Reverend Canon Stanislaw Flis
July 31, 1945 – January 2, 2021
It is with heavy hearts that we share the loss of Rev. Canon Dr. Stanislaw Flis who fell asleep in the Lord on Saturday, January 2, 2021, after a two-weeks in the hospital at the age of 75. He will be missed not only by the Orchard Lake Schools campus community, but by all those whose lives he brought light to both near and far.
Fr. Stanisław Flis was born on July 31, 1945 in Dzwola near Janów Lubelski. His parents were Tomasz Flis and Balbina Stolarz. He completed his primary education in Dzwola (1952-1959), the High School in Janów Lubelski (1959-1963) and the Higher Theological Seminary in Lublin (1963-1969). After completing his seminary studies in 1969 with the title of M.Sc. Theology under the leadership of Fr. prof. Mieczysław Żywczyński, he was ordained to the priesthood on June 17, 1969 by Fr. Bishop Piotr Kałwa.
The first parish where he worked as a vicar was Krężnica Jara near Lublin (1969-1971). After two years in this parish, in 1971 he was sent to postgraduate studies at the Catholic University of Lublin, at the Faculty of Pastoral Theology. Two months after commencing his studies and after the death of the parish priest in Dąbrowica, Fr. Bishop Piotr Kałwa sent him there as a substitute to prepare the parish for the Visitation of the Image of Our Lady of Częstochowa. In the spring of 1972, the bishop decided to leave Fr. Stanisław in Dąbrowica, as the parish administrator and to complete his studies at the Catholic University of Lublin.
In Dąbrowica, Fr. Stanisław organized the catechization of children, which had not been available in all villages before, undertook many works of renovation, rebuilt the chapel-parish church and was a co-organizer of a retreat for the terminally ill. Fr. Stanisław graduated from the Catholic University of Lublin in 1972 with a Bachelor’s Degree and defended his Doctoral Thesis in 1984.
After seven years in Dąbrowica, Fr. Stanisław was sent to the parish in Kraśniczyno (1978-1986), where, apart from pastoral work, he devoted a lot of time and effort to administrative work. Thanks to his efforts, a new presbytery was built, the church was renovated, the belfry was renovated and new bells were purchased, and in Chełmec, the village farthest from the parish church, an access chapel was built. In 1986, with the consent of Bishop Bolesław Pylak and the Primate of Poland, Card. Józef Glemp, Fr. Stanislaw was sent to work at the Polish Theological Seminary in Orchard Lake, USA.
At Orchard Lake, Fr. Stanisław performed many functions. Director of Recruitment and Admission of Polish students to the seminary (1986-2005) and a prefect. Throughout his stay at the seminary, he gave many lectures on Pastoral Theology (Pastoral Care of Migrants). In 1999 he was also the Director of The Polish-American Liturgical Center, which since the Second Vatican Council has been publishing the Missal in Polish, and since 2002 also the Polish-English version. The Liturgical Center also prepared other liturgical aids, songbooks, prayer books, sermons (Word and Liturgy), a magazine for the sick (Letter to the sick), etc.
In addition to these activities and many other services in the seminary, Fr. Stanisław was the Director of the Polish American Central Archives in Orchard Lake (2009-2019). He performed this function for 10 years as a volunteer. In recognition, in 2018 he received the Skowyrów (Lublin Nobel Prize) awarded by the Catholic University of Lublin for outstanding contributions to the preservation of the heritage of the Polish Diaspora and the Polish Apostolate in the United States.
Fr. Stanisław, despite the possibility of retiring, remained working full-time in the seminary. Moreover, on Sundays and holidays, he willingly helped in many Polish parishes. For seminarians, he was a spiritual counselor and confessor. He worked at Orchard Lake Schools, for over 33 years. On September 29, 2019, in the Archdiocesan Shrine of St. John Paul II, we marked the 50th anniversary celebration of his priestly ordination. Secretary General of the Conference of Catholic Bishops in Poland, His Excellency Bishop Artur Miziński, installed him as Honorary Canon of the Archdiocese of Lublin, Poland. It recognized his lifetime of service, celebrated his golden anniversary of ordination, and love of the Church.
Fr. Flis is survived by his sisters in Poland Czeslawa (the late Stanislaw) Rycerz and Edwarda (the late Aleksander) Jargilo, nephew Jaroslaw Rycerz his wife Marta and children, and niece Anna Flis her husband Stanislaw and children. He is also survived by his niece Elzbieta Stolarczyk her husband Sylvester and children who were his closest family in the United States, and Miroslawa Lisnyj her husband Jan and their children and granddaughter from Canada.
For Fr. Stanislaw, the priesthood has always been "service to God and to my neighbor." According to him, “everything is summarized in this ministry. It is sometimes very difficult and requires great sacrifice, almost to the cross of Christ, but it is always beautiful and joyful. The way with Jesus, even to Calvary, is the essence of priestly service for him.”
Memorial Gifts are to be sent to Saints Cyril and Methodius Seminary, 3535 Indian Trail, Orchard Lake, MI 48324.
Please keep Fr. Flis, all his family, all his former parishioners, students, Orchard Lake Schools and his many friends in your prayers.
- Saints Cyril and Methodius Seminary
Saturday, January 23, 2021
Saturday, January 23, 2021