Fr Rafal Sobieszuk was born in 1983 in Poland and was baptised in his family parish of St. Stanislaw in Ostrowki that same year. He attended primary school in Ostrowki and later on in Lozki. Between 1998 and 2003 he attended secondary school in Miedzyrzec Podl. He is the eldest of a family of three, having both a sister and a brother.

Straight after finishing high school in 2003 he went to the seminary in Siedlce. In 2009 he graduated from Cardinal Wyszynski University and received a Master's degree in theology. In 2009 he was ordained to the diaconate in Siedlce cathedral. Then he was sent to the Basilica parish in Parczew for pastoral work.

In June 2010 he was ordained to the priesthood and was sent to work as a parish assistant, firstly in St. Thomas Villanova parish in Jablon and then in Christ the King parish in Miedzyrzec Podlaski.

In July 2014 he came to Scotland and in the following September was sent to be a parish assistant in St. Joseph's and St. John Ogilvie's parishes in Blantyre.

He came to our parish in November 2015 firstly as Supplying Priest and then in May 2016 as our Parish Administrator. Then in December 2021 he was incardinated into our diocese.

In July 2022 Fr Rafal asked Bishop Toal to allow him to take a short sabbatical break in his priestly ministry, and our Bishop agreed. Bishop Toal thanked Fr Rafal for his ministry in St Bride's through a challenging period, and in particular also for his work in organising the Appeal for Ukrainian Refugees.

We also thank Fr Rafal for his time with us and wish him health and happiness in the years ahead.