On October 29, 2016, the John Paul II Foundation Chicago Chapter hosted at the St. Ferdinand Church His Eminency Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Cardinal came with Prelate Sławomir Śledziewski, his personal secretary and Rev. Walter (Ted) Oxley who works for the congregation to bless the figure of St. John Paul II. The figure was donated by Teodozja and Jerzy Fey, members of the Chicago Chapter. The figure was placed in the garden of the Virgin Mary at the Parish of St. Ferdinand. It was made of bronze and cooper by Karol Badyna, artist-sculptor from Krakow. The figure depicts the Pope sitting on the bench and praying Rosary. Next to the Pope there is a place to sit, pray, meditate about his teachings; remember about his intercession. Upon the blessing and solemn mass which was celebrated by Polonia’s priests, a banquet was held to honor the distinguished Guest from Vatican and which was prepared by the Chicago Chapter.
Celebrations of the 35th anniversary of the John Paul II Foundation started on October 21, 2016, the day before the liturgical remembrance of Saint John Paul II. Five hundred individuals from five continents: North America, South America, Australia and Oceania, Asia, and Europe attended the anniversary celebrations. Among attendees there were presidents, members, and benefactors of the John Paul II Foundation Chapters from 19 countries as well as many distinguished guests as Stanisław Cardinal Dziwisz, Stanisław Cardinal Ryłko, Kazimierz Cardinal Nycz, Abp Józef Kowalczyk, Abp Petrus Turan, Bp Jan Szkodoń, Bp Petrus Canisius Mandagi as well as 50 priests and many others.
The celebrations began on Friday before noon with the private audience with the Holy Father Francis, who addressed all attendees with the following words:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
XXXV ANNIVERSARY OF THE JOHN PAUL II FOUNDATION
Polish House, October 23, 2016
“Be grateful…” (Col 3,15)
My Dear Members and Friends of the John Paul II Foundation!
We gather together in this beautiful chapel of the Polish House to celebrate the 35the anniversary of our Foundation. The Words of the God, as we heard a few minutes ago, encourages us to celebrate the jubilee in such way. It reminded us that the leading threat of each jubilee is gratefulness. In the first reading, from the Letter to the Colossians, St. Paul encourages us: “With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms and hymns and inspired songs to God and never say or do anything except in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him…” The attitude of thankfulness towards God and people is from end to end a Christian attitude, as in the center of a Christian life is the Eucharist that is thanksgiving. It is worth to remember this in our times, when sometimes it is difficult to say this short, but how important word: thank you…So much we are getting from God! So much we are getting from our neighbor: beginning with our parents…! The Apostle is cautioning us “What do you have that you did not receive?” Are we able to be grateful?
St. Peter's Basilica, 23 X 2016
Brothers and Sisters!
1. The Gospel is the book of prayer. It is also a book about prayer. Listening to the words and stories written in this holy book of the word we learn more about our Lord, we are getting closer to the inconceivable and invisible God, who revealed to us His face and name in the face and name of Jesus of Nazareth, true God and true man. Jesus on multiple occasions tells us in the Scriptures about a prayer, He teaches us to pray with words but also by providing examples. He teaches us by His private prayer, a conversation with His Father, which sometimes is ongoing through the entire night or takes place in the early morning before the intensive day.
Also, today’s Gospel provides an important lesson about a prayer. Jesus demonstrates two attitudes, two examples of a prayer, radically different. An example of how we should not pray is the attitude of the Pharisee, who was considered as fair, conceited, giving thanks to God for he is not the same as others, who isolates himself and who looks down on others, also present in the temple Pharisees. This conceited man, praises himself in front of God for his attitude and offerings he gave. God could not like such prayer as, in fact, the self-centered man did not need God. In contrast, simple and humble prayer of the tax collector went to the heart of God. The tax collector who – as marked by St. Luke – “stood at a distance; He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” (Luke 18, 13) This man, sinner, but searching for help in God’s mercy, needed God. ’ He was could not be accepted by God
Rome, October 22, 2016
Declare his glory among the nations.
With those words from the liturgy of the Holy Mass about saint John Paul II celebrated today, on the day of the obligatory remembrance of saint John Paul II, pope (October 22, 2016), I welcome and greet all who gathered in this Rome’s church Beata Maria Vergine Immaculata located near the Polish House by Via Casia 1200. This is another anniversary of the Pope John Paul II’s pontificate inauguration and the 35th anniversary of the establishment of the Vatican’s Foundation which bears His name. Inspired by the words of the response psalm of today’s liturgy, we would like to praise the Lord in the holy tabernacle and offer to God rich in mercy thanksgiving offering of adoration.
I’m expressing joy and gratitude for in this thanksgiving participates: executive leadership (Card. Stanisław Dziwisz) and administrative leadership with the President Card. Stanisław Ryłko; representations from various sectors of the Foundation and Foundation’s Chapters from around the world, coworkers, benefactors, friends and all who are present here in person or spiritually, whose names are listed on the special plaques at the Polish House and other places.