The new and the old in Terliczka near Rzeszow
Fr Hieronim Warachim, OFMCap
Terliczka near Rzeszow, a village of some 500 people, has been known all over Poland nowadays. One can apply to it the words of the Gospel concerning 'the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old' (Matthew 13:52).
When 'the new' began in Terliczka
It began in 1981 when the assassination attempt of Pope John Paul II shook the whole world. All people prayed for his recovery. Fr Wlodzimierz Lech, born in Terliczka, asked his relatives and neighbours to pray the rosary in the intention of the Holy Father. Then he had an idea to build a church dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima as a votive offering for saving the Pope's life. Fr Lech offered his plot of land, his patrimony in Terliczka. The communist authorities did not give permission to build a church and there were no funds, either. But people wanted to do that and Archbishop Ignacy Tokarczuk of Przemysl was in favour of that idea. On 13 October 1985 he blessed a foundation stone of the future sanctuary and gave it the title of the Most Blessed Virgin of Fatima. On the 10th anniversary of the assassination attempt of John Paul II, on 13 October 1991, Bishop Edward Frankowski, auxiliary bishop of Przemysl, consecrated the church of our Lady of Fatima.
On 25th March 1992 the Holy Father John Paul II established 13 new dioceses in Poland, including the Diocese of Rzeszow. The new began in Terliczka when the Bishop of the Diocese of Rzeszow Kazimierz Gorny, PhD, issued a decree on 1 July 1992, establishing a parish in Terliczka and asking the Capuchin Brothers of the Krakow Province to minister there. Fr Jan Maria Sochocki, a charismatic figure, became the parish priest. On the 80th anniversary of the apparitions in Fatima, on 13th May 1997, Bishop Kazimierz Gorny of Rzeszow initiated penitential Fatima service to be conducted on every thirteenth day of the month from May till October. Fr Sochacki began spreading the cult of the Blessed Virgin of Fatima with great eagerness. Crowds of believers began arriving at Terliczka. At present Terliczka is known for its Fatima services in the entire Diocese of Rzeszow and even outside its boundaries.
The second new thing in Terliczka was the cult of Father Pio of Pietrelcina, Capuchin monk. When it was known that the venerated Father Pio would be canonised the Bishop of Rzeszow expressed his desire to adjust the lower church in Terliczka to the cult of the Stigmatic from San Giovanni Rotondo. A Saint Pio Prayer Group was created and acknowledged by the Metropolitan of Rzeszow. On 23 rd September 2000 Edward Bialoglowski, auxiliary of the Diocese of Rzeszow, dedicated the lower church to the cult of Saint Father Pio. Since then on every twenty-third day of the month, as the day of Fr Pio's passing to heaven, the Prayer Group gathers for prayers. The Bishop of Rzeszow changed the church into Father Pio's sanctuary in Terliczka, subject to the diocesan law, 'having in mind the cult spreading to the neighbouring parishes'.
The faithful from Rzeszow and the region, and sometimes from further parts of Poland, come to pray in the House of Father Pio. The cult of Saint Pio deepens faith, calls to conversion and unites the community of the Church. Radio Maryja and TV Trwam have broadcasted the services in Terliczka all over the world.
atural gas, motorway and excavations
Natural gas in Terliczka is an old story. But a new discovery was made when a group of specialists in gas-oil mining arrived in Terliczka in 2002. Barracks were built on a meadow near the cemetery. Various machines were brought and test drilling began. The specialists found large deposits of natural gas. A cloud of burning gas hovered over Terliczka for some time. The local press reported about the excavations with great interest. There was hope for new work places and natural gas. However, the valves were turned off after some time. There were no enough funds to exploit the gas, which could not only meet the energetic needs in the Province of Rzeszow.
Another new thing in this region is a project to built motorway A4 through Terliczka. The Rzeszow newspaper 'Nowiny', issue 84 dated 28 April 2006, published a large article entitled 'We have excavated treasures under the motorway'. We read the statement of Dr Sylwester Czopka, 'Motorway archaeology is a new quality. Last year we examined some 10 km piece in the County of Trzebownisko on which motorway A4 would be built. We expected to find many objects. During our research works in Terliczka, on a meadow near the houses and garden behind the church, after taking off a layer of soil, the archaeologists discovered a pit. It was a larder. Beneath there was a deep well with wooden casing. After the site was drained it occurred that it was a 9th century BC well and is reckoned to be the oldest Bronze Age well in Poland. The well from the Bronze ages was constructed at the same time as the settlement in Biskupin. The construction in Terliczka is an evidence of high level of technological thought'. We also learn about other fragments from the Bronze Age, including a miniature vessel, a Palaeolithic knife, pottery and an 18th century plate, etc. Thus Terliczka is like 'the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old'.
The latest concern of Fr Jan M. Sochocki has been the construction of a monastic house because the monks have lived in the attic of the sacristy. There is also a parish office there. He obtained the permission of the local authorities and of the Curia in Rzeszow, and today, what he lacks is money. Just near the old well and the site of the excavated Bronze Age objects there is a statue of Father Pio. Many pilgrims often stop here for reflection. We hope that the Holy Stigmatic will care for the construction of the new monastic house and he will send benefactors who will help to build it.