Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
Dear Lenten Retreat Preachers,
This year the Church is experiencing a special period of Lent – the beatification of John Paul II in the background. It is a unique reflection of the themes of life, the martyr’s death and the resurrection of Lord Jesus, which the Polish Pope, beloved John Paul II, who is just to be raised to the altars, interpreted to us. John Paul II appreciated the gift of the Lord’s Passion very much and he often reflected on it; this theme was also close to his heart and he loved the Passion very much. He was a great man of prayer and authentic dedication to the suffering Saviour. And people always saw him in this way – during his service to the People of God in his homeland and then, from the Vatican Hill. Therefore, Lenten retreat preachers find him very helpful and supportive and the faithful will certainly take advantage of Lenten teachings connected with references to John Paul II. The Holy Father always desired to deepen faith and Christian life in the whole Church, and especially in the lives of his fellow countrymen. It was expressed in his speeches delivered in his homeland, which many of us remember very well. They are still valid and we can recollect them through the media today.
Let me speak about the media, important carriers of social information. They exert enormous influence on people’s decisions. It is especially true of television. Let us notice that if some film or product is advertised on television it captures people’s attention at once. In this situation this year’s Lenten resolutions should include traditional elements: better life, good Lenten confession and Easter Communion, and the response to the specific challenges of our times, which are the media. Catholic press should be in Catholic families. And we should also use other Catholic communications. We get enough news from the media every day and unfortunately, the Catholic content is only heard during Sunday Masses and that is all unless other people speak about it (usually unfavourably). Therefore, I think that encouraging believers to read Catholic press is an important task for preachers during Lent. Families that read Catholic periodicals have occasions to deepen their religious lives, to be more involved in the life of the Church. ‘Niedziela’ cares about matters of faith. We show the value of the sacraments and richness of the liturgy; we open people to Christian culture, help families, support the education of young people. And if sometimes it is said that families do not talk about principles, the most important values, it is because our families have become somewhat pagan since they do not get Catholic information. May Catholic press be present in Catholic homes! These families will surely behave like Christ’s families; survive through crises connected with secular tendencies, which we are experiencing nowadays.
If during Lenten retreats parishioners approach their parish priests with desires to subscribe, for example ‘Niedziela,’ it will be a great victory of retreat preachers, parishes, the Church and parishioners themselves and also wonderful, very concrete fruits of Lenten reflections and thoughts.
I wholeheartedly ask Priests and Preachers to include the resolution to open wide our doors to Catholic media into resolutions of Lent 2011 that is starting now…