Fr. Marek Stybor, OFM Conv. is now in residence at Our Lady of Guadalupe, Hermosa Beach CA. Fr. Marek was so gracious to do a Q&A with us and here’s what he shared:
What is your current mission? And do you know how long you will be at OLG?
First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to the friars and people of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish for the warm welcome.
My current mission is to represent the Conference of Conventual Franciscans in the USA, at the National level as the National Assistant of the Secular Franciscan Order. More information can be found at: secularfranciscansusa.org I am already involved in giving retreats and assisting religious in their initial formation as their spiritual director. I am available to assist our friars with ministerial needs when my schedule and ministry to Secular Franciscans allows.
My goal is to save souls and to be open to the promptings and inspirations of the Holy Spirit.
The question: “How long I will be here?”, Is a very good question. We Franciscans are mendicants. I guess I will be here as long as God wants me to be.
Tell us a little bit about you. Where are you from?
I was born in Poland. The first time I met the friars was as a teenager. Inspired by their love for God and their missionary zeal, I joined the Order in 1991. The call to be a missionary led me to leave Poland for Kenya in 1995 where I continued my priestly studies. I was ordained in 1999. I served the Franciscan Order in Kenya and Tanzania as Vocation Director, Retreat Director, Postulant Director, and Parish Priest.
In 2004, I continued my missionary vocation in North America where I have been involved in parish ministry and youth ministry. I especially treasure my experience of working as a campus minister at the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. My MA degree in Franciscan Spirituality, along with broad ministerial experience, was a great help in my recent position accompanying young novices. I was Vice Director of Novitiate in Arroyo Grande, CA. In the past, I ministered to the youth in different capacities. I also served Secular Franciscans at the parish level. Currently, I am a part of The Conference of National Spiritual Assistants (CNSA) which provides assistance to the National Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order in the United States.
Do you have a favorite hobby or pastime?
This probably is not a hobby but a passion of my life. Namely helping people, and accompanying them in their faith journey. I try to remember our brothers and sisters in Africa. During Covid, I brought medicines and essential help to Kenya. I hope I will be able to continue supporting Missions in third-world countries.
I like swimming, long walks along the beach….I used to climb the rocky mountains in the past. I also enjoy classical music.
Do you have a favorite Saint?
Number one is St. Francis of Assisi. That is why I became a Franciscan. I am inspired by our Franciscan saints. There are so many. I believe Mother Teresa was a prophet of our times and I have a special devotion to her. She is on my top list. I love St. John Paul II, St. Faustina, St. Bakitha, our Franciscan martyrs Blessed Zbigniew & Michael. I am very inspired by Bl. Charles de Foucauld. There are so many Saints that I love (St. Teresa of Child Jesus, St.. Terese of Avila, etc.)
PEACE AND BLESSINGS TO YOU FR. MAREK