Pain and hope accompanied the attendees of the funeral ceremony of the deceased lawyer Maciej Bednarkiewicz, which took place In Warsaw on November 17th. Among the many faithful, we – management, workers, and fellowship awardees of the John Paul II Foundation in Lublin – were also present.
All attendees experienced pain as we had to say goodbye to the Man with a big heart, indomitable patriot, exquisite lawyer, defender of oppressed under the martial law.
We said goodbye mainly to the long-standing member of the Administrative Council of the John Paul II Foundation in Rome, friend of young people, a father who worried about children who were participating in the Foundation’s fellowship award program for over 20 years.
However, above all we have hope that “the souls of the just are in the hand of God (…) and their hope is full of immortality” (Book of Wisdom 3, 1-3) We are convinced that Mr. Bednarkiewicz already enjoys the joy of heaven and from up there he accompanies us in our pilgrimage to the Father’s House.
Early in the morning we set off on two buses from Lublin to Warsaw. During our trip, we were entrusting to the Merciful Father the soul of the late lawyer. We were also praying for the necessary graces for his wife, son, daughter in law and the entire family.
In the packed Cathedral of St. John the Baptist at 10 a.m. the funeral mass was celebrated by Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz. The Eucharist was concelebrated by several bishops and dozens of priests. At the beginning of the ceremony, late Maciej Bednarkiewicz, former president of the Supreme Bar Council, was posthumously awarded with the Commander’s Cross with Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta. The award from the hands of the President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda, accepted the wife of the deceased, Ewa Bednarkiewicz.
Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz delivered the sermon. The president of the John Paul II Foundation stressed the merits of Mr. Bednarkiewicz in His fight for free and fairs Poland and His boundless and generous commitment to the John Paul II Foundation, especially to the fellowship program which is provided in Lublin. Former Secretary of St. John Paul II also depicted Mr. Bednarkiewicz as a man of deep faith who was completely devoted to His family.
The funeral ceremony at the Powiązki Cemetery started at 12.30 p.m. The ceremony was led by Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz. After the occasional speeches, among which there was a very poignant voice of the miner from the “Wujek” mine, the witness of the tragic events of December 16, 1981, the body of the deceased was placed in the tomb.
“I won't leave you – said the Little Prince – I will look as if I'm dead... and that won't be true."
About some, the world forgets very quickly; others, although gone will stay in the memory forever as they lived well.
See You in heaven, Mr. Bednarkiewicz!
Rev. Jan Strzałka SCJ