‘Niedziela’ at the Mother of God
Fr Mariusz Frukacz, Anna Wyszynska
The feast of ‘Niedziela’, which is the annual Pilgrimage of the Employees and Readers of our weekly to Jasna Gora, was celebrated for the 12th time. The pilgrimage took place on 20 September 2008 and its motto was: ‘For to me life is Christ’ (Philippians 1:21), referring to the Year of St Paul that is being celebrated in the Church.
Public media – mission or commerciality?
The day before the pilgrimage, on 18 September, a debate entitled ‘Public media – mission or commerciality?’ was held in the headquarters of ‘Niedziela.’ The tradition of debates devoted to the media, organised by the editorial board, was initiated in 1993 by the editor-in-chief Rev. Msgr Ireneusz Skubis, Bishop Adam Lepa and Prof. Karol Lauza from the Catholic University of Lublin, who created the Seminar ‘Aetatis Novae’ – cyclical meetings concerning the media. The host of this year’s debate was the editor-in-chief of ‘Niedziela.’ The speakers included Bishop Adam Lepa of Lodz, Marek Jurek, the former Speaker of the Polish Parliament, Rev. Prof. Leon Dyczewski from the Catholic University of Lublin and Prof. Andrzej Jurga. Bishop Lepa stressed that the Polish reason of state required the existence of public media. Their liquidation would make the media order shake and would weaken the feeling of Poles’ identity. Marek Jurek, referring to the present situation in Poland, said that currently there was a double crisis in the media – the public media are endangered and these media experience a crisis of activities. Rev. Prof. Leon Dyczewski delivered an important message. Among other things he spoke about the fundamental meaning of the public media for the existence of democratic system. One of the significant thoughts of Prof. Andrzej Jurga was the emphasis of the servants’ role of television and its obligation to seek the truth.
At the First Editress
The pilgrimage began with a morning Mass in the Jasna Gora Basilica on 20 September. The editors and employees of ‘Niedziela’, the representatives of 20 diocesan editions, printers, distributers and all who regarded themselves as friends of ‘Niedziela’ gathered for common prayer. On behalf of the Pauline community Fr Karol Oset, Sub Abbot of Jasna Gora, welcomed the gathered, including Senator Czeslaw Ryszka, President of Czestochowa Tadeusz Wrona and Prof. Andrzej Jurga with wife. Fr Oset quoted the words of John Paul II, ‘New evangelisation needs true witnesses of faith, people rooted in the cross of Christ, ready to make sacrifice for him’ and he hoped that Mary as the First Editress of ‘Niedziela’ would beg for graces for all those who were especially called by the Divine Providence so that the weekly could fulfil its special tasks in the contemporary world. Archbishop Stanislaw Nowak thanked the editorial board for their efforts to publish ‘Niedziela’, for their listening to the voice of Christ and Mary as well as their faithfulness to the Church. ‘This is a blessed job, blessed effort, blessed sow of God’, he said. And he passed his wishes of further apostolic effort to the editorial board, ‘Be strong, be faithful, be conscientious to fulfil your special mission.’
For to me life is Christ
Rev. Msgr Ireneusz Skubis presided over the Mass and delivered a homily. Referring to the words of the Apostle to the Nations, the motto of the pilgrimage, ‘For to me life is Christ’ he said, ‘The Year of St Paul encourages us to an important apostolic reflection; it is a time when we can think about the great fields of evangelisation.’ He stressed that the contemporary consumerist societies did not want to evangelise, did not want to do penance for sins and did not want to bravely confess their faith. An example of such an attitude is the hesitation to re-establish the ancient Christian Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord. ‘Can we calculate the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord into money?’ he asked. Referring to the situation of the media he stressed that independent and brave media that tell the truth were needed in democratic societies. He thanked all those who bought and read ‘Niedziela’ – hundreds of thousands in Poland and abroad. The editor-in-chief asked the Readers to pray that Poland would preserve Christian values that had constituted its culture throughout centuries. The Eucharist ended with an Act of Dedication of ‘Niedziela’ to the Mother of God. A picture of Our Lady of Jasna Gora for the Rzeszow edition of ‘Niedziela’, which has celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, was also blessed during the service.
The second part of the meeting was held in the Papal Hall where the medals ‘Mater Verbi’ granted by ‘Niedziela’ were awarded; they express gratitude to those who have been involved in creating the publication and in its distribution. The meeting was enriched by a discussion on St Paul the Apostle, conduced by Fr Jacek Molka and Fr Mariusz Frukacz. There was also a presentation of multimedia materials concerning the places which St Paul visited and where he taught. The materials were prepared by the Television Studio of ‘Niedziela.’
Children from the day centre in Lodz, conducted by the Grey Ursulines, were special guests of the pilgrimage. The children expressed wishes of success to the editor-in-chief for the whole editorial board. The joyful atmosphere was completed by a folk band ‘Slociniacy’ from the region of Rzeszow. The band was brought to Czestochowa by Fr Jan Maria Sochocki, the custodian of the Shrine of Father Pio and Our Lady of Fatima in Terliczka.