There was twilight, the same as 12 years ago, when at 9:37 p.m. bells rang at the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Just another anniversary of the “Departure to the House of the Father” – anniversary of the death of the Polish Pope passed by. The Parliament of Canada in recognition of the merits for the world designated April 2nd as the “Pope John Paul II Day” in Canada. The John Paul II Foundation Saskatchewan Chapter selected this day to commemorate our Patron during the solemn Mass at the Polish Church of Our Lady of Czestochowa w Saskatoon. The Mass was celebrated by Rev. Andrzej Wychucki, who read the congratulatory letter on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Chapter. The letter was sent from Rome by the Administrator of the Foundation – Father Krzysztof Wieliczko (OSPPE). We heard congratulations, gratitude words, but also encouragement to continue in our good actions, so it could grow and bring good fruits. Father Krzysztof ensured us about prayers in our intention at the tomb of St. John Paul II.
In addition to the decorations for Lent, the side altar was decorated with a painting made by young artist from Poland, Barbara Iwaszkiewicz which was donated by members of the Chapter from Kindersley, Sk. – Liliana and Andrzej Klebek. The painting depicting the image of St. John Paul II (the mage from the canonization day) was decorated with white – red and white – yellow roses. Also, I would like to mention that in this parish there is a painting made by Polonia’s artist Elżbieta Yonza which was signed by John Paul II. This painting with the Pope’s autograph, as a priceless gift, was brought from Vatican by a group of young people from this parish who in 1997 were taking classes at the Summer University of the Polish Culture in Rome. The classes were organized as a part of the John Paul II Foundation’s activities.
After the Mass, in the parish hall, Bożena Kilanowski – President of the John Paul II Foundation Saskatchewan Chapter led a meeting dedicated to the Patron of that day. The meeting started with a prayer in which we were also asking that this ALIVE MONUMENT which the John Paul II Foundation is, served next generations well and was always looking for the new ways and forms of activities which will correspond to the need of the Church and challenges of often bitter modern times. Then, Artur Gudowski presented the Karol Wojtyła’s poem “Fear which is at the beginning.” The beautiful poem and presentation was rewarded with a warm applause. At the next point of the program, we listened to the John Paul II homily about the meaning of the word MY VIGIL (CZUWAM). The wise and still very important words felt deeply into hearts of listeners.
Bożena Kilanowski said few words about the Foundation reminding that special folders providing more information about the Foundation were available at the exhibition. She also presented a set of books which were also displayed on the exhibition and available for purchase. This set of books was provided by the Center for Documentation and Research of the Pontificate of John Paul II in Rome. The book with the highly eloquent title “Do not stop in this good deed – Papal’s speeches to the John Paul II Foundation” was also available for purchase also in English language. A tom of poetry prepared for the 35th anniversary of the John Paul II Foundation – “Written by hearts-Poetry Diptych for St. John Paul II” was also advertised. The introduction to this book describes it as “a literary monument carved with the poetry pen.” At the end, Bożena Kilanowski gave thanks to all for participation in this event, for their help, and especially thanked members and friends of the Saskatchewan Chapter of the John Paul II Foundation for their support with prayers and actions. Rev. Andrzej Wychucki thanked Bożena Kilanowski for organizing the Papal Day at our parish and asked for continuous support for this Church and charitable organization as well as encouraged to purchase books available at this event.
Poles who attended this event in a great number spent time buying books, making conversation, chatting with friends and enjoying coffee and a piece of cake which was served by the Polish School. Among attendees, there was our honorable consul dr. Wojciech Pniejnia Olszyński, who at the end personally expressed his gratitude for all work done by Bożena Kilanowski for the John Paul II Foundation. Anna Parkot who came for a visit from a different parish recalls the event: “I participated today in the celebrations of the John Paul II Day. I’m a Pole, but due to the localization of my house, I belong to a Canadian parish. Such occasions as today always force me to my family roots. Many people participated in today’s celebrations. All of us intensively listened to the JPII speech about vigil. What He said at that time is still valid and has powerful Evangelical power. The words of Karol Wojtyła’s poetry which was presented here brought our hearts closer to this Great Pole. Many books presented here were also available in English. It was a nice, warm and well organized event.” Summarizing note: during celebrations this year we were more open to contemplate words of St. John Paul II. It is better to say less about Him – but listen to Him more intensively. To turn on is to put into action the word MY VIGIL, applying it in our lives accordingly to our Father’s recommendations. Such attitude is the best proof of our gratitude for the gift of this extraordinary pontificate.
To see the interview with Father Krzysztof Wieliczko (OSPPE) – Administrator of the John Paul II in Rome please click on the link below. I highly recommend watching this interview that took place during his visit in Canada.
For readers of this article interested in activities of the John Paul II Foundation I would like to remind that a lot of information about the John Paul II pontificate and the Foundation which bears His name is available at the John Paul II Foundation’s website: www.fjp2.com
I highly recommend it.
Bożena Pawłowska-Kilanowski (Saskatoon, SK. Canada April 2, 2017)