In June he was all ours...

Fr Ireneusz Skubis

Although May was a special month for Poles, the month of the Holy Father's birthday, it was June that was a truly papal month because of his most pilgrimages to Poland, which took place in June. To tell the truth, we hoped deeply in our hearts that he would visit us this year - there are so many initiatives he could have blessed, so many works he could have sanctified. But Lord God had other plans. He called him to himself and now he is in the Father's house - we are all deeply convinced of that. We celebrated his 85th birthday alone but believing that he was looking at us and that he was satisfied with our growth in faith and with our deeds of love.
Today, after his death, we realise - if fact, the whole Church realises - we had a great Pope, great pontificate during which the Church strengthened her identity, widened the scope of implementation of Vatican II and as if the Church made her presence more visible. During his pontificate the Church won more believers and there was a unique growth of vocations. Through his extraordinary personality and holiness of life, as well as his suffering, John Paul II gave the world the best and most beautiful lesson of Christianity, lesson of faith. Through his numerous beatifications and canonisations he showed the world how many saints we have. He showed that the Church lived with the holiness of her members. We might not have realised how much John Paul's teaching was spread. From the beginning to the end his life was a 'supernatural action'. He showed us that man headed to God and his destiny is in God.
And some paradox happened - death that ends man's life. However, his death did not only reveal more truth about his pontificate but also made us authentically closer to God, mobilised us to witness and encouraged to choose the way of holiness. The Pope's death stimulated us to be better people.
Many environments attempt to study this pontificate. However, it is each of us that should try to explore his pontificate. We should constantly ask the Holy Father for advise as if we 'fastened these words on our hands' as a reminder how to live (cf. Deuteronomy 11:18-20).
The 85th birthday of John Paul II was a natural occasion for that. We remembered his words, gestures and his sincere and cheerful personality in many ways. The media helped us again. We could notice increased publishing activity concerning the person of our great Pope. May it not be only a commercial action, looking for easy money but may it be true help to people, aiming at continuing various educational and cultural activities. I am sure John Paul II could be a great patron of all these actions.
And thus June was imbued with the presence of Pope John Paul II, our dear holy Brother. When our fatherland is humiliated, unfortunately, by Poles themselves who defame her by e.g. corruption we should emphasize the teaching of the great Polish Pope and put it into practice. He is our true authority because he screened and redefined all fields of life, including politics, economy and market. Now we must translate his teaching into concrete actions, which are to gain in quality. Nowadays we recollect all the places of our earth which John Paul II visited, blessed and where he taught embracing all people with his sincere love and heart. We remember him in our editorial board, recollect the Holy Father's words spoken to us during various visits to Rome. We also pray for him during our daily Mass. In accord with our mission we will do our best to honour his memory and spread his teaching so that they reach the hearts and conscience of our nation, all Readers and Friends of 'Niedziela'.
And we are not only concerned with promoting the person and teaching of John Paul II. He does not need such actions. We are concerned with promoting authentic good, which brings about the highest quality maturity, self-reliance and responsibility.

Papieska Kolekcja "Niedzieli" nr 2/2005

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: