SERVING THROUGH A WORD, TEACHING TO KEEP SILENT
Workers and readers of the Catholic weekly ‘Sunday’ were making a pilgrimage to Jasna Góra under the motto ‘I believe in One God’. The pilgrimage took place on Saturday on 15 September, on the eve of Sunday of Mass Media, therefore its essence included the Message of the Holy Father Benedict XVI, published on this occasion, under the significant title ‘Silence and word as a way of evangelisation’
The holy mass celebrated for the pilgrims of the ‘Sunday’ in the Jasna Góra Basilica was presided by archbishop – Wacław Depo, the metropolitan of Częstochowa and the chairman of the Polish Episcopal Conference Council for Mass Media who also preached a homily. Among many priests concelebrating the Eucharist of the pilgrimage were priests responsible for diocesan editions of the ‘Sunday’.
‘Sunday’ – a spiritual matter
In Jasna Góra the ‘Sunday’ was cordially welcomed by the Pauline Fathers. The sub-prior of the sanctuary F. Sebastian Matecki emphasized that prelate priest Ireneusz Skubiś is a charismatic man who has devoted his life to the ‘Sunday’for over 30 years and the mission which it fulfills. – ‘Sunday’ is a spiritual sphere which helps us be closer to Christ, change our life and through this change our community and the world – emphasized F. Matecki.
During the Eucharist the Holy Father Benedict XVI was comprised by a special prayer, who was in Lebanon at that time and the tragically deceased co-worker of the ‘Sunday’ professor Józef Szaniawski – a great patriot, historian, a political prisoner of the Polish People’s Republic whose funeral was taking place at the same time in Warsaw.
Catholic media in the public space
In the homily archbishop Wacław Depo emphasized that the ‘Sunday’ and its co-workers are a family of Jasna Góra and Częstochowa charismas – You are coming for a pilgrimage to think over anew your own charisma of the ministry to God, the Church and Homeland – he said. He noted that the words of Blessed John Paul II are still actual and which were addressed to the workers of the editorial office ‘Sunday” in 1996: ‘Christ present in the Church expects that this enormous potential of thoughts, talents, good will which is in you, will be included in the work of evangelization by you, as well as the promotion of these values which are often questioned by newspapers propagating a false model of human freedom’.
‘Sunday’ like other Catholic media, fulfills an important role in the space of engagement of the Church in the public matters. Archbishop Depo also claimed for a place of the Television Trwam in the digital multiplex: - Here it goes about a fight for the human soul and the whole concept of the man – he called.
He quoted a fragment of the Message of Benedict XVI on this year’s World Day of Mass Media, inviting everybody to a reflection on the papal message pointing out to the role of silence in the more and more noisy world. – Silence allows for hearing God’s voice and it is an essential element of communication among people – he explained.
Open door to consciences
Archbishop Depo appealed to people of the public life, to people in the government for their testimony of faith and their faithfulness to consciences. He stated that the office cannot mean closed door to consciences and this is connected with much responsibility for oneself and others, also for those who will be after us. In the period of communist enslavement our nation was fighting for a return of faith to the public space. The fruit of this fight is a transmission of the Sunday holy mass in the Polish Radio, reactivation of the ‘Sunday’ and the return of religious education to schools. – Today there are attempts to eliminate religious dimension from the education process – said archbishop Depo, emphasizing that we mustn’t neglect such attempts, which are a danger in the same way as rejecting the natural law, violating rights of a marriage and family or a right to express faith freely. – The very freedom does not give a right to speak and do everything – he emphasized. –For if freedom is not subjected to the truth, then it becomes enslavement.
Entrusting to Mother of Word
This year’s Act of Entrustment of ‘Sunday’ to Our Lady of Jasna Góra refers to the papal Message and the Year of Faith which will begin in the Church soon. The Act was expressed at the end of the holy mass by the participants of the pilgrimage, under the leadership of prelate priest Ireneusz Skubiś. There are words in it: ‘Maryja – Mother of Jasna Góra, in this year’s Message on the World Day of mass media the Holy Father Benedict XVI points out to silence and word as the spaces of meeting with God and the Good News. We want to listen to God’s voice in silence with you, and through mass media which are a powerful empire in the modern world, and we want to lead people onto the road of new evangelization’.
