The Holy Mass and funeral ceremony for Msgr. Henryk Hoser was served today, August 20, 2021 in the Warsaw - Praga Cathedral. The funeral mass was celebrated by Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz, Metropolitan Archbishop of Warsaw, and homily was given by Archbishop Tadeusz Wojda, Metropolitan of Gdanjsk.
“In today’s readings, St. Paul is reminding us: ‘For we know that if our earthly dwelling, a tent, should be destroyed, we have a building from God, a dwelling not made with hands, eternal in Heaven.’ (2 Cor 5, 1) These words introduce us into today’s funeral ceremony of late Archbishop Henryk Hoser, Pallottine priest, missionary, Archbishop Emeritus of Warsaw – Praga Archdiocese, the Apostolic Visitor for Medjugorje”, said Archbishop Woyda in the beginning of his homily, recalling the last encounters he had with Msgr. Hoser.
“In the end of July, I visited him inOłtarzew. Suffering and pain could be seen on his face, but he remained completely peaceful and tranquil. As always, he wished to discuss various topics, ask different questions, make comments, judgements and offer precious suggestions. Conversations with him revealed vast life experience he gained in different countries and in many continents. He was superb in observing the reality around him, able to analyze it, judge it accurately and speak of it by using facts. He was well-read man. He broadly used historical and modern literaturein the areas of personal interest, but also in topics of the current social, ethical, theological and pastoral challenges and problems.
He expressed immense will for working, but he was well aware of his health issues. He even added that the end must have been close, but he was prepared to all if that was God’s will. I tried to encourage him by saying that he was expected in Medjugorje, there is much work there and everyone was praying for his recovery. I also repeated this to him in the beginning of August from Medjugorje”, said Archbishop Woyda in his homily when he spoke about enriched life of Archbishop Hoser saying at the end that “the faithful servant never rests, but stays in vigil until the Lord returns”. He emphasized that these words of Jesus once again proved to be truth in the life of Archbishop Hoser.
“He himself once admitted: ‘I never chose and I never asked, I always accepted what my superiors asked of me.’ This time, in 2017, as bishop emeritus, asked by Pope Francis he went to Medjugorje to take care of pilgrims who were coming there. His service in Medjugorje was priceless.
The Lord asked him to come from this earth on August 13, 2021, so he would take a place in the glory of Heaven. The Son of Man came and took him. The sorrow remains, but also profound Christian hope that the One who did such good in him would reward him now abundantly and accept him in eternal joy. Dear Henryk, brother in priesthood and bishopric, a friend and missionary, we thank you from the depth of our hearts for the gift of your life, your service and all good and we pray that good God may greet you in His glory. Amen!” These were the closing words of Archbishop Tadeusz Wojda in his homily at the funeral mass for Archbishop Henryk Hoser.
Pope Francis also sent the letter with expression of condolences and Christian hope, thanking Archbishop Hoser for all he did for the Church.
During the funeral ceremony condolences were expressed by many including the President of the Polish Episcopal Conference, Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, Msgr. TomoVuksic gave a farewell speech on behalf of Episcopal Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Archbishop Hoser is the first shepherd of this archdiocese whose body would be laid in the crypt of the Warsaw -Praga Cathedral, as told by Msgr. Romuald Kaminski. Along with him there were many other archbishops, bishops, priests, nuns and there were many representatives of local and civil Polish government.
Apart from Msgr. Vuksic from Bosnia and Herzegovina, the funeral was attended also by the Provincial of Herzegovina Franciscan Province Fr. MiljenkoŠteko, personal secretary of late archbishop Fr. PericaOstojić, and priests from Medjugorje Fr. ZvonimirPavičićand Fr. Renato Galić.
After Holy Mass, funeral ceremony followed as well as laying of body of Archbishop Henryk Hoser in the crypt of Warsaw – Praga Cathedral.
On Thursday, August 19, 2021, also at 12 o’clock, funeral Holy Mass was held in the Seminary Church inOłtarzew, and at 6 pm Holy Mass was held in the Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel and St. Florian, the martyr.