We know the story of Saul from Acts. After meeting the glorified Christ on the road to Damascus, God sends the disciple Ananias to baptize him. He is filled with the Holy Spirit and hears his calling to be an apostle. In the Church, we are not left to ourselves, but the Lord sends us people who guide us on the path of faith.
These days I remember with gratitude my ordinations to the diaconate and the priesthood, celebrated over 40 years ago, and I marvel again at how the Lord arranged everything. During my theological studies in secret with Fr. Ivan Mastiliak C.Ss.R., I also attended some spiritual exercises for clergy in Tuchów in Poland. There, Fr. Prof. Marián Brudzisz C.Ss.R. found me and warned me to be careful in my words, because there were still some StB agents in the monastery. Then he took care of me and accompanied me to the priesthood. He arranged for my ordination on his own with Cardinal František Macharský. This all took place in the monastery of the Polish Redemptorists designed for recreation in Zakopane.
On May 20, 1980, Fr. Marián drove Cardinal František off from the Jesuit house “Ksienžovky” by car and he ordained me to the diaconate around 10 pm. Then he returned the next day about 6 am and ordained me to the priesthood. The only witness of these ordinations was a Fr. Marián Brudzisz, who sent a testimony on a postcard to Rome (it has been found years after). I was ordered by Cardinal František not to talk to anybody else about this ordination – not even to the closest members of my family – and then he left. After having a celebration lunch at the Hotel Kasprowy, Fr. Marián and myself went our separate ways. I tried to bless everyone secretly around me on the way home and then the next day at work in Stará Ľubovňa. As a priest, I worked in the factory for another ten years and in secret, I used to say Mass alone at home. Only now do I realize how the Lord God and Mother Mary have protected me through all those years of my priesthood, which were not always easy.
However, Fr.Marián Brudzisz stayed in touch with me and tried to encourage me, helped me with literature, and certainly in prayer, too. Nowadays I know that for me he was an Ananias whom the Lord sent to lead me on the path of being a priest and a missionary. Fr. Marián lives in Tuchów now, is 92 years old and still remembers me.
I would like to thank all of you who have accompanied and strengthened me on this 40-year journey in the priesthood.
It is so beautiful that as Christians we are not alone on the road, but we go together, each in his vocation, and we want to go to the end, to glory. Do remember your Ananias in faith, for he was there by the grace of God.
Fr. Michal Zamkovský C.Ss.R.
We congratulate Fr. Michal on the 40th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood, join in his thanksgiving and ask that God will continue to bless him richly.