On 3 June, 2016, in the auditorium at the St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr Church in Rome, a promotional meeting of a new book by Fr. Andrzej Dobrzyński took place. The book, entitled Kapłaństwo może być piękne. Twórcza moc ośmiu błogosławieństw (The Priesthood Can Be Beautiful. The Creative Power of the Beatitudes), was published by Homo Dei, the publishing house of the Redemptorists from Krakow, in cooperation with the Center for Documentation and Research of the Pontificate of John Paul II in Rome.
The meeting was conducted by Fr. Dr. Jan Główczyk and the experts on the priesthood in the academic work as well as in the ministry of preaching and retreat took part in it.
A director of Homo Dei, Fr. Dr. Piotr Koźlak CSsR, highlighted issues present in the book, emphasizing the question raised in the publication of the happiness in the life of priest that can be found in fulfilling one’s vocation in a living relationship with Jesus. The speaker presented also the structure of the book which consists of two parts. The first part, A Blessed Way, concerns the Beatitudes understood as the creative power resulting from the fidelity to Christ. The second part, A Blessed Ministry, shows profiles of four priests – Jean-Baptiste-Marie Vianney, Oscar Romero, Władysław Bukowiński, Tadeusz Juchas – who were experiencing the happiness in their vocation, affecting other people with their testimony of life.
In turn, the Fr. Dr. Paweł Ptasznik, an employee of the Secretariat of State of the Holy See, a rector of the St. Stanislaus church in Rome, presented the theme A Care for Priests in the Letters of St. John Paul II Written on Holy Thursday. He presented the teaching of the Holy Father on the priesthood, primarily drawn from two letters: one from 1979 and the second from 2000. In the first letter memorable words of John Paul II fell: “For you I am a bishop, with you I am a priest”, which express the reason for the constant concern of the Pope for priests so that they can more deeply realize the greatness of the unspeakable gift of grace. This gift involves an extremely important task – to reinvent the priesthood in the light of the Eucharist, the celebrated sacraments and the preached word of God.
Fr. Prof. Joseph Z. Kijas OFMConv, an employee of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints as well as a lecturer at the University of John Paul II in Krakow, spoke as the third speaker, answering the question in the title of his speech: Is the priesthood an interesting subject today? He pointed out that the term “priest” has become nowadays equivocal. In the secular culture the word “priest” has taken the sociological and social character, and the question of the vocation or the definition of “the priesthood” is getting more and more difficult to understand. The speaker also said that today the question of the priesthood maybe was not especially interesting to a wider group of people, but it was even necessary to take it and explain to the laity. Especially the priests themselves should still consider who they are and what their vocation is.
After these speeches Fr. Jan Główczyk recognized the author of the book, Fr. Andrzej Dobrzyński. Fr. Dobrzyński thanked all who contributed to the publication, and then presented one of the characters described in his book, Fr. Tadeusz Juchas. He described him as an example of the beautiful priesthood, dedicated to Christ and Mary, and to the service of the people.
The last speaker was Cardinal Stanisław Ryłko who, in addition to the congratulations directed at the author, referred to the just finishing celebration of the Jubilee for Priests in Rome. He also recalled the words of St. John Paul II about the priesthood as a gift that transcends recipients and emphasized the importance of the identity of the priest, the one who knows who he is and takes responsibility for it.
It should be finally mention that the meeting was organized by the Center for Documentation and Research of the Pontificate in Rome in cooperation with the publishing house Homo Dei and the Chaplaincy at the St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr Church in Rome.
A. Dobrzyński, Kapłaństwo może być piękne. Twórcza moc ośmiu błogosławieństw,
Kraków: Homo Dei, 2016, pp. 424.