At the end of the holy mass the metropolitan of Częstochowa with the chief editor of the ‘Sunday’ handed over a statue of Blessed John Paul II – ‘A faith guard’ to the parish community of Gomulin. The liturgy was accompanied by songs of girls’ choir of Jasna Góra ‘Filiae Mariae’, conducted by Mariola Jeziorowska.
Among guests of the ‘Sunday’ there were authority representatives, among the others, parliamentarian Jadwiga Waśniewska, parliamentarian Jerzy Polaczek and authors and co-workers of the newspaper from whole Poland.
Celebration in the auditorium of the ‘Sunday’
The second phase of the pilgrimage took place in the editorial office of the ‘Sunday’. People rewarded by the weekly received medals ‘Mater Verbi’ from the chief editor of the ‘Sunday’. Those rewarded posthumously were Fr. Prelate Marian Wiewiórowski from Gomulin, perfectly promoting the ‘Sunday’ in his parish and Fr. Janusz Andrzej Duczkowski from Rome, supporting readership of the ‘Sunday’ among Poles living abroad. This year’s prize-winners of the medal ‘Mater Verbi’ are: Fr. Dr. Wiesław Wójcik – director of the Institute of Emigration Pastoral Ministry in Poznań, Fr. Prelate priest Józef Wójcik, Fr. Prof. Witold Zdaniewicz – director of the Institute of the Catholic Church Statistics SAC in Warsaw, Fr. Dr. Krzysztof Dziub – Chancellor of the metropolitan curia in Częstochowa, Father Dariusz Cichor from Jasna Góra, Małgorzata Zuzanna Nowak, under whose management 20 editions of Festival of Sacral Music were organized in Częstochowa ‘Gaude Mater’, Father editor Waldemar Gonczaruk from Radio Maryja and Television Trwam, Danuta Romanowska from the Press Office of Jasna Góra, a photographer of Jasna Góra Krzysztof Świertok, Łukasz Sośniak from Radio Jasna Góra.
During the meeting archbishop senior Stanisław Nowak presented a testimony of faith entitled: ‘My faith’. He noted the role of the family in passing faith over generations. – A baptized man has power from God so that he would never lose his faith, nor go away from the Church - he said. He showed a process of getting matured to a deep faith on his example.
In the auditorium of the editorial office a musical band gave their performance conducted by Andrzej Nowicki. The members of the band come from the Częstochowa Academic Group from the times when Fr. Ireneusz Skubiś was a pastor.
Internet Television and a bookshop of the ‘Sunday’
This year’s pilgrimage inscribed itself in the history of the ‘Sunday’ through a few new works which were presented by Fr. Prelate priest Ireneusz Skubiś. During the 16th pilgrimage the activity of the internet television of the “Sunday’ was inaugurated. On the day of the pilgrimage there were registered nearly a thousand online participants on the website www.niedziela.pl. thanks to which the online transmission of the pilgrimage of the ‘Sunday’ all over the world was possible. There were connections with Canada, the USA, Western European countries and Kazakhstan.
Moreover, the statue of Blessed John Paul II – ‘The guard of faith’ was given for the first time. The statue was received by the representatives of parish in Gomulin in the archdiocese of Łódź, where among 2 thousand of the faithful 180 copies of the ‘Sunday’ are distributed every week.
Another new work is a bookshop in the headquarters of the editorial office where mainly book published within the Library of ‘Sunday’ are available. The bookshop was sanctified on the day of the pilgrimage by archbishop Wacław Depo.
The pilgrimage of the ‘Sunday’ to Jasna Góra was the first step to the Year of Faith, whose opening will be done on 11 October by the Holy Father Benedict XVI.