BRISTOL – From Poland to Africa to Terryville, the Rev. Tomasz Sztuber has preached the word of God in many communities and now he’s hoping to get to know Bristol as the new pastor at St. Stanislaus Church.
Sztuber has been a pastor for 32 years. Born, educated and ordained in northern Poland, he then traveled to South Africa to live among the Zulu people in the village of Mahobe.
“It was not easy, but I was young and full of energy,” he said. “I had to change my whole way of living my life. There was no electricity and no running water. They collected rain in big tank.”
Fourteen years ago, Sztuber came to the U.S. and was most recently a pastor in Terryville before coming to St. Stanislaus on Feb. 12, where he has succeeded the Rev. Raymond Smialowski.
“I’ve only been here for a very short time, but I am trying to find out everything I can about the parish,” said Sztuber. “I am visiting hospitals and hospices and different organizations in an effort to acclimate myself. This is a lovely place and a very vibrant parish.”
Sztuber said that he is impressed with St. Stanislaus’ long-running picnic and Dozynki traditions and that he is working with a church committee to come up with big events to celebrate the church’s 100th anniversary next year.
“The Polish people are very involved in this church and we try to have a Polish Mass every Friday and Sunday,” he said. “I am also a Polish American and I know how people once struggled to build and organize this church. It was not easy to get to where we are today.”
Sztuber said that his goals are to “continue what Father Raymond built” and to involve himself even more in the community, including projects outside of the church.
“I wish that more people will come to the church and I pray that those who are debating whether or not to come back will find their way back,” he said. “A life without God is an empty life.”
For more information on St. Stanislaus Church, call 860-583-4242 or visit ststanislausbristolct.org.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.