‘Niedziela’ for the Year of St Paul
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
The Pauline Year is coming to an end. It has been a brilliant initiative of Benedict XVI as far as the doctrinal and pastoral aspects are concerned. St Paul explains many matters connected with the Christian teaching. He does it in a clear, sufficient and versatile way, with full conviction because he knows that he was touched by Christ himself and through him Christ wants to put as if more light to his Church. And St Paul fulfilled this task. He proclaimed Jesus’ teaching by his words and the example of his life, drawing whole nations to him. He can be regarded as the main evangelizer of Christ. Tiredness was not an obstacle for him. He feared nothing although he knew that he would face the threat of death. He knew one thing: the truth about Christ, the Son of God and his teaching should reach the entire world because it brings salvation. Extraordinary, wonderful, fervent, fully dedicated to Christ – such was the person of St Paul. The 2000th anniversary of his birth has just fallen and it has been a wonderful occasion to focus on his personality and on what he did for the Church and Christianity. For the Pauline Year the editorial board of ‘Niedziela’ has prepared a special edition of the New Testament books, including the Letters of St Paul, which are marvellous, deep, enlightening minds and hearts. It has also been an expression of our unity with Rome where the Synod on the Bible was held (5-26 October 2008). Some may have not fully understood our initiative since nowadays one can buy copies of the Holy Scriptures but when we successively inserted the New Testament books to our weekly, in a way we handed them directly to our Readers. We regard it to be an important response to the request to intensify pastoral ministry, following the example of St Paul. But we also wanted to show our Readers the figure of St Paul by presenting the places related to him and especially by emphasising the Acts of the Apostles and other fragments of the New Testament, which depict his teaching. Therefore, we have published two small books entitled ‘Sw. Pawel Apostol Narodow’ [St Paul, the Apostle to the Nations] and ‘Sw. Pawel. Poslal mnie Pan, bym glosil Ewangelie’ [St Paul. He Sent Me to Preach the Gospel]. These were important texts, which were distributed with ‘Niedziela’. We have also published more important albums ‘Za sw. Pawlem ku Chrystusowi’ [Following St Paul towards Christ], which had a big circulation, and ‘Greckie spotkania ze Swiętym Pawlem’ [Greek Encounters with Saint Paul], which combined some poetic reflection on the texts of St Paul with the vision of the ancient Greece he had seen. The poetry of Fr Bartlomiej Jozef Kucharski, a Carmelite monk, is very interesting and deep. The album was the initiative of Sr. Irena Malkowicz, SJK. The albums dedicated to St Paul make us happy since they were prepared by the photographers of ‘Niedziela’ who made pilgrimages to the places connected with that Saint. One should also remember that at the beginning of the Pauline Year the Library of ‘Niedziela’ published a book entitled ‘Kroczac za sw. Pawlem’ [Following St Paul] by Jacek Pawlowicz, a deacon from Ukraine. These readings about St Paul were prepared for the June services. Moreover, we wanted to introduce the thoughts of St Paul and the places connected with him to numerous pilgrims coming to Jasna Gora throughout that year. Therefore, we made an exhibition of beautiful posters from Turkey, Greece and Rome, together with some New Testament texts and placed them along Sienkiewicz Avenue in the Jasna Gora Park. As our Readers must have noticed our issues of ‘Niedziela’ abounded in texts about St Paul during the Pauline Year. Many outstanding authors presented the personality and teaching of St Paul. There was also an interesting idea – an interview with St Paul, published in a series of articles. It was an attempt to see our complicated situation through the eyes of St Paul. The activities of ‘Niedziela’ concerning St Paul were promoted through TV Trwam. Recently the programme has been broadcast again. Within the framework of meetings in our editorial hall we invited the eminent theologian Cardinal Stanislaw Nagy to deliver a lecture ‘Dramat pod Damaszkiem. Szawel zamienia sie w Pawla’ [Drama at Damascus. Saul Changes to Paul]. We have also prepared news for the Vatican Press Agency FIDES and for the official webpage of the Pauline Year. One can say that our contribution to this pious action, initiated by Benedict XVI, was quite substantial. One should not forget the special web service of ‘Niedziela’ dedicated to St Paul. ‘Niedziela’ was the first service that launched such an idea. The service included the teachings of the Holy Father prepared for the Pauline Year, commentaries on the theology of the Apostle to the Nations and news about the celebrations of the Pauline Year in the Church in Poland and around the world. For the closing of the Pauline Year a delegation of ‘Niedziela’ is going to the Eternal City – the place of the martyr’s death of the Apostle, to take part in the celebrations to worship the Saint Apostle to the Nations and ask Lord God through his intercession and the intercession of John Paul II to multiply through all these initiatives the faith of people in Poland, Europe and the world. Mentioning all these matters I would like to encourage our Readers to open their hearts in the name of apostolic solidarity with St Paul, with our Pope and the universal Church to a deeper interest in St Paul’s teaching, which because of the Pauline Year is available in many publications in Poland since that Saint should be present in our Catholic families, in the awareness of all those who proclaim Christ. For he is a model of evangelisation in the 21st century, too.