About Fr. Matthew 'Maciej' Mankowski
I was born on Nov. 20, 1973 in Wloclawek, Poland. I grew up and spent the largest part of my life in Kowal. Kowal is a little town situated in the center of Poland, in the Kujawsko-Pomorski Region, amid woods and lakes of the Gostynsko-Wloclawski Protected Landscape Park.
I became an altar server when I was seven years old.
Since my early childhood, I was always very involved with
my parish church. Believe it or not, I always wanted to
be a priest! My mother told me when I was born they
gave me several objects to choose from in order to
determine what my future held for me. From the many
items they presented to me, I chose the rosary. I always
tease my mother and tell her that I chose the rosary
because it was very flashy.
I encountered many holy priests in my life and faith
journey who truly nourished and supported my vocation
to the priesthood. After graduating from high school in
1992, I decided to join the Major Seminary in Wloclawek,
Poland where I completed philosophical studies and one
year of theology. I was always motivated by a missionary
spirit to serve the people of God beyond Poland. I always
thought that since we have so many priests in Poland we
should share them with those countries that do not have
enough. It wasn't an easy decision to come to the United States. Being an only child places special demands and responsibilities on you. However, my loving parents accepted my decision to come here with the same love and support with which they accepted my decision to become a priest. Somehow we knew that it was God's plan and His will as well.
I left my beloved country of Poland, my family and my friends in 1995. I arrived in the United States on Oct. 7 at 11 p.m. I still chuckle when I think about it. It is amazing to me that I remember that date so well. I do not have a good memory for dates and names, and my friends always tease me about that. I arrived in Detroit, Mich., where I continued my theological studies at the SS. Cyril and Methodius Polish-American Seminary in Orchard Lake.
While there, I obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree, Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Systematic Theology degrees. My knowledge of Polish, Russian, Latin, Greek, a little bit of German, Czech, Slovak, Italian and of course English was very helpful to me during the course of my studies in Poland and the U.S. In the winter of 1999, I became acquainted with the Diocese of Youngstown. The hospitality and warm welcome I received from Bishop Thomas Tobin, many priests and parishioners of the Youngstown Diocese were very crucial for me in the process of choosing a diocese where I would like to serve as a priest. I spent the summer of 1999 at St. Rose in Girard, Ohio while deciding if I wanted to become a priest in the Youngstown Diocese. I was ordained a transitional deacon on June 10, 2000 by Bishop Thomas Tobin, and served my Diaconate internship at Little Flower, Middlebranch. I was ordained a priest on May 26, 2001 in St. Columba Cathedral, and following ordination I was named Associate Pastor at St. Charles, Boardman, where I served until July of 2006.
On July 1, 2006, I became the Pastor of two parishes in Newton Falls OH St. Mary and St. Joseph. Due to the declining health of the Pastor and Associate Pastor of St. Charles, I continued on as administrator of St. Charles and was often traveling between three churches at any given time. I continued on with these responsibilities until the Pastor of St. Charles, Daniel Venglarik, passed away on May 3, 2007. So the first six months as Pastor in Newton Falls were extremely busy and very emotional for me personally. I had not only lost my mentor, I had lost my very good friend.
Sometimes it is not easy to be separated from your family and your friends by so many thousands of miles. Sometimes you want to say to God: What else can I do for you? I left my homeland, my family and my friends. I became a foreigner because of you. I came to a distant land where everything is different. I do not know what else I can do for you. But at the same time you know that the Lord would not expect from you more than you can carry. You know that there is no coincidence here. You know the Lord has put you where you are because He needs you there the most. My family's coat of arms reads: "Caritas et iustitia." That translates into Love and Justice. I strongly believe in those values.
Prior to my assignment in Newton Falls, the previous pastor had begun the process of uniting St. Mary and St. Joseph Parish. In November of 2007 we officially united the two Catholic Churches in Newton Falls, to one unified parish and the name was changed to St. Mary and St. Joseph Parish. When I received my diocesan assignment in Newton Falls, I made a list of goals and objectives to complete; after five years of service, I can honestly say that I accomplished every one of my goals to the best of my ability.
I am very excited about my new assignment to the church of St. Joseph. I have learned a lot in my first assignment as a pastor and am ready to begin this new chapter in my life. I look forward to praying, working and worshiping with all of you. Please know that the door to my office is always open to you. All of us are a part of this parish community. Though different, we are a part of the same body - the Body of Christ. Through our baptism all of us are called to become actively involved int he life of St. Joseph parish and to spread the message of the Gospel to all people whom we encounter in our life and faith journey. I hope and pray that I can count on your cooperation and support as we grow in our faith and face any challenges which may be ahead of us.
