Although it was not a sport event, there were a lot of emotions during the retreats at the National Stadium in Warsaw. For, here there was also a fight….. that is, a spiritual fight. It was possible to predict the result – Jesus is a winner and every person of 60 thousand people is a winner who arrived at the National Stadium that day

During the retreats for the whole day, Father John Bashobora touched hearts and bodies of a few dozen thousand people gathered at the National Stadium in Warsaw. The charismatic priest distanced the popular singer Madonna, to whose concert tax-payers had to add nearly 6 million zlotys. However, not Father Bashobora was the star of that day. Jesus Christ was the most important. – It was Him who attracted crowds, thirsty of healing their body and soul – the priest from Uganda emphasized.

The most important event during the retreats ‘Jesus at the Stadium’ was the Holy Mass celebrated by Ordinary of Warsaw archbishop Henryk Hoser. Whereas the homily was preached by the suffragan of this diocese bishop Marek Solarczyk. – Saying that I am surprised is too little. I am flabbergasted – bishop Solarczyk said to ‘Niedziela’. –When we started thinking about retreats at the Stadium, we estimated that 20-30 people would come. I did not suppose that we would fill up the biggest stadium in Poland.

60 thousand changed hearts

During the retreats at the National Stadium, there were over 60 thousand people. On this occasion, whole Poland arrived specially – from Szczecin to Podbeskid. – We also sent tickets abroad – says Katarzyna Matusz, the press spokesman of the retreats. We sent over 57 thousand tickets. In addition, there were volunteers, 500 priests, clerics, medical services and organizers – says Matusz. What is more, besides 60 thousand people gathered at sport tribunes, over 500 thousand people were watching the meeting on Internet.

Although we set off in the early morning, it was worth doing it – says Tadeusz Dańczyk from Michałów, near the Belarusian border. He brought his family and friends to Warsaw, and even his boss from work. – Faith is the biggest treasure for the man. So, each of us should multiply this treasure.

On red and white chairs at the National Stadium, instead of shouting fans, there was a crowd of praying people. However, it does not mean that the tribunes were full of somber people. – Nothing like that. God gave us life not to be sad. Christianity is happiness about life – emphasizes Dańczyk.

People were singing, clapping hands, cheering. Moreover, gigantic human waves were flowing through the stadium, which we know from sport events. – And all this was for greater glory to Lord – organizers of the meeting were encouraging from the scene. What are people looking for at this kind of charismatic retreats? – I did not come here for some extraordinary miracles. I am here in order to deepen my faith and pray in the community – says Anna Michalczyk, who had brought her husband and three sons to the stadium. – I am still looking for the best road for me from God.

Healing of the body and the soul

The best places at the stadium were intended for ill, disabled people and families. They were the closest to the plate of the pitch, that is, the closest to the scene, which became an altar in the afternoon. Participants of the retreats took part in the Holy Mass, said a rosary prayer and at 3 pm they said the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. – We emphasize all the time that the most important event of that day was the Holy Mass. Conferences of Father Bashobora had prepared us just for the Eucharist – Katarzyna Matusz explains.

The day at the National Stadium was finished with a prayer for healing. In the prayer the charismatic priest asked Jesus Christ to help for his children. And Lord Jesus often listens to these requests. This is the charism of the priest from Uganda.

During this kind of the charismatic meetings, special emotions accompany spiritual healings. In such a big crowd of a few dozen thousand people there are people who experience torments, and even possession. – In the name of Jesus we destroy any power of satan. We tell him: You are finished, you have nothing to say. We tell you to go on the cross of Christ, we wash you off with the tears of Christ! – Fr. Bashobora was praying together with 60 thousand people. – And I say: it has been done; I say to illnesses: it has been done. I say to those who are burdened by satan’s powers: it has been done, because Jesus is Lord and we proclaim it. We see Your blessing , all miracles which are happening just now. In the name of Father and Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

During an intercessory prayer for freeing, desperate and disturbing screams of individual people were heard from various parts of the Stadium.- Our all volunteers are suitably trained. Besides that, at the stadium there are many experienced priests exorcists who will assure a prayer- spiritual help and a suitable care –explained sister Tomasza from the Convent of Sisters of St. Catherine the Virgin and Martyr, who was a coordinator of charismatic retreats at the Stadium.

When will Jesus be again at the stadium?

If somebody arrived at the Stadium to hear something new, he got disappointed. The priest very often referred to the Holy Scripture and the teaching of the Church. – Today I arrived to the invitation of archbishop Henryk Hoser, in order to realize the call of pope Benedict XVI, who announced the Year of Faith in the Church – he explained.

During his conferences he often said that not he is the ‘star’ of that day. – You have not come to me, but to Jesus Christ. It is Him who is your Healer – emphasized the priest from Africa. He said that every priest in a confessional is a healer, because he has a power of forgiving sins in the name of Father and Son and the Holy Spirit.

– Did you confess your sins? – asked the preacher. – If you did, you are filled with the Holy Spirit. Do you believe it? - he received the applause from 60 thousand people as an answer. – God’s word tells us that when you confess your sins, you become purified, because Jesus purified you with his valuable blood shed on the cross.

Fr. Bashobora did not preach any extraordinary words. He repeated known truths of faith. He only used a different, more expressive language. – In Europe we are over-intellectualized. He spoke language of lively faith. Therefore his words reach to believers so well – Krzysztof Wąsowski said to the ‘Niedziela’, the general of the secular Order of Knights of John Paul II. – For me Fr. Bashobora is, first of all, a witness of faith. He is a priest who does not obstruct Lord Jesus with his person but he leads to Him.

The success of the retreats ‘Jesus at the Stadium’ went beyond the expectations of its organizers. Will there be such a meeting at the National Stadium again? – We are thinking about it shyly. However, it is still too early to speak about the facts – answers bishop Marek Solarczyk.


"Niedziela" 28/2013

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: