Father Mark Przybysz, known to all as Father Mark, and always so involved in the Greater Grand Rapids community, has decided he needs to step away as pastor of St. Anthony of Padua and retire.

You're trying to pronounce his name, aren't you. It's Mark! Seriously though, Praybysz is pronounced  Shh' - Bish.

I'm sure this is very sad news for his congregation, and the community as well, but Father Mark feels he must slow down and take care of his health. He will officially retire on July 1. Hopefully, he will still be able to play a bit of golf, one of his passions.

Fox17 reported Father Mark's health has been a real challenge since he contracted COVID-19 in April, 2020.

Cassette rapid test for COVID-19
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If that hadn't been a struggle enough, two years later, he suffered a heart attack, the one they call "the widow-maker." You have to believe that through divine intervention and quick action, he survived, only to suffer through another bout of COVID-19 later on. One should only have to take so much.

That has led to Long COVID, or Long Haul COVID resulting in chest pains and shortness of breath. So the decision is imperative that he manages his fatigue in order to prevent another heart attack.

Many, if not most people recover from their symptoms within a few days or weeks. However, some people seem to recover from COVID-19 but then see their symptoms return, or they develop new symptoms within a few months. Even people who had no symptoms when they were infected can develop symptoms later. Either mild or severe COVID-19 can lead to long-lasting symptoms which Father Mark is experiencing.


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Google Street View

Father Mark says of course he will remain a priest, but leave his duties as pastor.

“I see a great future for St. Anthony’s parish and our growing school. I feel I am continually blessed to have the Holy Spirit at my side throughout my work as a pastor and beyond,” Reverend Przybysz writes. “It has been, and will continue to be, a gift to gather as a community of prayer here at St. Anthony. And most of all I know that God continues to support and guide me as I will be called upon and support new areas of service.”

God be with you Father Mark.



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