MALE SIEGE OF JASNA GÓRA
FR. STANISŁAW TOMOŃ OSPPE
Representatives of various male organizations such as, among the others: Men of St. Jospeh, Men of Hermitage, Men of God, Brotherhood of St. Paul, Knighthood Order of John Paul II, Male Platoons of Rosary, gathered together at the common prayer at Jasna Góra. As organizers state, they did not expect such a big number of people. The meeting of men is an answer to the attack of the modern culture on the examples of masculinity. This is an expression of desire to popularize pastoral work strengthening men in their roles and tasks. Three conferences were planned which were given in the Jasna Góra Basilica by: Jacek Pulikowski, Mieczysław Guzewicz and Stanisław Sławiński. The proceeding of the pilgrimage was coordinated by Andrzej Lewek from the Association Men of St. Joseph.
The Holy Mass attended by a lot of men was celebrated and presided over at Jasna Góra by the auxiliary bishop of diocese of Legnica Marek Mendyk. The participants were welcomed by Fr. Mieczysław Polak, the sub-prior of Jasna Góra. A sermon was given and a testimony of his life was shared by archbishop Zbigniew Stankiewicz from Ryga in Latvia, a member of the Pontifical Council for Supporting Christians’ Unity. He explained that Church existed in order to evangelize God’s kingdom in the world. He noted that for men who are husbands and fathers in majority, the first field of evangelization is caring about one’s family, about children, about wife and caring for making God’s kingdom appear in the family, and then in the parish and the workplace. He noted one more important event in relation to what is happening in Europe, which has collapsed in faith and in which the Gospel, the Good News is pushed aside onto the margin. He spoke to men who were created not only to care about their families, not only to care about food and defend their families, but also to fight, to stand ready for a spiritual fight, to resist and reverse the course of history in Europe. Archbishop Stankiewicz said that there is hope for Europe and that ‘this sparkle which will renew Europe, may come out from Eastern Europe’. At the end of the pilgrimage there was ‘A message from Jasna Góra to Polish men’.
The pilgrimage was under patronage of: the primate of Poland archbishop Wojciech Polak, the metropolitan of Częstochowa archbishop Wacław Depo, the chairperson of the Polish Episcopal Conference archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, and the metropolitan of Gdańsk archbishop Sławoj Głódź.
Messages were addressed to participants of the pilgrimage by archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, and archbishop Grzegorz Ryś, the metropolitan of Łódź, who could not be present at the men’s pilgrimage because of the ingress of archbishop Ryś to the arch-cathedral of Łódź on that day.