Fr Andrzej Kolaczkowski likes nothing more than spending time in fellowship with outlaw bikie club members, sharing the Gospel. “There’s something really refreshing when you sit down and do Bible study … with a bunch of hairy bikers full of tattoos," he told The Catholic Leader.
"There’s nothing more refreshing to the faith,” the Brisbane priest said. “It is about being a shepherd, it is about looking after those who are lost.”
Dressed in bikie leathers and straddling a classic Victory Crossroads motorcycle, Fr Kolaczkowski is hard at first to recognise as the parish priest at Bowen Hills’ Our Lady of Victories Church and chaplain to the Polish community in Brisbane archdiocese.
However, Fr Kolaczkowski is following a lifelong passion for motorbikes and using his hobby to serve the Lord.
His pride and joy is his motorcycle, with petrol tank and panels spray-painted with Gothic-style artwork and with words from Ephesians 6:10-11, “Strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might put on the whole armour of God.”
“I love them, bikes,” Fr Kolaczkowski, who spent his high school and university years in Australia, and was ordained in his native Poland in 2003, said.
“One thing about any hobby is you can use it as part of evangelisation or you can use it purely for yourself as a source of happiness and joy.
“Personally I could not spend thousands of dollars on a bike if it wasn’t part of my mission, of me being witness.”
For the past three years, Fr Kolaczkowski has ridden with the God’s Squad Christian motorcycle club, and recently he earned his “colours,” which means he was now a full club member, after joining as an associate and then serving a period of prospecting.
He is the first priest to become a God’s Squad member, and he sees the club as an important ministry – a way to bear witness and to support those on the margins of our society.
“God’s Squad was one of the things that came as part of discernment of where God wanted me to be,” Fr Kolaczkowski said.
Photo: Fr Andrzej Kolaczkowski on his bike in front of Our Lady of Victories Church, Bowen Hills (Mark Bowling)