Catholic media as continuation of the voice from the pulpit
The sunny weather helped us even more to create a warmer climate of the Pilgrimage of the Employees and Readers of ‘Niedziela’ to Jasna Gora, which was held on 19 September 2009. Our special guest was the Primate of Poland Cardinal Josef Glemp who presided over the Mass in the Jasna Gora Basilica and delivered a homily as well as gave a testimony about his priesthood.
‘Niedziela’ at the First Editress
The Prior of Jasna Gora Fr Roman Majewski and the editor-in-chief of ‘Niedziela’ Rev. Msg Ireneusz Skubis welcomed the participants of the pilgrimage. In his homily Cardinal Josef Glemp said, ‘Journalism, the work to spread the Word of God, requires constant observations and analyses of what is going on in the social sphere, what the attitude of the state authorities towards the Church and the other way round is.’ He reminded us of the situation of the Church in the past. He noticed that in various historical periods there were attempts to depart from Christian values and even to wage a ruthless war against the Church. Nowadays, many environments also would like to live without any rules. That’s why evangelisation through Catholic communications is so important. ‘And the editorial board of ‘Niedziela’, the most known Catholic weekly in Poland, plays an important role in it since Catholic press is a continuation of the voice from the pulpit, enriched by illustrations and deepened reflections’, the Primate said.
During the Eucharist the Act of Dedication of ‘Niedziela’ to Our Lady of Jasna Gora was read. The participants of the pilgrimage asked the First Editress for blessing so that they were faithful witnesses of Christ in their efforts and also through the presence on the radio, television and the Internet they could lead to believers’ meetings in faith, love and truth. The Act of Dedication was read in front of the copy of the Miraculous Picture of Our Lady of Jasna Gora, which then ‘Niedziela’ gave the Primate as a gift. The Jasna Gora Choir ‘Filiae Mariae’, conducted by Mariola Jeziorowska, sang during the liturgy. Fr Kamil Szustak organised the liturgical service.
Within the framework of the pilgrimage the statuettes ‘Sursum Corda’ were conferred on Cardinal Jozef Glemp, Bishop Adam Lepa, Mr Tadeusz Wrona, the President of Czestochowa, Mr Grzegorz Bierecki, the President of the Savings and Loan Associations SKOK as well as Helena and Adam Zych who ran the printing office where ‘Niedziela’ was printed for many years.
Those who received the medal ‘Mater Verbi’ this year included Rev. Prof. Wojciech Goralski, Rev. Prof. Jozef Krukowski, Prof. Gustaw Zemla, a sculptor, Mr Marcin Przeciszewski, the President of the Catholic Information Agency, Mr Grzegorz Polak, a journalist and Catholic writer, Sr. Malgorzata Krupecka, an Ursuline nun. The medal refers to the motto of the Year for Priests, ‘Faithful to Christ, faithful to the priesthood’ and has the figure of the Servant of God Fr Jerzy Popieluszko. The Czestochowa musical band ‘Grupa Romana’ gave their musical cards to the Primate and all participants of the pilgrimage during the meeting in the Papal Hall. The children from the day centre run by the Grey Ursuline Sisters in Lodz extended their warm wishes to the Editorial Board.
The day before the meeting at Jasna Gora, on 18 September, there were journalists’ workshops in the headquarters of ‘Niedziela’. Bishop Adam Lepa, who delivered an inaugural lecture entitled ‘The special mission of the Catholic media’, said that the most important task of the Catholic press was evangelisation. The contemporary conditions, especially the contents and forms of activities of the commercial media, impose other tasks as well, e.g. to refute the myths fabricated against the Church. Bishop Lepa noticed that the phenomenon of the so-called political correctness constituted a new form of censorship. Mr Maciej Letowski, a journalist, stressed that the new media: the Internet, Information TV, tabloids exerted an increasingly stronger influence on the society. Their wide range does not translate into the quality of information broadcast, which causes a decrease in the reliability of the media, infringing the limits of privacy and search for sensational news.
We are creating the Circles of Helpers of Mater Verbi
During the workshops Rev. Msg Ireneusz Skubis and Rev. Msg Ksawery Sokolowski presented a new initiative of ‘Niedziela’ – Circles of Helpers of Mater Verbi. The circles will be places to gather those who want to help Polish families to use effectively and safely the contemporary communications. ‘Niedziela’ is going to publish the first bulletin of the Circles entitled ‘Media education – challenge of the 21st century.’ The next issues will be devoted to the safe usage of the computer, the Internet and computer games. ‘We want to encourage you to create the Circles and organise meetings, conduct systematic reflections on the advantages and threats related to the media’, Rev. Msg Ireneusz Skubis said.