Over the Road to God – Thomas Lewandowski

2000 News

Thomas J. Lewandowski is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Edmund S. Lewandowski of Duquesne. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Wheeling Jesuit College, Wheeling, West Virginia. He received a master of divinity degree from Saint Vincent Seminary, with high honors, in 1999. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 24, 2000 by Bishop Donald Wuerl. He is assigned to to St. Basil in Carrick in the Pittsburgh Diocese.

This article is from The Pittsburgh Catholic, June 30, 2000. Reprinted with permission.

By Chuck MoodyStaff Writer

During the five years he was on the road as a cross country truck driver, Thomas Lewandowski repeatedly heard the call to priesthood.

Father Lewandowski, 43, was one of six priests who were ordained June 24 by Bishop Donald Wuerl.

“The time when I was on the road, that’s when the call to priesthood became more and more evident,” he said. “It was there all along probably, but I probably just didn’t want to accept the gift. I was asking questions such as, ‘Why me? I’m not worthy.’”

While on the road, Father Lewandowski said he had a lot of time to think, meditate and pray.

”When you’re driving, you come to a sense of yourself with the time to think,” he said. “Also just the people who I encountered, I felt that things were very evident that God was calling me even then. He was working through strangers and people who I just met once just by what they said.

“I just came to a greater sense of God’s presence around me in people and also in creation. I saw a lot of sunsets and sunrises, and they were very beautiful. I just came to a greater sense of God during that whole time.”

He is the son of Blanche and Edmund Lewandowski of Duquesne and a member of Christ the Light of the World Parish.

“He will be an excellent priest,” said Father Dennis Colamarino, pastor. “He has a sensitivity towards people. He is a good worker. He has a vision of church, which is caring and compassionate. It’s people oriented.

“His varied background, having been a truck driver, helped him maybe be more sensitive to where people are at. He is not ‘clerical’ in the good sense. He does not use power or control to be above people.”

Father Lewandowski said all of the priests he met throughout his life have influenced him. After graduating from Wheeling Jesuit University, he worked as a busboy/dishwasher, in a warehouse and drove a truck before entering the seminary in 1993.

“I’m very happy with where I’m at,” he said. “When I was on the road as I was thinking, meditating, I was looking for something about myself. There was like this void that I was searching to fill. I just couldn’t fill it.

“Once I accepted the gift of priesthood and I just said ‘yes’ to it, well then that void became full. I can say honestly that I am a completed person, a fulfilled person. this is where God wants me to be at this time.”