I would like to share with you the news that on December 28th the Holy Father Francis appointed me as the Archpriest of the Archpriest of Saint Mary Major Basilica in Rome, while on February 2nd, on the feast of Our Lady of Candlemas, I solemnly started this honorable service. All pilgrims traveling to the Eternal City know this place very well. This Basilica is the oldest Marian’s shrine in the West and its origin goes back to the Council of Ephesus in the year 431, which defined the dogma of Divine Motherhood of Mary. This Basilica is characterized by an extraordinary beauty of the architecture and works of art and it is considered the mother of all Marian shrines in the Christian world, a priceless monument of faith and love of so many generations of Christians to the Blessed Mother, venerated there in the famous Icon called Salus Populi Romani, that means: Salvation of the Roman People…This place was and is visited by Holy Fathers and saints as well as many faithful people from around the world. This is an important spiritual heritage which involves over 15 centuries of history and which forces us to reflect: how we should live today with this heritage? How to pass on this legacy to the next generation?...
On Tuesday, February 14th, 2017, at the Chapel of the John Paul II Foundation Home in Lublin, a solemn Mass was celebrated on the occasion of the feast of St. Cyril and St. Methodius. The Mass was celebrated by Rev. dr. Marek Słomka, former secretary of late Archbishop Józef Życiński, rector of the Seminary at the Archdiocese of Lublin, and now a teacher at the Catholic University of Lublin. The Mass was co-celebrated by Rev. Zdzisław Kozioł – Sacred Heart priest, Rev. Robert Ptak and priests- fellowship awardees.
Among others, in his sermon, Rev. Marek pointed out on the missionary activities of the Friars in the lands inhabited by the Slavs. He also encouraged all participants of the Mass to proclaim the word of God in the places where they spent their days. Each Christian is called to the apostolic mission of proclaiming God who is merciful love, desiring the salvation of every human being.
Usually, one of the most dominant events of the Parish Chapter of the John Paul II Foundation is an annual Christmas Wafer meeting at the Polish Embassy in Paris. That was also the case this year. On January 28, 2017 in the beautiful interior of the embassy, we met together to, most of all make New Year’s wishes while sharing the Christmas Wafer, but also to see the music and verbal program and sing Christmas Carols. Among gathered guests there was: Rector of the Polish Catholic Mission (PCM) in France, Rev. Bogusław Brzyś; Rev. Mitered Prelate Stanisław Jeż – prior Rector of the PCK and honorary President of the John Paul II Foundation Paris Chapter; Ambassador Dariusz Wiśniewski and Consul Hubert Czerniuk. Present was also Ms. d’Ornano – longstanding benefactor of the Foundation and members of the Chapter’s board: Mr. & Mrs. Brzakowski, Rogowski and Tomkiewicz as well as the Pastor of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Church in Paris, Rev. Paweł Witkowski. The Ambassador opened the meeting. After greeting all guests, in his speech, he related to the heritage of John Paul II as an integral part of the history of Poland and the Church. He emphasized that it is important, especially for us, Poles, to refer to the teaching and heritage of John Paul II, so the Holy Father was not only a historic person, but we should keep in our hearts, memory and actions, all what John Paul II was saying as a theologian, philosopher and as a Pole, our Countryman. Then, Mr. Brzakowski, President of the Chapter, expressed his gratitude to the Administrative Council and Board of the Chapter for their commitment as well as he gave thanks to the people who are overseeing preparation of the bulletin. He summarized prior year which was reach in events, among which we can list: