On Sunday, September 25, 2016 in the John Paul II's auditorium at the Polish church in Rome, took place an extraordinary meeting. At the invitation of the John Paul II Foundation in Rome and the Museum of Family House of John Paul II in Wadowice came to Rome Królikiewicz Halina Kwiatkowska, actress, educator, partner stage of Karol Wojtyła. She was the daughter of Jan Królikiewicz, director of the Marcin Wadowity's Gymnasium in Wadowice, where Wojtyła was a student. She met him in Wadowice's interschool theater. They performed together in "Antigone," "Balladyna" and "Maiden Vows". After graduating from the high school in 1938, along with Wojtyła, she began to study Polish philology at the Jagiellonian University. During the occupation, she studied in secret, worked and carried across the border letters of Karol Wojtyła and Mieczysław Kotlarczyk. Like Wojtyła, she performed in the underground Mieczyslaw Kotlarczyk's theater Rapsodyczny. Rehearsals were held at Tyniecka 10, where Wojtyla lived. Halina's husband, writer Tadeusz Kwiatkowski was also a friend of Wojtyła. Their daughter, Monika, was the first child baptized by the young priest Wojtyła. The actress has performed on the stages of Kraków's theathers: J.Słowacki Theatre and the Old Theatre. For many years she also taught at the Theatre School in Kraków. She is the author of dramas, plays, a book on good manners, as well as memories about Karol Wojtyła: "The great colleague." She participated in meetings of Wadowice's students with Pope John Paul II.
It is with great sadness that we learned that our friend, Walter Zachariasiewicz has died at the age of 105. He lived in Washington, D.C., capital of the United States of America. Although great distance from Rome, Walter Zachariasiewicz has had a great influence on our Foundation and throughout the world. As a matter of fact, he was the originator of the idea of establishing John Paul II Foundation and of setting up chapters of Friends throughout the world. All these ideas were gladly accepted by Saint John Paul II and all other supporters of the Holy Father that gathered in Rome some 35 years ago.
Walter Zachariasiewicz was a splendid idea man. With his deep Catholic faith, he strongly believed that John Paul II Papacy would have enormous impact on the future of our Church. One of his particular concerns was the Catholic Church in former communist countries and other areas where it was persecuted and discriminated against by local governments. And it is in these countries that the Foundation had initial splendid success through student recruitment and Catholic education. Thus, the Foundation flourished and achieved remarkable results during the Papacy of John Paul II. Today, we all continue to build on these solid foundations of success.
For many years, Walter served as a member on the Board of the Rome Institution, sharing his experiences and wisdom with all of us.
Władysław Zachariasiewicz was born on November 7, 1911 in Kraków and graduated from Jagiellonian University with a law degree. Active in the World League of Poles Abroad, he was the last surviving member of this renowned pre-war organization. In September 1939 Zachariasiewicz fought in the Defense of Poland. Captured by Soviet forces, he was sent to a GULAG in the Archangelsk region. Released from captivity after the Sikorski-Mayski Agreement, he became an official of the Polish government tasked with assisting Poles who were being released from Soviet captivity. He was subsequently arrested by the Soviet NKVD and held for several difficult months. Exiled from the USSR, Zachariasiewicz was sent at the behest of the Polish government in exile to Constantinople, London and later Rome to care for Polish soldiers serving in General Anders’ II Polish Corps. In 1948 he emigrated to the United States, where he continued his involvement on behalf of the Polish cause and cared for Polish refugees. Numerous Polish-American organizations benefited immensely from his dedication and leadership, including the National Council of Polish Cultural Clubs, the Polish American Congress and the Pulaski Parade Committee to name a few. Władysław Zachariasiewicz was elected to the Board of Directors of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty and personally appointed by the Holy Father to the Board of Directors of the John Paul II Foundation. Until his death, he was very active at the Foundation.
Spotkanie irlandzkiego Koła Fundacji Jana Pawła II odbyło się 9 sierpnia, 2016 roku w kościele św. Aidana w Ferns Co. Wexford. Podczas godzinnej adoracji odczytane zostały, m.in. urywek encykliki Jana Pawła II z listu Salvifici Doloris o chrześcijańskim znaczeniu cierpienia, oraz z Ewangelii św. Jana 4:7-21 o Bożej miłości. Na zakończenie wspólnie razem odmówiliśmy modlitwę wstawienniczą do św. Jana Pawła II z prośbą o błogosławieństwo dla rodzin.
Mszę św. odprawił i wygłosił do nas Słowo Boże ksiądz Tom Clowe, SDB z Dublinu. Ksiądz Clowe jest ze zgromadzenia Księży Salezjanów i obecnie pracuje w Ayrfield. W homilii skierowanej do nas ksiądz Tom przypomniał nam o św. Teresie Benedykcie od Krzyża (Edyta Stein) z okazji przypadającego jej święta. Mówiąc o jej zasługach dla Kościoła, zaznaczył, że beatyfikacja w 1987 roku, a 12 lat później kanonizacja odbyła się za pontyfikatu Jana Pawła II. Jesteśmy wdzięczni księdzu Clowe, za odprawienie Mszy św., za wygłoszone Słowo Boże i wspólną modlitwę. Zaprosiliśmy go ponownie na nasze kolejne spotkania.
Around 100,000 people filled Saint Peter's Square to attend the most awaited canonization ceremony of the year.
Some Missionaries of Charity sat in the front rows, accompanied by around 1,500 impoverished men and women sitting in the front rows.
With these words, Pope Francis officially declared the Mother of the poor a saint in the Catholic Church.
"We declare and define Blessed Teresa of Calcutta be saint and we enroll her among the saints.”