A return to Poland ‘saved’ seminarian’s vocation

  • March 30, 2011
Paul Hrynczyszyn will be ordained a priest in the spring. Editor’s note: This is one in our series of profiles on the men who will graduate from St. Augustine’s Seminary this spring and be ordained to the priesthood for various dioceses.

When Paul Hrynczyszyn was 15, his mother forced him to attend a Catholic youth retreat over the March break. Now, 11 years later, he is about to be ordained a priest.

“I thank God and I thank her to this day for forcing me to go, because it was life changing,” he said.

“It was at that moment I rediscovered my faith. I fell in love with Jesus Christ.”

Following the retreat, Hrynczyszyn became involved with the Youth Teams of Our Lady, an international lay movement, and, four years later entered St. Philip’s Seminary in Toronto at 19.

During his formation, Hrynczyszyn spent a year in Poland, where he was born, as an assistant chaplain to university students. The year abroad, he said, he spent time with young people and his aunt, a religious sister, “saved” his vocation.

He returned to St. Augustine’s Seminary in Toronto and was ordained a deacon in June 2010. Hrynczyszyn, 26, will be ordained a priest for the diocese of Hamilton this spring.

“One thing I want you to realize,” he said, “is that we are just regular guys who want to serve the Lord, who want to serve all of you, with the love of Jesus Christ.”

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