‘PROCLAIM CHRIST TO EVERYBODY’
It was the 17th time when workers and readers had made a pilgrimage to Jasna Góra under the motto ‘Proclaim Christ to everybody’. This year’s motto of the pilgrimage has strongly been inscribed in the activity of the pope Francis, who reminds the whole Church that we must proclaim Christ to everybody. The pilgrimage took place on Saturday 21 September, a few days after the Sunday of Mass Media, therefore, its essence was the edition of, among the others, the message of the Holy Father Benedict XVI for this occasion, entitled ‘Social portals: the gates of the truth and faith; new spaces for evangelization’.
The pilgrimage gathered a big group of workers, editors and journalists of ‘Niedziela’, including representatives of 19 diocesan editions, and also faithful readers and friends of the Weekly as well as winners of the contest ‘A letter in the Year of Faith. We are conveying the Gospel to others’.
The main point was the solemn Holy Mass in the Jasna Góra Basilica, ended with the Entrustment Act of our community and the work of ‘Niedziela’ to Our Lady. The Eucharist and homily were presided over by the auxiliary bishop of Częstochowa Antoni Długosz. Also, the metropolitan of Częstochowa archbishop Wacław Depo the chairman of the Council for Mass Media of the Polish Episcopal Conference, was participating spiritually and blessing the workers and readers of ‘Niedziela’; he was absent because of his illness; pilgrims at the Jasna Góra altar remembered about the Archbishop. Among priests celebrating the Holy Mass, there were priests responsible for diocesan editions of ‘Niedziela’ and priests being faithful readers and friends of the newspaper.
The representative of Jasna Góra – Fr. Albert Szustak OSPPE was the first to say greeting words to the gathered. He invited everybody who proclaim words of Mary’s glory through the apostolate, to the thanksgiving and expiatory prayer, ‘asking Mary the Mother of the Embodied Word so that she would ask God for grace of faith and courage for us in the ministry of the word’. Whereas, the chief editor of ‘Niedziela’, Fr. Inf. Ireneusz Skubiś addressed his words of gratitude to all guests, especially to pilgrims, who arrived in big groups from the archdiocese of Łódź by coach, among the others, from Gomulin and the diocese of Sosnowiec, from Trzebiesławice parish.
In the homily bishop Antoni Długosz reminded that in the Year of Faith we are experiencing now, each of us should ask ourselves what testimony we are giving about Christ. He noted that we all are called to proclaim Christ. However, it is not enough to speak about Jesus Christ beautifully, but, first of all, we must be His witnesses. Bishop Długosz emphasized that ‘Niedziela’ is also a witness of Jesus Christ. So, its creators and readers should give a testimony of faith with their life.
- We are coming to Jasna Góra in the spirit of prayer. We are coming to Her who is the Leader in order to report our activity. We are bringing our worries and hopes to Her - said Fr. Inf. Ireneusz Skubiś before the Entrustment Act of ‘Niedziela’. He emphasized that Our Lady is the Main Editor of ‘Niedziela’. – We are listening to Her. We have our ear closer to the Jasna Góra walls in order to hear the sounds of histories and our times, and we are listening in order to speak about the most important issues of the Church, Homeland and the world and tell the truth to our readers – explained Fr. Skubiś. He thanked Jasna Góra for faithfulness to God and Homeland.
Entrustment words with great emotions were said by Father Jerzy Tomziński OSPPE, present among the pilgrimage participants, a great worshipper of Our Lady of Jasna Góra, an editor and a correspondent for ‘Niedziela’ for many years. The alumni of the Inferior Seminary in Częstochowa were serving to the Holy Mass. The liturgical meeting was animated by Fr. Kamil Szustak OSPPE.
The second part of the pilgrimage took place in the auditorium of the editorial office of ‘Niedziela’, where the chief editor gave medals ‘Mater Verbi’ to people distinguished for the weekly. The honoured after their death were: Krzysztof Pośpiech, a musician and a conductor, educator, animator of culture; ordinary professor dr. hab. Zygmunt Zagórski, a Polish philology expert, a lecturer at Poznań University, a member of academic societies and dr. engineer Adam Banaszkiewicz, a vice-president of the City Council of Częstochowa, a chairman of the Catholic Academic Club in Częstochowa, a co-operator of ‘Niedziela’ for many years. This year prize winners of the medal ‘Mater Verbi’ are: Fr. Prof. Andrzej Zwoliński, one of the most prominent Polish theologians dealing with the contemporary social phenomena; 99-year-old prelate priest Józef Strączek, a faithful reader of ‘Niedziela’ for 87 years; Fr. Prof. dr. hab. Mirosław Sitarz, a professor at the Catholic University of Lublin, the former editor of ‘Niedziela Lubelska’; professor of humanities Jan Żaryn, a historian, an academic teacher, a chief editor of ‘wSieci Historii’, prof. dr. hab. of medical science Zdzisław Jan Ryn, the former ambassador of the Polish Republic in Chile and Argentina, a psychiatrist, and from 2011 a chairman of the Polish Medicine and Mountaineering Rescue Society; prelate priest Józef Maj, the former parish priest of the church of St. Catherine in Warsaw, an academic priest, engaged for the sake of democracy; F. Ignacy Rękawek OSPPE, a custodian of the Jasna Góra Sanctuary; Fr. Wojciech Mikulski from the Editorial Office of Catholic Programs of the Polish Radio SA; the Association Parafiada of name of St. Józef Kalasancjusz in Warsaw, cooperating with ‘Niedziela’ within organizing pastoral actions; the State Nursery of Nazareth Sisters of name of blessed Franciszka Siedliska in Częstochowa, cooperating with ‘Moje Pismo Tęcza’.
Senator Grzegorz Bierecki, the chairman of the World Council of Credit Unions, was honoured with the supreme reward of the Catholic Weekly ‘Niedziela’ – the statuette ‘Sursum Corda’, who during the meeting in the auditorium, gave the presentation: ‘A place and a role of credit and cash union among financial institutions’. In the beginning he emphasized that although many of his titles and functions had been mentioned, he arrived at the pilgrimage of ‘Niedziela’, first of all, as its faithful reader.
Among prize winners there was unexpectedly, the chief editor of ‘Niedziela’ who received a statuette the Honourable Ambassador of Idea ‘The races 31000 of John Paul II for the Olympic Games 2020 in the International Year of John Paul II the Great’ from Tadeusz Głomb representing the Association ‘ANNA’.
The pilgrimage meeting in the editorial auditorium was enriched with the performances: Częstochowa music diaconia ‘The Bride of the Holy Spirit’ and Dominik Fijałkowski, a talented young man from Świebodzin, who sang solo and with the accompaniment of his sisters and parents.