'May this legacy abide in us'
Consecration of the chapel in the House In Remembrance of Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski in Czestochowa
God is love,
therefore he does not want us
to fear him,
but to fall in love with him.
(Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski)
The Year of the Eucharist and the 350th anniversary of the miraculous defense of Jasna Gora against the Swedish troops are marked with another important event: Lord Jesus 'lived among us' at 12 Kard. Stefana Wyszynskiego Street in Czestochowa. On 12 February 2005 Archbishop Stanislaw Nowak, Metropolitan of Czestochowa, consecrated the chapel - the heart of the House In Remembrance of Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski. The Eucharistic Jesus came to stay in the House forever, the House to remember the legacy of the great Man who passed into history as the Primate of the Millennium. Thus the hidden dream, which Cardinal Wyszynski had expressed years ago, was somehow fulfilled. He wanted to rest at Jasna Gora. Then, in his humility, he indicated the Archcathedral in Warsaw as his burial place - he was the Shepherd of the capital. And he was buried in the cathedral. 'The true, special host of the Remembrance House, erected near Jasna Gora, is - besides Jesus and Mary - the Servant of God Cardinal Wyszynski', Archbishop Nowak said during the ceremony of the consecration. 'He walks about this house and looks after Polish affairs, connecting two millennia of Christianity. The great legacy of the Polish Church has been recorded in his person, in our new times. The legacy has been wisely and discreetly transmitted for years by members of the Secular Institute - Servants of our Lady of Jasna Gora, Mother of the Church (Pomocnice Maryi Jasnogorskiej Matki Kosciola), who were with Cardinal Wyszynski to the end of his life. They are trying to preserve everything that determined the Church and Poland in his life, and nowadays they treasure the legacy of the Primate of the Millennium so that the present and future generations can benefit from the treasury of thoughts of this eminent theologian and statesman'.
After the consecration a unique Way of the Cross was erected. The stations of the Way were brought from Rywald near Lidzbark Warminski. There Cardinal Wyszynski himself wrote the stations on the walls during his internment. This fact was related in his 'Zapiski wiezienne' (Diary notes in prison). We read in the note dated 4 October 1953: 'Today I have erected the Way of the Cross, writing the names of the stations of the Passion of the Lord with pencil and marking them with the sign of the cross. The rest - Ecclesia supplet'.
During the ceremony of consecration Mass was celebrated by: Archbishop Stanislaw Nowak, Fr Izydor Matuszewski, General of the Pauline Order, Fr Marian Lubelski, Prior of the Jasna Gora Sanctuary, Fr Ignacy Rekawek, custodian of the Sanctuary, Fr Stanislaw Kuracinski, Society of St Vincent a Paolo, Fr Mariusz Tabulski, Prefect of the Major Seminary 'Na Skalce' in Krakow, Fr Zdzislaw Gilski, local parish priest, Fr Krzysztof Jeziorowski, Prefect of the Major Seminary of the Czestochowa Archdiocese. Dr Tadeusz Wrona, Mayor of Czestochowa, was also present. There were numerous women from the Institute, with Maria Okonska, Foundress of the Institute, Anna Rastawicka, Mother General, and Stanislawa Grochowska, Director of the House. The participants could hear the testimony of Maria Okonska about 'the First Primate of Jasna Gora', as Cardinal Wyszynksi used to call himself, and which meant that he saved the freedom of the Church in Poland and the Christian spirit of the nation with the power of our Lady of Czestochowa whom he loved as the second most important person after God. He entrusted the Mother of God with all his works and he pointed to the sanctuary tower as the sign that we should look up to the sky like eagles and we would accomplish great and ambitious objectives, being rooted in this most blessed place in the Polish land, which is Jasna Gora.
Jerzy Krol, actor of the Studio Theatre in Katowice, who had played the role of Cardinal Wyszynski in 'Zapiski wiezienne', participated in the ceremony and this time he presented the thoughts of the Primate of the Millennium concerning political freedom and freedom of the spirit. We heard that the defense of Jasna Gora today was the defense of the soul of the nation and victory over your own self. The words quoted by Krol acquired special significance because it seemed that it was the Primate himself who was speaking. The actor wore the Primate's cassock and zucchetto, which made us fell spiritually attached to the great Author of the words in question.
Archbishop Nowak voiced a hope that the Institute would watch on the Jasna Gora walls in the present period of serious moral danger and distinct signs of fight against the Church, defending values and the Church in Poland, and that the Institute would do its best to make the spirit of the Primate of the Millennium watch here, at this special place, at the foot of Jasna Gora, and all over Poland.
May the Church in Poland remain strong
by the power of the legacy of Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski.
May his legacy abide in us.
(John Paul II, Pope)
* * *
The House In Remembrance of Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski commemorates the great works, which God did in the Polish land, and at the same time the House is a formation house in the spirit of the Primate of the Millennium. Apart from the remembrance hall, the archives of Cardinal Wyszynski's texts, the works and photos, there will be retreat rooms, a theatre hall and a conference hall for meetings with the people who followed the legacy of the Primate as well as those who witnessed his life. Today this House becomes one of the bastions of Poland's defense. It is true that all Poles' roads lead to Jasna Gora. Therefore, it is good that the House In Remembrance of Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski has been erected on one of these roads. Similarly, his
monument was built at the entrance gate, on the other side of the monastery. Let us remember what the Primate of the Millennium said before his death, 'All hopes are the Blessed Mother. And if there is some programme, it is Her'. He left these words to the Polish bishops as his spiritual will, indicating that Poland should follow the Marian way. 'The House In Remembrance of Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski has been erected by the efforts and hearts of the women of the Institute, supported by various people, institutions and the whole society', Archbishop Nowak said, expressing wishes that the sisters would persevere as Mary's helpers and adore the Eucharistic Jesus who took his residence in the tabernacle under their common roof.
Words of thanksgiving
The consecration of this chapel means the consecration of the entire House
since it is enough that the heart is consecrated, and the whole house, as if the rest of the body, lives in this very spirit.
(Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski)
We would like to thank all members of the editorial board of 'Niedziela', headed by Monsignor Ireneusz Skubis, as well as Dear Readers, our benefactors, donors and patrons who helped us build the House In Remembrance of Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski, especially those who contributed to the decoration and consecration of the chapel. We thank all ecclesial and secular institutions, companies, offices and individual benefactors from Poland and abroad. We are thankful to Archbishop Stanislaw Nowak, Archbishop Edmund Piszcz, Mrs Elzbieta Nering, Mrs Irena Krobicka, Mrs Ewa Popowska, Janina and Nikodem Polewski, Mr Orvin Kacprzyk, Mr Duleep Aluwihare and the prayer community from the American Czestochowa.
Servants of our Lady of Jasna Gora, Mother of the Church
All those who would like to support our works in the House In Remembrance of Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski can transfer money to the following bank account:
Instytut Swiecki Pomocnic Maryi Jasnogorskiej Matki Ko?cio?a
(donation for the House In Remembrance)
PKO BP SA II/O Czestochowa, 98 1020 1664 0000 3902 0019 3706.