Jubilee among friends
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
This year 'Niedziela' celebrates its 80th anniversary and the 25th anniversary of its reactivation during the times of the Solidarnosc movement in 1981, and I, its editor-in-chief, celebrate the 25th anniversary of holding this position. Our friend Fr Jan Sochocki, OFMCap, who works in the Rzeszow edition of 'Niedziela', invited 'Niedziela' to celebrate these special anniversaries in the Diocese of Rzeszow. Thus on 20 June a small and extremely cordial parish of Terliczka hosted Radio Maryja and TV Trwam as well as some representatives of 'Niedziela' and 'Niedziela Poludniowa'. Jubilees and anniversaries make you reflect and sum up your activities. The period of eighty years of 'Niedziela' is a big reason for pride but these were also hard times, marked by two longer breaks in its functioning. The first period was the German occupation (1939-1945) and the second one was the communist period (1953-1981). 'Niedziela' came into being in 1926. It was Rev. Msgr Wojciech Mondry that was the editor-in-chief before the war. We look at the pre-war issues of the weekly with great interest and we can notice very interesting and vivid contents. The weekly must have been one of the best periodicals in those times. After the war Fr Dr. Antoni Marchewka managed the paper and one can see some strong activities of the communist censorship. Many texts were withdrawn, removed or censored to a great extent. Sometimes the weekly was forced to publish texts about agriculture because the censor did not level any charges against such topics. And finally, the third period of 'Niedziela', the period of my management, began in 1981. The censors were active till 1989, many questions could not be discussed, and many texts were censored, the evidence being the famous notes in square brackets, which today many young people do not understand. Therefore, speaking about the contemporary history of 'Niedziela' one should look at the following years, the 1990s and later, when there was no censorship and we were free.
Well, 'Niedziela' has always dealt with important issues of man as a member of the Church. Its aim is to provide religious formation as well as introduce the teachings of the popes, bishops, theologians and Christian philosophers. It also writes about education as well as Christian history and culture. Thus it is to serve clergy and laymen and wants to be helpful to Catholic families. It publishes texts for the young and the old. Our questionnaire of 2005 showed that we have an interesting spectrum of readers. Our readers include 22-year-old people and the elderly, equal number of men and women, as well as highly educated people. Many readers read our electronic version. They constitute one fourth of our readership.
Pilgrims from all over the world came to Terliczka for the celebration (ca. 40 coaches and many private cars). The two-floor church of Our Lady of Fatima and Saint Pio was packed. Many people were outside, watching the celebration on large screens. The atmosphere was great. The faithful listened attentively. The young people, children and nuns were involved in the liturgy and a musical group graced the liturgy with songs. Those who were watching the Eucharist on TV Trwam said that the church had been filled with prayer. The Holy Mass was co-celebrated by priests of the Diocese of Rzeszow, Capuchin fathers and members of the Order of the Bernardines. I am extremely thankful to the custodian of the sanctuary in Terliczka Fr Jan M. Sochocki, OFMCap, for organising this wonderful ceremony and for the extraordinary present, a large bouquet of 80 roses, which impressed all people. I also thank Fr Dr. Jozef Kula, the editor responsible for the Rzeszow edition of 'Niedziela' and I want to thank all who were present during our solemn meeting. We express our gratitude to Fr Tadeusz Rydzyk, director of Radio Maryja and TV Trwam, for being with us during this jubilee time and many thanks to Fr Jacek Cydzik, who conducted this ceremony on the radio and television. Thanks to the live broadcast of the radio programme 'Unfinished Conversations' we could be heard in New York and Chicago, We have friends and collaborators there. We could put through to our local editorial boards in Poland, too. That caused the ceremony to have an international dimension and convinced us that Polish people all over the world read 'Niedziela', that they feel attached to the Church and want to use all possibilities that faith brings.
Therefore, our visit to Terliczka, which was not the first one, was spent in a jubilee spirit. This is characteristic of Podkarpacie; the region of southern Poland that is very vivid as far as religious life is concerned. I would like to mention that the Diocese of Rzeszow is leading in average Sunday attendance. We could see that on this occasion when the faithful greeted Father Custodian very warmly and reacted cordially to the speech of Father Director broadcasted on the radio.
At the beginning of the third millennium the Holy Father John Paul II challenged us to adore the Holy Face of Jesus. In the beautiful sanctuary of Father Pio in Terliczka we all experienced the joy to see the Holy Face of Jesus Christ. We would like to celebrate the jubilee of 'Niedziela' in the light of the Most Holy Face of Christ, which for each of us is the dearest sign of his perfect love.