FR. ROMAN BRONISLAUS LEWICKI, S. J. (82/63)
Died in Kurji Holy Family Hospital, Patna on 25th February 2016.
Born: 20.06.1933 Entered the SJ: 01.09.1952 Ordained: 19.03.1965 Final Vows: 02.02.1970
Teacher, St. Xavier’s, Delhi; 1967-68
Spiritual Father & Teacher, XTTI, Patna; 1968-74
Spiritual Father & Director of Midi-Sadhana, De Nobili
College, Pune; 1974-81
Spiritual Father & Teacher (Church History), Vidyajyoti,
Spiritual Father & Teacher, XTTI, Patna; 1992-2011
Spiritual Father, XTTI, Patna; 2011-
Fr. Roman Lewicki was a gem of a human person and a valiant soldier of Christ. He was loving, gentle, kind-hearted, cheerful and full of hope. He encountered physical and spiritual difficulties with faith and courage and helped others to do so. In his childhood his right hand withered due to polio. The debility meant near impossibility of a religious and priestly vocation. But Roman Jr. encountered it with stoic courage and determination. He wanted to be a Jesuit and a missionary in India. His request for exemption from established norms meant a huge effort and several intercessions from various quarters. His prayer was heard, he joined the Jesuit Novitiate Milford, Ohio in 1952 and came to India after Philosophy, in 1959. Over the years he had many other ailments which necessitated many surgeries. ‘When the going gets tuff, the tuff gets going’ – Fr. Roman emerged from each surgery and physical ailment as a more loving and cheerful person.
Just as he encountered the physical challenges, with faith and courage he encountered the spiritual ones too: When he was given an assignment which was not to his liking, he wrote to the Provincial, “I feel that though I might not want to pack up and pitch my tent in another place …, that the Lord might work something in me through this; and I can practice good detachment this way. … Perhaps this will make me a better instrument in the Lord’s hands, and I want that more than anything in the world. I want to be ‘pure instrument’: that He may flow through me with all the purity of His Being … this is no doubt another step in His process of stripping me.” Of course, Fr. Roman took up the new assignment and fulfilled it with all his heart and soul. It is this clarity, honesty and courage to encounter his own inner self that enabled him to understand the inner world of others and guide / accompany them to encounter their true selves.
For nearly five decades (1968-2016) Fr. Roman was engaged in the ministry of spiritual guidance. On the occasion of his (Fr. Roman’s) golden jubilee in the Society of Jesus in 2002, the Superior General wrote to him, “Yours has been an apostolate with multiple effect. The hundreds that you have directed have undoubtedly touched the lives of other thousands.” And, those whom Fr. Roman guided are the innumerable young Jesuit scholastics (in XTTI-Patna, De Nobili-Pune and Vidyajyoti-Delhi), and priests and religious of several dioceses and congregations as well as some lay people.
While arranging his bed in the early hours of the morning on 15 Feb ‘16, Fr. Roman slipped and fell in his room, which resulted in a fracture on his left upper arm. He was admitted in Kurji Holy Family Hospital; but since his sugar and BP remained high, an operation on the fractured arm was delayed by a few days and it was done on 20 Feb ’16. In the post-surgery days he was experiencing difficulty in breathing and so had to be put on ventilator / oxygen on and off. The Lord called His ‘pure instrument’ for Eternal Reward at 10.40 pm on 25 Feb ’16.
Fr. Roman, you were a ‘Roman’ for us in many ways: By your life and views you taught us love and loyalty to the Roman Pontiff, for some of us you taught the ‘Roman’ Church History, but above all your life as a dedicated and cheerful Jesuit priest is a rich legacy you are leaving behind as you take leave of us. You loved all of us on this earth; now, that you are united with the Lord in Eternal Glory, intercede the graces we need to live and carry forward your legacy.
(All the members of Patna Province should offer one Mass for the repose of his soul and
members of XTTI, Patna two Masses)
Funeral Eucharist at 2.00 pm on 27th February 2016 in XTTI chapel, followed by burial in XTTI cemetery.