master's degree in business administration from Notre Dame University.


Fr. Zbieranski taught Latin and English and was treasurer of a Philadelphia high school for 16 years. He served as pastor at Saginaw, Mich., and a hospital chaplain in New Jersey, was community superior in Philadelphia, vicar provincial and superior of Holy Name Friary in Chicago. He was a member of the Green Bay Diocese's core community for Renew 2000.


He said his two greatest gifts are his ability to be a good listener and his love for the liturgy.

"I like to hear what people have to say, especially if they are hurting, and to reach out to them in whatever way that I can," he said.

When asked what he has learned as a priest, he said, having "a close relationship to God" was the most important and "to know that everything in life can't be done alone, that you have to be dependent on him. When people deal with situations in life, they become depressed or upset. I think it's important that they know that the Lord walks with them."

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