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Translation of parts of

his 1986 memoir

Born on 14 April 1910 in Wojnówka, Polesie, Poland. He completed a one-year novitiate (1931-1932) in Markowice, Pomerania, and attended the Seminary in Krobia and Obra in Poznan province.  Fr. Sajewicz was ordained on 27 June 1937 and, a year later, emigrated to Canada.


He served the pastoral ministry for the following parishes: St. Stanislaus Kostka in Toronto, Ontario; Holy Ghost Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba; St. Hyacinth Church in Ottawa (ON);  St. Stanislaus Kostka ‘s and St. Casimir’s parishes in Toronto; other parishes in Edmonton (AB);  Saskatoon (SK); East Selkirk (MB), and at the St. Benedictine’s Monastery in Middlechurch,(MB).


During the years 1943 – 1948, Fr. Sajewicz was working as a chaplain for the Polish refugees in Kenya, who had fled the USSR. There were about twenty refugee camps for twenty thousand Poles. The camps were funded by the Polish Government in Exile’s Social Assistance program. Each camp had a British commander and a Polish supervisor with several staff members. There were teams of teachers, an operational manager, a convenience store, a butcher, schools, an orphanage, a church, and a hospital.

Most of the population consisted of women and children who fled the hardships they experienced in the Soviet Russia, and were haunted by still vivid recollections of starvation and ill-treatment. Nevertheless, thanks to the collective efforts of the volunteers and priests, life in the camp was now getting organized with the secure and predictable structures of school programs, scout groups for children, various activities for adults, and regular religious practices. A social fund was created from the contributions of all working individuals donating thirteen percent of their wages to assist those women and children who had no other support.

Fr. Sajewicz returned to Canada in 1948. At first, he worked in Toronto, and later, in Winnipeg where he published Gazeta Polska. In the later years, he was also the editor of magazine Niepokalana issued in France.

In 1951, he settled in Ottawa, Ontario. Among those who had already arrived there during the post-war years were Polish veterans and their families, concentration-camps survivors, and refugees. They all shared a desire to participate in the masses conducted in Polish in a Polish church. Fr. Sajewicz, with his energy, perseverance and dedication, was determined to meet these needs. Therefore, in January 1952, he set up a Church Committee and, with the help of some parishioners, created a fund for building a church.


On 28 January 1957, a groundbreaking plaque was built-in for the construction of the St. Hyacinth’s church that was designed by architect Roman Stankiewicz. In July 1957, the main building and the adjacent facilities were completed. The first Mass at St. Hyacinth’s Church was celebrated on 4 August 1957. This beautiful and welcoming church has become an important religious and cultural center for the Ottawa’s Polish community.


In 1958, Fr. Sajewicz left Ottawa for Toronto, where for the next seven years he worked for the St. Stanislaus Kostka and the St. Cazimir’s parishes. After that he lived in Edmonton, Saskatoon and Winnipeg, respectively.


After that, I went to France to work as the editor of a monthly Polish Catholic magazine. Two years later, I returned to Edmonton, and then to Saskatoon. Finally, I settled at the Benedictine Convent in Winnipeg. I have been the chaplain for the Polish Combatants’ Association in Canada.


Father Sajewicz passed away on 30 August 1994 in Edmonton, Alberta, at the age of 84 years.

Copyright: Sajewicz family

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