ONLY A CONSISTENT FIGHT FOR CHRIST
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
The pilgrimage of ‘Niedziela’ to Jasna Góra is a special day for the whole editorial team. At the time of harvest, somehow, we are bringing Mary the fruits of our work. The Catholic weekly ‘Niedziela’ with its 19 diocesan editions, and also the colourful and interesting bi-monthly ‘Moje Pismo Tęcza’ (My magazine Rainbow), edited by the Library of ‘Niedziela’ (now 314 volumes), radio recordings and films – the effect of the work of our Radio and Television Studio and other works, in which the identity of our newspaper is expressed, like meetings with interesting people, held on Mondays in our auditorium, promotions of books, concerts, etc. But today we want to speak about ‘Niedziela’ – a weekly which reaches back to the 1926 with its history. After 28 years of the communist regime, it is re-appears in the year 1981 and – with a short pause during the martial law -it has been published till today. Certainly, it is in a completely different graphic design, different in volume and of different range, but with the same mission of helping the man in the life with the Gospel every day.
We create an ordinary newspaper, which is simple and maintains its identity – we are neither the ‘General Weekly’ nor ‘A Catholic Guide’, but we are ‘Niedziela’. We have our faithful readers who like our newspaper and who thank that ‘Niedziela’ is just as it is, not different, that it brings important texts, enlightens our look at life, gives reliable materials concerning the Church, reminds us about the teaching of the Pope and bishops and refers to a good national tradition, including political tradition.
Today we want to tell our Dear Readers that through our newspaper we are trying pass the truth which is extremely important in media information. This truth is sometimes awkward and difficult on transmission, but respect for the Reader and care about building on the truth require honesty from us. We love the Church and we want to serve it, creating as widest Catholic opinion as possible. It is somehow a building from words, but the Church stands also on the word. The purpose is that it must always be the divine word.
‘Niedziela’ is a fruit of great work and reflection of some authors. It is a kind of a photograph of our everyday life, enlightened by the light of the Gospel. This is food which is eaten by hundred thousand people. We are bringing Readers a vision of beautiful reality, which can be our contribution under the guidance of the Church.
‘Niedziela’ has been fulfilling its ministry in 19 dioceses. When I look at further weekly editions, I see how much excellent articles it has. I wonder whether pastors and priests of our diocese appreciate it sufficiently, for whom we are trying to do our best. However, in several decades, hardly anybody will know, for example, about work of a particular bishop, about what interesting was happening in parishes, and this all is described beautifully in particular issues of local editions of ‘Niedziela’. So, maybe history will turn out to be more merciful for us than reality, in which we sometimes meet with unfriendliness from this or that priest being afraid of an extra effort of distribution of ‘Niedziela’ in his parish. It seems to me that love towards one’s local Church, to one’s parish means seeing their roots, a kind of continuity of their histories. These roots are well seen on pages of the diocesan editions, which are mostly a chronicle of the history of the particular Church.
On the occasion of the pilgrimage of 'Niedziela', I will remind my brother priests again about the words of the founder of our Catholic weekly, that 'Niedziela' appeared in order to be a vicar for a rector and a suffragan for the Ordinary. It is supposed to help in pastoral ministry, passing information from the life of the general Church and the Church of a particular diocese, broadening religious knowledge and giving good advice. So, we would have to want not to notice, how much possibility the local edition of 'Niedziela' has. Unfortunately, we, Poles find it easy to criticize everything, but systematic, wise and far-sighted organic work is much more difficult, as well as the one with the usage of a tool which is the Catholic newspaper.
Here, the words of the poem of Czesław Miłosz come to my mind, which are on the monument of the Deceased Shipyard workers in Gdańsk: 'You, who hurt an ordinary man/ bursting out with laughter at his suffering (…) Do not be safe...'. I am afraid of the wrongdoer who is destroying the good, who does not allow children to come to the Heart of the Redeemer, Jesus Christ.
People responsible for evangelical transmission will not fulfill their duties well, if they do not take care of whether the Catholic families read Catholic newspapers. God will ask us one day, whether we have used everything which was accessible in order to bring God closer to people.
Here, I would like to articulate within the motto of XVII Pilgrimage of 'Niedziela' to Jasna Góra – 'Proclaim Christ to everybody'. It is so much inscribed in the activity of Holy Father Francis who reminds the whole Church about the fact that it is necessary to proclaim Christ to everybody. Not only theological teaching but also moral and social teaching of the Church, which is present in the public life – all this should be perceived by the Catholics, especially by their priests. The fact that in Poland we deal with so much moral turmoil, that there are so many thing contradictory with the teaching of the Church, although so many of us claim to be the Catholics, the fact that the authority was take over by those who should never have it – it is also our fault, the fault of priests, because we could not convince people that we are all responsible to God for what is happening in our country. It is a big neglect of our pastoral work. Today it is a loud cry for opening our eyes and doing everything in order to stop the process of making our society, and also Europe atheistic. After all, Poland has never been like that, but has Christ's roots and such people as the great pope blessed John Paul II and great priests of the Church – great Poles. We must not allow for our becoming wicked or being in the margin of the society.
So, we all, priests and faithful Reader of 'Niedziela' should join the consistent fight about Christ in our country, in every Polish family. We can receive help in it from 'Niedziela', under the guidance of Our Lady of Jasna Góra, the Queen of Poland and the First Editor of our weekly.