Václav Málek

* 1927  †︎ 2016

  • “The remnants of the retreating army tried to hold their ground in Trhová Kamenice. They tore into the parish house and beat Father Oldřich Kučera to death, our excellent catechist and priest. Three young men were stood before a wall and shot. May our Lord receive them among his chosen people. What else can we do.”

  • “When the headmaster of the Slavíkov school prepared me for the town school entrance exams, he asked me what I wanted to be. I resolutely replied: ‘A priest.’ And that was true. It was a firm conviction, uncompromising, strongly supported by God’s call. It was a long journey through life, which started in 1939 and culminated in the five years of study at the theological faculty. I was subsequently ordained a priest by bishop Monsignor František Tomášek in the Prague Cathedral of Sts Vitus, Wenceslas, and Adalbert on 23 June 1973. Thank God!”

  • “The almighty state authority had seven brothers of our monastic community arrested and imprisoned. That was the last we saw of our provincial superior, our convent’s prior Brother Celestin Šulc, and the Brno convent’s prior Brother Faustin Hartl. Three brothers were released after a few years, and two of them were not given amnesty until 1960.”

  • “In 1949 I was shaken up by two years of military service. I disagreed with a lot of things there, but I must admit that no other calling would have strengthened me with such tough challenges as those that I experienced in military uniform and under a military dictatorship.”

  • “We were starting a new subject: obstetrics and gynaecology. The doctor who taught this field entered the class, he walked up to his desk, looked at me, and asked my with a raised voice: ‘What are you doing here?’ I had never seen that man before in my life, I didn’t know him. Undaunted, though surprised, I replied: ‘Doctor, if I’m a hindrance to you here, you can just sign my credit list for the subject, I won’t need it anyway.’ He said nothing to my argument. But the lectures began and I realised I was in for a fight...”

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    Brno, 10.06.2014

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    duration: 01:27:58
    media recorded in project The Stories of Our Neigbours
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Prague Spring opened up my path to priesthood

málek dobový portrét.jpg (historic)
Václav Málek

Václav Málek was born on 20 August 1927 in the village of Slavíkov. After completing six classes of basic (lower primary) school, his parents sent him to the municipal (upper primary) school in Trhová Kamenice. He finished the school in 1943, but his grammar school application was denied. To avoid the employment office, he found a place as an assistant accountant at the village council. A decree in March 1945 meant that the witness had to go dig trenches around Brno. A month later the guards fled before the encroaching Red Army, and Václav Málek could thus spend the last days of the war in his native region. He signed up for grammar school, but in 1946 he left the school with his parents’ permission and joined the Hospitaller Order of the Brothers of St John of God. In 1949 he was drafted for two years of compulsory military service. The Czech province of his order was dissolved in the 1950s. It was not until the period of Prague Spring that he successfully applied to study at a theological faculty; he was ordained a priest by Bishop František Tomášek in 1973. He then ministered to three small parishes in the Pilsen Region for a number of years. After democracy was restored in the country, the witness returned to the Brothers Hospitaller of St John of God, and he livec in the order’s monastery in Brno and goes by the monastic name of Vojtěch (Adalbert). Vojtěch Václav Málek passed away on November, the 9th, 2016.