Yesterday I was a sorrowful yet joyous day. It was a sorrowful day because we laid to rest Fr. Daniel Pietrzak, the Assistant General of the Order for Formation aka the Universal Formator. He was in charge of overseeing all the formation houses for the Order throughout the whole world. His funeral was a joyous day because we celebrated his end of suffering and his entrance into the kingdom of heaven. It was also a joyous day because we saw friars (about 50, including the Minister General from Assisi, Fr. Marco Tasco), other religious, family and friends present there. It was great witness to the way in which one person can affect many lives.
Fr. Daniel was a kind man with a gentle soul and a great smile who died at the age of 69 due to a heart attack after battling with prostate cancer for many months. It was always a blessing each time I got to see him. I was graced to see him in mid-May less than month before his passing.
Here is a little bit about him: "Fr. Daniel was devoted to and loved the Order. He spent all of his years, except for the two in Bridgeport, working in and for the order, especially in the realm of formation but also as provincial of St. Anthony Province and Custos in Australia. He was most happy traveling the world and spending time with the friars. It was often joked that he loved meetings, and it did seem that he never tired of meetings with the friars working toward the betterment of the community."
May Daniel's soul and the souls of all our faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace!