Fr. Tadeusz Styczeń SDS (1931 -2010)

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Fr. Tadeusz Styczeń SDS (1931 -2010)

Fr. Tadeusz Styczeń was born on December 21st 1931 in Wołowice, district of Kraków. His parents Tadeusz and Anna nee Kapusta, had a little farm and a store. “My parents,” as Fr. Styczeń pointed out, “provided me and my older sister with careful religious and moral education...”


He attended the Salvatorian Junior High School in Kraków and in 1947 he joined the Salvatorian Novitiate in Bagno near Wrocław. He took his perpetual vows on September 8th 1953 in Trzebinia. At the Jagiellonian University he studied theology, but after national authorities closed the Theology Department, he had to complete theology at the Dominican Institute of Philosophy and Theology in Kraków. After his Ordination to the Priesthood on April 5th 1955, Fr. Tadeusz began philosophical studies at the Catholic University of Lublin. In March 1959 he received his diploma of Masters of Theoretical Philosophy, presenting his work written under guidance of Rev. Assoc. Karol Wojtyła. As a specialist in Ethics Fr. Styczeń prepared his doctoral dissertation under guidance of Rev. Stanisław Kamiński and Rev. Wojtyła, who was its promoter, already as Archbishop of Kraków. Right after the promotion, he accepted the proposal of employment from the authorities of the University at the Chair of Ethics of the Department of Christian Philosophy. He also lectured Ethics and Philosophy at the Salvatorian Major Seminary in Bagno. After his habilitation in 1970 and after Karol Cardinal Wojtyła became Pope, Fr. Styczeń was nominated president of the Chair of Ethics of the Catholic University of Lublin.

In collaboration with the Foundation of John Paul II in Rome he was editor of the quarterly “Ethos”. For many years he also edited “Roczniki Filozoficzne” published by TN KUL and several series. He was co-editor of some foreign periodicals. Besides that Fr. Styczeń lectured at the University of J. Gutenberg in Mainz, at the Institute of John Paul II of the Lateran University in Rome. In 1981, together with professor J. Seifert and professor A. Basave, he founded in Dallas (USA) The International Academy of Philosophy, which later was transferred to Europe as Die Internationale Akademie für Philosophie im Fürstentums Liechtenstein. In 1994 he gave lectures at the Ateneo della Santa Croce in Rome.

Pope John Paul II highly esteemed Fr. Styczeń’s wisdom and erudition and therefore he made him his close collaborator. Fr. Styczeń was invited to Vatican, especially when there were difficult issues to resolve and new documents needed final editorial work. Holy Fahter nominated him as consulter for the Pontifical Council for the Family and member of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

Fr. Styczeń was also highly esteemed by Polish and Foreign institutions and universities, which granted him awards. From Lech Kaczyński, President of Poland, he received the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta. For many years Fr. Styczeń was a chaplain of St. Ursula Sisters in Nałęczów, and whenever he could, he guided spiritual retreats.

Fr. Tadeusz Styczeń passed away on October 14th 2010 in Trzebnica. His funeral took place in Trzebinia near Kraków on October 21st 2010. The Funeral Mass presided over the Most Eminent Stanisław Cardinal Dziwisz. At the ceremony were also present: Fr. Andrzej Urbański, superior general of the Salvatorians; the Most Eminent Polycarp Cardinal Pengo, archbishop of Dar-es-Salaam and Primate of Tanzania, Bishops and great number of priests, delegations of universities and the faithful.