We are at the foot of Jasna Gora
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
On its front cover 'Niedziela' has the seal of Regina Poloniae - Queen of Poland because the fate of 'Niedziela' has been connected with the Queen of Poland. Another reason is the place of publication - at the foot of Jasna Gora in Czestochowa. Thus the weekly must have the distinguishing feature of Our Lady of Czestochowa. Mary is present in Czestochowa, at Jasna Gora, and she is present in 'Niedziela'.
No wonder that several years ago we gave Mary the title the Main Editress of 'Niedziela'. We see her in this way. If a Catholic paper is pastoral it carries the stigma of Marian devotion. We have not lost on that. Throughout ages Poland has journeyed to Jasna Gora in walking or coach pilgrimages and this Marian route has always been in the history of the Polish nation. The whole nation has been wrapped with her coat. This is a public feature of the Polish pastoral ministry, the Catholic Church in Poland and the whole nation.
At present, we are impressed by the summer pilgrimages, and the ones that will be made to Jasna Gora, with prayer, songs of praise and worship of the Mother of Jesus.
This is also evident on the pages of 'Niedziela'. There was some period when 'Niedziela' was not published; those were the so-called 'years of silence'. But our editors, connected with Czestochowa, were brought up at the side of Our Lady of Czestochowa. Through visits to the shrine, vigils of prayer and many other acts we were being prepared to work in Marian ministry. And therefore, there were no serious difficulties or troubles when we had the possibility to take up publishing our weekly again. Fr Jerzy Tomzinski, a Pauline priest, was a member of the first editorial team in order to stress how much the archdiocese valued the presence of Jasna Gora. Many Pauline fathers favour Marian pastoral ministry and they write about it in 'Niedziela'. This concerns the American Czestochowa since our weekly reaches American believers.
The Marian character has many faces on the pages of 'Niedziela'. We value the possibility to write about Jasna Gora events, pilgrimages, history of the shrine and about what is going on at Jasna Gora. Recently, we have participated in the 50th anniversary of the renewal of the National Vows, written by Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski. We have reminded our readers of the history of the vows, commencing with the Vows of Jan Kazimierz.
Polish pastoral ministry is focused on the pastoral ministry at Jasna Gora. That's why we write about this place. Jasna Gora is Poland, Polonia [Polish community abroad] and many events that have gone down in the history of the nation. The Holy Father John Paul II visited Jasna Gora many times. It was him that kept saying 'Totus Tuus' - words of the greatest dedication and confidence in the Mother of God. This Pope showed how to love, worship and praise the Mother of Jesus and how to honour the Queen of Poland.
Earlier the Servant of God Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski had set the tone of the life of the Church and nation from Jasna Gora, which had been his pulpit because that was the biggest pulpit during the communist times. Hence the transmission of faith, hope and love reached Poland that waited for those words. The opinions of great Poles, Servants of God: the Holy Father John Paul II and the Primate of the Millennium are important guidelines for us and we cannot imagine our post-war history without these heroes, who are also present in 'Niedziela'.
Thanks to the presence of Mary in her Miraculous Picture we all feel close to Jasna Gora. The Marian devotion is blended in Polish culture, one can see it in painting, music, literature, and these forms are also found in 'Niedziela'.
Thinking of the 80th anniversary of 'Niedziela' we remember the last 25 years that are also some jubilee, but first of all we think of the pre-war times, of the first bishop of Czestochowa, the founder of the weekly, Teodor Kubina who called himself an altar-boy of the Mother of God at Jasna Gora. He set the tone of the first 'Niedziela' and the calendar, which was published before the war, was entitled 'Jasna Gora Calendar'.
Our Lady of Jasna Gora, support those who come to you and guard 'Niedziela' so that, in accordance with Your words, it always does whatever Your Son tells it.