Fr. Tomasz Dzida, 34, associate pastor of Scarborough's Our Lady Queen of Poland, seen here in Jerusalem on Aug. 22, suffered a stroke while on pilgrimage in the Middle East, Aug. 27. Photo/courtesy of Our Lady Queen of Poland Parish via Facebook

Scarborough Polish parish to gather and pray for gravely ill pastor

By 
  • August 30, 2016

Parishioners at Our Lady Queen of Poland in Scarborough will gather Wednesday evening Aug. 31 for Mass, exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and to pray for a miracle to save their young associate pastor.

Thirty-four-year-old Fr. Tomasz Dzida of the Society of Christ for Polish Migrants suffered a massive stroke while on pilgrimage with members of his religious community in Jordan Saturday, Aug. 27. Dzida was rushed to Al Khalidi Hospital and Medical Centre in Amman, Jordan but never regained consciousness. By Tuesday morning Dzida’s religious superiors had asked people to pray for a miracle.

“Because only a miracle can save him. From a medical point of view, there’s no hope,” Our Lady Queen of Poland pastor Fr. Adam Bobola told The Catholic Register.

The last two months Dzida had been almost constantly on pilgrimage. In July he led a group of 30 young parishioners from Toronto on pilgrimage to Krakow, Poland for World Youth Day. He returned at the beginning of August to lead one of three groups of walking pilgrims in the annual Polish trek to the Martyrs’ Shrine in Midland, Ont. The Midland pilgrimage ended Aug. 14, but Dzidic was again on pilgrimage Aug. 21. He flew to Tel Aviv to begin a Holy Land pilgrimage to Israel and Jordan with members of his religious congregation.

He was due to return to Toronto Sept. 2 to resume duties as associate pastor at Our Lady Queen of Poland.

Dzida had been active in youth and family ministry at his new parish over the last year. He was also active on the parish Facebook page.

He had come to Our Lady Queen of Poland after two years at Divine Mercy Polish Mission in Lombard, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. His ministry and education through his 20s had all been in Poland.

Dzida’s congregation, the Society of Christ, has about 500 members serving expatriate Polish communities all over the world. In the Archdiocese of Toronto the religious order operates Our Lady Queen of Poland in Scarborough and St. Hedwig’s in Oshawa.

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We will keep Father in our prayers; however, this once again demonstrates the dangers of extended air travel. Get out of your seat frequently and walk around the cabin to reinvigorate your circulation and discourage blood clots.

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