SERVE TO EVERY POLISH FAMILY
The Jasna Góra Appeal reflection, 27 November 2012
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
Today I would like to remind towards You, Mary, about Your great servant - St. Maksymilian Maria Kolbe. This Saint martyr loved you, Mary, very much in the mystery of Your Immaculate Conception. He lived this mystery and wanted Your Name to contribute to the development of the Divine Kingdom on the earth. The guiding motto of his actions were the words: ‘Achieve the world for Christ through the Immaculate Virgin’. St. Maksymilian started a great pastoral crusade through editing ‘A knight of the Immaculate Virgin’, which entered the Polish consciousness very much and became the most popular magazine among Polish families very quickly. Poles were learning to read and write, getting rid of illiteracy. In very difficult situations of Nazis occupation, and later the Bolshevik one St. Maksymilian taught Poles trustfulness to You, Blessed Mary. Polish mothers, often crying after the loss of their husbands, sons and brothers, often looked for consolation and help in You, Mary.
St. Maksymilian Maria Kolbe was a man of a great evangelical realism. He wanted to make as many people as possible rich with the knowledge about God and Blessed Mother. He made efforts so that Catholic press had its permanent place in every Catholic family. He used to say that in spite of our building churches, if there was no Catholic newspaper in families, if there was no life with faith – people would not come to them. This faith was raised and supported just by Catholic press which, at that time, was about 23 per cent of the whole press available in the Polish publishing market. What would St. Maksymilian say to us today, when this press is about 2 per cent of all publishing titles? It is our very serious problem. For nothing blocks the freedom of Catholic transmission any more, but the demand for Catholic media is not visible. Whereas, is the Catholic word does not reach to our families, we will still be under the mass influence of secular mass media, which are often hostile to Christ and his Gospel, and we will undoubtedly stand in the ranks of people indifferent to faith and burdening the Church with their hostility and accusations.
We want You, our Mother, ask for help in making Poles, lay faithful and priests realise how important the place of a religious newspaper in our families is. As a Catholic editorial office, similarly as St. Maksymilian, we really want to reach to most Poles with teaching of the Gospel and knowledge about the Church.
Therefore we are standing near parish priests and vicars as their closest collaborators in the pastoral ministry. We want to serve to every Polish family, every Pole. This is and it has always been our task.
Mary of Jasna Góra, Your Holy face is also on the title page of the ‘Sunday’. For, you are our Main Editor, it is Your holy presence from which the ‘Sunday’ takes inspiration, graces and power. Give us strength of maintenance in faithfulness to this all which is the most important for the Church of Christ and for Poland. Enliven our apostolic enthusiasm. Especially now, in the Year of Faith, when it is necessary to strengthen pastoral ministry, encourage to more frequent reading the Scripture, considering the teaching of the Holy Father in the social life. We do need more consciousness of the fact that God is, that he loves us so much and that He is merciful God. We need to work on the growth of our moral level whose collapse result in a big human tragedy. We really want a young generation of Poles, so we devoted separate pages in the ‘Sunday’ for them, edited among the others, by people at their age and priests working for the youth. We want to explain the Gospel and serve help in struggles with the reality, full of destructive worry and temptations enslaving the life of young people. So, the presence of a Catholic newspaper in the family is an important factor for the pastoral ministry of the Church.
Mother of Jesus and our Mother, make our families open to the ‘Sunday’, and accept a quiet and humble priest in it, helping build what is beautiful in every Polish heart. Open the hearts of priests, so that they would understand the role of the Catholic newspaper in the human hand better. We want to build God’s Church, we want to bring the Good News about the salvation to the world, but we also need the enthusiasm of the great Apostle of the word – St. Maksymilian Kolbe. May his example be a sign for us that it is possible, if one only wants and let Your, Mary, presence at Jasna Góra be inspiration and support. Be Mother for this newspaper which appears ‘sub montis radicibus’ – at the roots of – Jasna Góra. Be mother for all of us….Amen.