Fr. Matthew receiving the blessing of Pope John Paul II
My parish church in Kowal - St. Ursula
Visiting cousins Nathan & Maximillian in Kowal
Coat of Arms - Kowal, Poland Flag of the small town of Kowal
Installed as Very Reverend Canon by Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz
THE CHAPTER OF CANONS
The chapter is a college of priests, called canons, whose primary function is to give God solemn worship in a cathedral or collegiate church (Codex Iuris Canonicis c. 503). This purpose is common to all chapters of canons, but a cathedral chapter has additional duties.
Canons existed at least five centuries before Monsignors. (The first mention of Monsignors took place in 1599). The phrase "chapter of canons" is found for the first time in pontifical documents of the 12th century, although it was already used in the correspondence of the popes and in private documents. The word indicates the function of serving as the bishop's counselor. In the early Church, the bishop, priests, and deacons took part in the government of the cathedral church, which was the only church in the diocese. Later, with the increase in the number of priests and churches, it became necessary for the priests of the episcopal city, and in particular for those of the cathedral church, to participate more closely in the government of the church together with the bishop. They were readily available on occasions of solemn liturgical ceremonies performed at the cathedral.
It was the cathedral clergy who assumed the government of the diocese during vacancy of the see and elected the new bishop. Until the 12th century the laity participated with the clergy in the election, but the Church soon reserved the election exclusively to the clergy of the cathedral. The chapter came to claim wider powers: to impose excommunications and interdicts; to confer benefices; to require the bishop to consult it; and to participate in provincial councils. This prompted the councils, and in particular the Council of Trent, to intervene in order to correct abuses and exaggerations. The primary sources of historical information concerning chapters are therefore the decrees of the councils and in particular the decretals.
According to the Codex Iuris Canonicis (c. 504), the erection, alteration, or suppression of a cathedral chapter is reserved to the Apostolic See. Certain members within a chapter have titles that involve both rights and duties. One of the canons must preside over the chapter, but the code does not specify how this person is to be designated. This matter is left to the chapter's statutes, as is the possibility that other offices may be established. Every cathedral chapter must have a canon penitentiary, who has ordinary jurisdiction to remit in the sacramental forum certain latae sententiae censures not reserved to the Apostolic See (Codex Iuris Canonicis c. 508).
In an ordinary assembly convoked by its president, the chapter must, at the very beginning, vote on a number of statutes for itself. These statutes are approved by the diocesan bishop (Codex Iuris Canonicis c. 505), and they establish rules of procedure for deliberations and other norms concerning liturgical and administrative functions (Codex Iuris Canonicis c. 506). In accordance with Can. 509 §1. After having heard the chapter, it is for the diocesan bishop, but not a diocesan administrator, to confer each and every canonry, both in a cathedral church and in a collegial church; every contrary privilege is revoked. It is for the same bishop to confirm the person elected by the chapter to preside over it. §2. A diocesan bishop is to confer canonries only upon priests outstanding in doctrine and integrity of life, who have laudably exercised the ministry.
The title of CANON is awarded in recognition of a long and dedicated service to the diocesan church. Honorary canons are members of the chapter in name but are non-residential. Generally speaking, canons are either canons residentiary (working at the cathedral) or canons honorary (non-cathedral clergy given the title as a mark of honor); and they may wear either a violet or violet-trimmed cassock. Canons are members of the bishop’s staff. Honorary canons within the Roman Catholic Church may still be nominated after the Second Vatican Council. Titular or honorary canons have the right to the honorific title of “Canon” in addition to the choir dress of a canon, which includes the mozetta, the ring and the pectoral cross.
The Very Reverend Canon Matthew Mankowski belongs to one of the oldest College of Canons of Saint Florian’s Basilica in Krakow, Poland (est. 1184). Canon Mankowski received his honorary title on February 13, 2019 from Abp. Marek Jedraszewski of Krakow, Poland with the permission and blessing of Bp. George V. Murry, S.J. of Youngstown, Ohio. Canon Mankowski was installed as Canon on June 27, 2019 by Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz who was a private secretary to the Pope Saint John Paul II. Canon Mankowski uses his family’s Coat of Arms that reads: Caritas et Iustitia, which translates: “Love and Justice.”
Our Lady of Czestochowa
picture taken in Czestochowa, Poland at the
There is also a National Shrine to Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown, PA.