Servants of the Word at the Mother's
Fr Pawel Maciaszek
The 9th Pilgrimage of the Workers, Readers and Friends of the Catholic Weekly 'Niedziela' to Jasna Gora took place On 17 September 2005. The motto of this year's meeting was the words of John Paul II 'I have looked for you. Now you have come to me'.
The editors in charge of the local editions of 'Niedziela' in Poland and Chicago arrived in Czestochowa on 16 September in order to pray and share experiences about their editorial work. Msgr Ireneusz Skubis presided over a Mass at the beginning of the meeting. His homily was devoted to the truth that the Church loved us, 'The missionary character of the people of God obliges each of us, especially the Catholic editors, to proclaim God's truth. This is a hard and responsible task and it is God himself that calls us to do this work and God also gives us necessary strength. The awareness that the Church loves us helps us fulfill this task'. He developed the thought, which the contemporary world looked for, and which Catholic editors were to live and share with others, saying that 'the Church loves us. If everyone who is involved in the work of evangelization experiences this truth he will proclaim the Good News with joy and without weariness'.
After the Mass the editorial board presented their audiovisual projects and publications of 'Biblioteka Niedzieli'. The editor-in-chief reminded us of the 80th anniversary of 'Niedziela' to take place the following year. He depicted the long history of the weekly up to its present role in Poland, from the times of censorship to the times of freedom, from 8 to 32 pages, from the black and white format to the coloured edition, from the national pages to 21 diocesan editions, from a newspaper through radio and television studio to the electronic version, and finally, from several thousand copies to the impressive circulation.
Bishop Adam Lepa of Lodz, a friend of long standing, presided over a Mass, celebrated by 35 priests in the Jasna Gora Basilica, and delivered a homily. He noticed that 'since Mary is called the First Editor of 'Niedziela' our presence in her Sanctuary is right. If we are grateful for her graces she will certainly intercede for us'. Stressing the unique role our Weekly has played in the Church for many years, the preacher called us to perform the work of courageous ministry through 'Niedziela': 'Poland has still got too few Catholic papers and too few readers of Catholic press. We can see that when we compare the circulation of the titles promoting a style of life that is contrary to the Decalogue. We should challenge people to read Catholic press because the press forms readers' minds. It makes people think and reflect penetratingly. When we encourage people to read 'Niedziela' we make the moral and intellectual level of our nation increase. Our presence at Jasna Gora is to implore Mater Verbi, the Mother of the Word, to help each of us pass our examination in apostleship'.
The Vice-Abbot of Jasna Gora Fr Kazimierz Maniecki, who had welcomed the pilgrims before the Mass, referred to the motto of the pilgrimage and reminded us that Karol Wojtyla had made many pilgrimages to that place. It was John Paul II that taught us to dedicate ourselves and our problems to Mary. The need of dedication makes us come to the shrine for the ninth time.
Fr Ireneusz Skubis read the Act of Dedication of 'Niedziela' to our Lady of Czestochowa. We ask Mary, Mother of the Word, Maidservant of the Truth and the First Editor of 'Niedziela' to help us proclaim Christ to the world and take all that 'Niedziela' is to the Triune God. According to the promise of the editor-in-chief one edition of 'Niedziela' will receive a copy of our Lady of Czestochowa every year. This year it has been 'Niedziela Lodzka' that had this privilege. Bishop Adam Lepa was given the copy in a solemn way.