I was not prepared for this; I did not graduate from any diplomatic school. I just graduated from a standard PhD program, theology studies, He answers with disarming sincerity. Quickly, he learned that John Paul II was not looking for a diplomat. After having somebody from Ireland, Zaire, and Vietnam, he wanted to have somebody, another person from Poland. From the very beginning, he had “Stasiu”, as he used to call his Secretary Stanisław Dziwisz. On Ash Wednesday in 1996, “Mieciu”- the way he used to call Mieczysław Mokrzycki – joined us. In the Papal apartments, it got even more Polish, more like a family. Like a family, we felt discreet and among our closed ones. Discretion was becoming more and more desirable, as the Pope was getting older and sicker. He not only needed someone who will organize the work in the office, but someone who will hold him in the moment of weakness, who will help him to clean and change clothes.
– How did your first meeting with him look like? The one from which everything started?
– The Holy Father invited me to his office and said: “I would like to have you working with me, helping priest Stanisław. And, I believe that our cooperation will be smooth.” These were very simple words. I was happy and expressed my gratitude.
– Was there some anxiety?
– I was afraid. Previously, I had the opportunity to meet with the Holy Father, but in quite different circumstances. Not in a private house, the apartment of the Holy Father.
– What were you afraid the most?
– That I will not be able to do it as I was not prepared for this kind of work. However, the anxiety soon disappeared, as I learned quickly that the Holy Father was not looking for a very well educated diplomat. He accepted everyone the way he/she was and was seeing how much they can offer to others. This was very motivating, so I was able to respond to the call, to the need of the Holy Father, in the best possible way. To each meeting I was going with peace in mind, without any stress or anxiety.
With the consent of Archbishop Mokrzycki – “He liked Tuesdays the most”
M Publisher, Krakow 2008