On January 27th, once again the John Paul II Foundation New Jersey Chapter joined the March for Life in Washington, DC. This year, it was the 44th March for Life, as so many years passed since the sad decision of the United States Supreme Court legalizing abortion, which in fact is a permission to kill unborn children.
The Founder of our Foundation, Saint John Paul II, was always a great protector of unborn lives, thus members of our New Jersey Chapter of the John Paul II Foundation with their presence demonstrated support for the civilization of life, not death. This year, due to inauguration of President Donald Trump, the March for Life was held one week later than usually. The weather was nice, although it was windy and the wind was affecting our pro-life banners. For the very first time in the history, highest ranking official, Mike Pence, the Vice President of the United States participated in the March for Life. He also made a speech to address thousands of attendees of the March. Additionally, the March was covered in the media in the bigger extend as in prior years, when it was omitted and ignored by liberal media due to uncomfortable subject.
On Saturday, January 21, 2017 in the sanctuary of St. John Paul II in Krakow, a thanksgiving Mass for the ministry of Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz was celebrated. After over 11 years, Cardinal Dziwisz ends overseeing the Archdiocese of Krakow.
Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz was the 76th bishop in the Cathedral of St. Stanislaus in Krakow. On June 3, 2015, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Cardinal Dziwisz as the archbishop of Krakow. On June 29th, he received the pallium at the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, while on August 27th took place the liturgical ingress to the Wawel’s Cathedral and canonically, Cardinal Dziwisz took over the ministry of the Archdiocese of Krakow. From the hands of the Holy Father Benedict XVI, he also received the cardinal’s hat at the consistory which took place on March 24, 2006. Cardinal Dziwisz took over his titular church in Rome – Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo (the Virgin Mary Popolo) on October 24, 2006. Cardinal Dziwisz was a member of the Congregation for Catholic Education and three pontifical councils: for Social Communications, Laity, and Health Pastoral Cares. He belongs also to the Permanent Councils of the Polish Bishops’ Conference. In 2013, Cardinal Dziwisz participated in the conclave at which Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio SI was elected as the Pope. He hosted two popes in Krakow: Benedict XVI in 2006 and Francis in 2016. Cardinal Dziwisz presided over the work of the committee which was overseeing the World Youth Days organization. For the World Youth Days, more than 2 million young people from over 180 countries from around the world came to Krakow in 2016.
Florida is preparing for the solemn presentation of the St. John Paul II relic in the Church in Royal Palm Beach
The Chapter of the John Paul II Foundation in Florida along with the Pastor of Our Lady Queen of the Apostles parish in Royal Palm Beach, Rev. Andy Rudnicki, cordially invites all, who love, respect, and admires this extraordinary Pole, who is well known as St. John Paul II, for this special celebration. On March 5, 2017 during the solemn Mass at the Catholic Church in Royal Palm Beach will take presentation of the first class relic of St. John Paul II. From that date, Faithfull will be able to pray on a daily basis in front of the relic of St. John Paul II, asking for help, a grace of healing, and give thanks for graces already received.
The relic brought over to Florida in January of the last year by Fr. Krzysztof Wieliczko, Administrator of the John Paul II Foundation in Vatican, was stored in the parish building. Meantime, preparations for the adequate placement in the church were ongoing. The members of the Foundation’s Chapter board along with the Pastor A. Rudnicki decided that the relic will be placed in the spot prepared especially for this purpose. It will be placed in the nave beside the St. John Paul II monument which is standing in the church for many years and by which many parishioners and guests visiting Florida were gathering to pray after each mass. The parish has more than 2200 Catholic families. To this, especially in the winter season, we should add hundreds who are visiting Florida from other states, as well as from Poland and other countries. Many of them are convinced that thanks to their imploring prayers for the intercession of St. John Paul II, Polish Pope, their lives were changed for better. They experienced the grace of healing from serious, sometimes deadly sickness, or the grace of setting free from addiction, or they were able to overcome their troubles. One of the young parishioners, a woman from Haiti, with tears recalls that thanks to prayers to, at that time Blessed John Paul II, after many years she received the grace of motherhood.
The Irish Chapter held its first gathering of 2017 at St. Aidan's Monastery in Ferns, Co Wexford. A Holy Hour of Adoration took place at 7pm with intercessory prayers to Saint John Paul II for all families in Ireland. Fr. Billy Swan celebrated Holy Mass at 8pm and during his homily he spoke about the importance of prayer in our daily lives.
Our gathering coincided with the feast day of St. Anthony who was a professional contemplative and devoted his whole life to prayer. He would detach from things of this world to become closer to God.
We are now in the New Year with a fresh reminder of how we all need to stay connected to God and no better way than through "Anchoring of the Soul" as in the exercise of prayer, turning to God in our every need throughout the day.
The John Paul II Foundation was established on October 16, 1981 by the Holy Father. In the current year the Foundation celebrates the 35th anniversary. From October 22-24, 2016 in Rome took place the anniversary celebrations which were attended by the Foundation’s friends from around the world. There were representatives from 48 Chapters from 18 countries. The main goal of the Foundation is dissemination of the spiritual heritage of Saint John Paul II as well as educational and financial help for young people from Eastern Europe and Indonesia, who are studying at the Catholic universities in Krakow and Lublin.
Joining the anniversary celebrations, the New York Chapter of the John Paul II Foundation organized a concert “In honor of Saint John Paul II”. The concert which took place on November 13, 2016 at the Polish-Slavic Center in Greenpoint features young artists. The concert included pieces from classical music, religious, sacral, musical, popular and patriotic songs. Pianist Robert Argasiński with virtuosity played F. Chopin’s “Mazurek B-dur op.17” and presented his own piano composition “Waltz Apassionata.” It was for the audience a very nice surprise as we were one of the first once to listen to this piece. Sebastian Muzeja selected F. Chopin’s “Waltz A-dur” and P.Czajkowski’s “The Seasons: April.” Maja Kędzia presented on flute L. van Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” and A. Vivaldi’s “Four seasons: Spring.” Weronika Kołacz played on violin two pieces: J.S. Bach “Ave Maria” and “Gavotte.” Veronica Policht sang in soprano F. Schubert “Ave Maria” and “Geheimes” and a prayer “The Lord Prayer” by A. Maelotte. Julia Raczkowska presented song of C. Frank to the words of St. Thomas Aquinas “Panis Angelikus.” Julia Raczkowski selected song from “Quia Respexit” from J. S. Bach’s oratorio “Magnificat.”