On May 17 -20, 2019, Cardinal StanisławRyłko along with Fr. Krzysztof Wieliczko at the invitation of Prelate Antoni Czarnecki visited Webster, MA. The 99thanniversary of the birth of St. John Paul II and the 125thanniversary of the Parish‘s school and the inauguration of the new sport facilities and gymnasium was the reason of the visit.
On May 19th during the solemn thanksgiving Mass, Cardinal Ryłko congratulated all and especially Prelate Czarnecki this beautiful initiative of creating new sport facilities and gymnasium, which is a sign of parishioners’ generosity and commitment in the education of the younger generation. This ceremony also in a beautiful way crowned the longstanding spiritual service of Prelate Czarnecki at the parish. During the Eucharist Cardinal Ryłko gave thanks to God for Fr. Antoni’s devoted spiritual service, highlighting at the same time his effort of many years which bears now abundant fruits of faith, hope and love at the parish. Cardinal Ryłko stated also very personal words to the Pastor: “With the Prelate Antoni Czarnecki I have a longstanding friendship and cooperation. The Prelate actively supports the Vatican’s John Paul II Foundation, which I am overseeing. My presence at your parish is an expression of the gratitude for his filial love to St. John Paul II as well as for his contribution to our Foundation, which the main goal includes the care of this this great Pope, John Paul II, spiritual heritage which he left to the Church and world.”
In the afternoon, there was a meeting of the presidents of the Foundation’s Chapters from Canada, USA and Indonesia. At first, Ms. Barbara Pyśk, president of the John Paul II Foundation New England Chapter welcomed all guests: Cardinal StanisławRyłko, Fr. Krzysztof Wieliczko, Administrator of the Foundation and the Chapter’s Presidents: Lucy Liando from Indonesia, Barbara Popielak from Colorado, BogusławaDoerr from Southern California, MieczysławBoksz from New Jersey, Anthony Togliatti and Fr. Erik Orzech from Ohio, RyszardKrzyżanowski from Philadelphia, Cecylia and Raymond Glembocki from Washington, WiesławaChrapka from Toronto, Stefan Władysiuk from Montreal. The Chapter presidents gave an update from the actives of the Chapter.
On May 18, 2019 the celebrations of the 99th anniversary of the Great Saint John Paul II took place. During the solemn Mass, Cardinal Ryłko presented the remarkable Pope, who put a deep mark on the life of the Church and the world. He depicted St. John Paul II as the person who despite passing years still fascinates people; the Pope who lives in the hearts of many people and their grateful memory. It is visible in the magnitude of the visitors who in deep prayers kneel in front of his tomb and relics at the St. Peter’s Basilica and as in the past, they are asking for his intercession prayers. Cardinal Ryłko emphasized that: “We need to say that at the altar of the Pope’s relics there is never ending, we can say, audience with John Paul II. “The Pope, who does not die.” This is the characteristic of all saints: they are alive. After the departure to the House of the Father, they become even more present to us than during their lives.”
Continuing the homily, Cardinal Ryłko asked: “Who actually was John Paul II to the Church, to the world, to Poland, for each of us? You cannot pass by John Paul II without any feelings. We continue to feel the internal shortage that we still do not know Him well enough. So, who was John Paul II? Foremost, St. John Paul II was a man of deep faith. The man of great prayers and deep contemplation, the man who was living immersed in the mystery of God and to whom prayers were a true passion. Many converted seeing him celebrating a Mass, immersed in prayers. John Paul II is also the man of great actions and a tireless pilgrim of the Gospel, a true prophet of our times: He boldly called to respect human rights, but also – most of all- God’s rights in the world. As any prophet, Joh Paul II was for many people inconvenient as he was not afraid to proclaim the truth; thus, on the memorable day in 1981, the bullet pierced his body at the St. Peter’s Square. John Paul II is the Pope marked by the cross of illness suffering and old age, which he was not ashamed of, but with dignity going through that in the eyes of the entire world, faithful to his mission of the successor of Peter to the end. John Paul II is a great Apostle of Divine Mercy. The proclamation to the world about God rich in mercy was the guiding line of his entire pontificate. It was not a coincidence that he went to the House of the Father on the Eve of the Divine Mercy Sunday on April 2, 2005. And, his canonization took place exactly on the Dive Mercy Sunday in 2014.
How great is the richness of the spiritual heritage which John Paul II left us. His person and his pontificate are for us the gift, a great gift – but also a great challenge and an urgent task. It is not enough to admire John Paul II! That is not enough! We must, first of all, deepen our knowledge about his teaching and transform that knowledge into an action. From that sense of responsibility for the John Paul II pontificate, was created this great work of the Foundation, which bears his name. The Foundation puts as one of the main goals deepening studies and research of the John Paul II teachings and at the same time, spreading the knowledge among people from various countries via the Foundation Chapters.”
At the end Cardinal StanisławRyłko expressed gratitude to Monsignor Antoni Czarnecki for his great contributions to the Foundation. Thank you, words were also directed to all members of the Foundation’s Chapters who were present at the celebrations. Cardinal expressed his gratitude for their efforts to preserve the spiritual heritage of the Great Pole.
After the solemn Mass at the St. Joseph Basilica in Webster, all presidents and guest were invited to a dinner during which they were sharing their Chapters’ activities and successes. It was a time to summarize activities of the Chapters and to discuss plans for the future. As the result a decision was made in regard to the peregrination of the Triptych depicting Our Lady of Jasna Góra, St. John Paul II and Sister Faustina holding the image of Divine Mercy.
At the end of the celebrations, Vespers were sung in Latin language at that Basilica. After the blessing, all were invited to a banquet. Beside the distinguished guest, Cardinal StanisławRyłko, many priests and nuns as well as multiple guests participated in the celebrations.