OUR CHIEF EDITOR IS STILL OUR LADY
The editorial team of ‘Niedziela’ was experiencing a historical moment of changing the chief editor on 30 June 2014. Fr. Inf. Ireneusz Skubis was replaced on this post by the editor Lidia Dudkiewicz. Fr. Skubis, having reached the retirement age, gave himself to disposal of the Metropolitan of Czestochowa, according to the provisions of the canonic law.
The ceremony was started with the Holy Mass concelebrated by archbishop Waclaw Depo. At the altar there were also: Fr. Ireneusz Skubis, Fr. Jacek Molka, Fr. Mariusz Frukacz and Fr. Marek Bator, a director of Caritas in Czestochowa.
Thanking the Priest Editor for his ministry lasting for nearly three decades, archbishop Depo quoted a long list of his merits. Fr. Skubis not only built this nationwide weekly from the basis but he also gave it a unique form and led to the flourish of the weekly on an unusual scale. ‘Niedziela’ is one of two most popular Catholic weeklies in Poland now. It is opinion-making and creative newspaper – as one of our friends emphasizes.
Faithful to the truth
The Metropolitan of Czestochowa said: - We want to experience this Eucharist in the spirit of thanksgiving for the person of Fr. Inf. Ireneusz Skubis and his ministry not only for ‘Niedziela’, but also for the community of the Church – this local one which we create here, but also the universal Church. Archbishop Depo quoted the words of St. John Paul II from his meeting with journalists in 2000, when he wished Polish journalists to keep freedom of thinking and good judgment of the reality. ‘Be faithful to the truth’ – the Pope was saying then. – I think that in these papal words today we find a motif of gratitude towards ministry of Fr. Skubis in the Church for many years and in many ways. Here it must be reminded that Fr. Inf. Ireneusz Skubis, conducting our weekly, also became a kind of a bridge – or a fundament – for many other works: the church of the personal parish of St. Ireneusz in Czestochowa, construction and equipment of the Higher Seminary and Radio Fiat; he supported Catholic schools or a work of pilgrimages to Czestochowa. I thank for these works, an example of cooperation in solidarity in the Church and I give all this into the hands of the only Intermediary between us and God – our Lord Jesus Christ – said archbishop Depo.
An honoured Chief Editor
In the end of the Eucharist the Metropolitan of Czestochowa added that each of us, to our possibilities, contributes to this good which God prepared for others. –Therefore, saying the words of recognition and gratitude towards the presbytery of the Church in Czestochowa on 20 June, during official farewell ceremonies in our Seminary, I maintained and still maintain the request that Fr. Inf. Ireneusz Skubis would still be present in mass media and in the Church of Czestochowa. I announce that he is granted the title of the Honoured Chief Editor of ‘Niedziela’. The editorial team expressed joy about this decision with applause.
Being emotionally moved, Fr. Skubis said: - I have been related to ‘Niedziela’ for 33 years, so my departure is not easy! But it has been sweetened with what Archbishop had said. Because I would still like to serve to the Church – as long as I have strength and intellect. And I take this strength from the Church, from what I learnt from cardinal Wyszynski, cardinal Wojtyla – the Holy Father later, from bishop Barela, who appointed me the editor of ‘Niedziela’ in 1981.
Keeping a line
After the Holy Mass, employees of ‘Niedziela’ gathered in the aula were impatiently waiting for announcing the surname of a new chief editor. When archbishop Depo said the surname of editor Lidia Dudkiewicz, the deputy of the chief editor and the Secretary of the editorial office so far, there was a loud applause. ‘Please, continue and develop the great work created by Fr. Inf. Ireneusz Skubis and realize the planned purposes, according to the teaching of the Catholic Church. Let the selfless work on such a responsible post be an occasion for You to testify love to God and Homeland’ – we read in the decree setting a new chief editor of ‘Niedziela’.
Fr. Ireneusz Skubis mentioned that the editor Lidia Dudkiewicz had been eomployed in ‘Niedziela’ earlier than him. – it happened in such a prophetic way that it is her who becomes my successor today. I am glad about it, because, as I think, the line of the newspaper will be maintained. And this line is faithfulness to the Church and recognition that the Main Editor of ‘Niedziela’ is Our Lady of Jasna Gora. I want to congratulate and thank Mrs. Lidia. She has done excellent things for ‘Niedziela’. She has run the newspaper in the substantive respect for years, so I am sure that she will cope with the merits of ‘Niedziela’. And I thank Archbishop for this decision. Thanks to it I will be calm.
Further thanks of Fr. Iremeusz Skubis comprised his closest cooperators. Thanks were addressed to the departments of correction and adjustment, photocomposition, as well as graphics, employees of accountancy, television and radio studio, distribution and publishing department of books, including ‘My Rainbow Magazine’ and people taking care of the order in the editorial office.
The newspaper and ballet
– What an event we have got! – said Lidia Dudkiewicz in the beginning. – The woman on the helm of the Catholic weekly…. First of all, I thank Father Archbishop for great trustfulness. I will say that it helped me make the decision. Well, Priest Archbishop confessed that he had prayed in this intention at the grave of St. John Paul II, so one cannot back out – John Paul II said about it on Westerplatte, pope Francis repeats it many times. If it is by the will of Heaven, then I accept it. I also admire the courage of Priest Archbishop in his decision. I am calm because I feel more and more that I am in the hands of God and in the hands of Mary who still remains the Main Editor of ‘NIedziela’…
Lidia Dudkiewicz also mentioned an important event for her, which perfectly describes the character of the newspaper’s editor. – Once Bishop Jozef Zawitkowski wrote a letter to me (the text was published in the book edited under the nickname of Fr. Tymoteusz entitled: ‘Referrals letters’, Dehon, Krakow 2005). He wrote: I cannot do many things, but what astonish me are preparing a newspaper and ballet’. He compared creating a newspaper to a ballerina’s dance. A big staff works on her performance. It is similar in an editorial office where many people work who are invisible for readers. But there is one more element in the letter, which would seem sad. ‘Lidia, and what do you feel when there are returns or when somebody throws the newspaper away into a bin? – asks bishop Zawitkowski. Supposedly, I answered then – which he wrote in the letter – that we are a bit sad, but this is such a fate of the newspaper. We must simply make the new one.
And it has been so for 33 years.