July 28, 1948 – Rev. Karol Wojtyła took his first assignment in Niegowić

“As soon as I reached Cracow, I went to the Metropolitan Curia to receive my first “assignment”, the so called aplikata. The Archbishop was then in Rome, but he has left written instructions.  I accepted the appointment with joy.  Immediately, I inquired how to get to Niegowić and made plans to be there on the day pointed.  I went from Cracow to Gdów by bus, and from there a local man gave me a ride in his cart to the village of Marszowice; from there he advised me to take a shortcut through the fields on foot.  I could already see the church of Niegowić in the distance. It was harvest time.  I walked through the fields of grain with the crops in part already reaped, and in part still waving in the wind.  When I finally reached the territory of Niegowić parish, I knelt down and kissed the ground.  It was a gesture, I had learned from Saint John Mary Vinney.  In the church I made a visit to the Blessed Sacrament and then introduced myself to the parish priest, Monsignor Kazimierz Buzała, dean of Niepołomice and parish priest of Niegowić, who welcomed me very cordially and after a brief conservation showed me the curate’s quarters.”- this way John Paul II recalls his first encounter with Niegowić in his book “Gift and Mystery”.

“And so, I began my pastoral work in my first parish. I lasted for a year and consisted of the usual tasks assigned to a curate and religion teacher.  I was put in charge of five elementary schools in the village belonging to the parish of Niegowić.  People would take me there by cart of carriage. I remember the friendliness of the teachers and parishioners.  The classes were all quite different: some were well behaved and quiet, others very lively.  Even today I sometimes think back on the recollected silence which prevailed in the classrooms, when during Lent, I would speak about the Lord’s Passion.”

John Paul II, Gift and Mystery, Kraków 1996, p. 61-62