Fr Jan to follow in his mentor’s footsteps
NEW Stella Maris parish priest Fr Jan Bialasiewicz has no plans to reinvent the wheel as he steps into the large shoes vacated by the immensely popular Fr Joe Duffy.
For 30 years, Fr Joe was the much-loved Maroochydore shire priest and his successor merely wants to continue his work.
After New Year’s Eve mass, Fr Joe retired following 51 years of priesthood and tipped Fr Jan to “thrive”.
Fr Jan spent three years at Maroochydore from 2000 and 2003 and said he was very happy to come back.
“For me, coming from Poland, Fr Joe was like a father figure or mentor in the way he supported me. He really embraces different cultures and personalities,” Fr Jan said.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time. The whole spirit of the parish was really energetic and welcoming.
“So it’s easy to come back.”
While the landscape has vastly changed in the streets surrounding his Catholic church, situated in the middle of the Maroochydore CBD, Jr Jan said not all change was bad.
In time, he said he would start to leave his mark on the region, but not yet.
“I will try to continue what has been happened for the last 30 years. This place has a lot of potential and the spirit is the same,” he said.
“There is plenty that can be achieved here. The people are co-operative, willing to participate and able to contribute to the growth.
“First of all, I will give myself time to settle in and talk and listen to people.”