A word as clear as crystal and as deep as a well
This year pilgrimage of ‘Niedziela’ to Jasna Góra on 17 September included special anniversaries: 85th anniversary of establishing ‘Niedziela’ and the 30th anniversary of its return to readers after 28 years of silent period forced by communists. An important jubilee for ‘Niedziela’ is also the 50th anniversary of priestly ordination of Fr. Inf. Ireneusz Skubiś, who has been managing the weekly for 30 years. The motto of the XV Pilgrimage of the Editors, Readers and Friends of the Catholic weekly ‘Niedziela’ were the words indicating the ministering direction of the weekly for all these years: ‘Deo et Patriae’. This year celebration of ‘Niedziela’ was attended by an extraordinary guest – Cradinal Stanisław Nagy SCJ, a professor at Catholic University in Lublin (KUL), and a friend of John Paul II.
Sowing the Word of God
As every year, the pilgrimage began in Jasna Góra Basilica, with the Holy Mass celebrated by Fr. Inf. Ireneusz Skubiś. Pilgrims were greeted by the Prior of the monastery, Father Roman Majewski who thanked editors for their defending the truth and fulfilling an important ministry for the Church, Poland and Jasna Góra. ‘Let this meeting in Jasna Góra be fruitful, beneficial and inspiring for all of us, and also filling our hearts with hope – said Father Majewski. Mentioning this year’s jubilees, he wished ‘Niedziela’ would still be leading its readers through the way of the truth, loyalty to God and Polish traditions by its content. The Chief Editor of ‘Niedziela’ spoke to the participants of the pilgrimage from the whole country; he emphasized that editors have many initiatives for the future. One of them is a new date being established at present in Metropolitan Curia of Czestochowa Archdiocese; the date concerns organizing the pilgrimage of ‘Niedziela’ from next year. It is to be the 8thSeptember, the Feast of Nativity of our Lady and this day has been named the Feast of our Sowing Lady in the Polish tradition and is connected with the tradition of pilgrimage to Jasna Góra. In this name we can notice a deep connection with the work of Catholic media which is sowing God’s Word. Among priests celebrating the Holy Mass were: Fr. Dr. Andrezj Przybylski – a rector of the High Seminar in the Archdiocese of Częstochowa, Father prof. Leon Dyczewski OFMConv from the Catholic University in Lublin (KUL), Fr. prof. Waldemar Chrostowski from UKSW, Fr. Wieslaw Wójcik TChr., Father Zachariasz Jabloński OSPEE and many priests working in diocese editions of ‘Niedziela’ throughout Poland.
Let’s be people of the truth
Cardinal Stanisław Nagy SCJ devoted the Homily to the attitudes of contemporary Catholics, erosion of religious life and tasks of Catholic media, especially, ‘Niedziela’. He recalled the fact that Sunday as the Lord’s Day had already been written on Moses boards. Today’s man starts to forget about a sacral dimension of Sunday. Secularized societies speak about sport and play but keep silent about God. In this way, some kinds of attitudes are becoming popular, like: believer but not practitioner. These attitudes are promoted by secular radio and television which are also influenced by other sins like: Satanism propaganda, offending religious feelings. The Cardinal, noting the fact that God is consciously removed from celebration and rest, criticised the last decisions of television on engaging ‘Nergal’. In the opinion of Cardinal Nagy everything which has been happening in Poland recently, can be named a shameful game resulting in sowing Satanism from Poland. In addition, there is a painful history of the cross abused in Poland in the authorities’ eyes, also on a pavement in Warsaw where there was bloodshed among Warsaw insurgents.
Cardinal Nagy appealed to journalists of ‘Niedziela’ to be people of the truth in a situation when Polish courts do not stand up for the truth, and they evaluate the blasphemy as a work of art. ‘We must speak about all of it’ – said Cardinal Nagy – ‘Niedziela’ must be created in such a way that it would stop the erosion of religious life ‘– emphasized the Cardinal. – ‘We mustn’t write anyhow and whatever, we must follow God’s Word authentically experienced. We must always start with it. And then we must write beautifully, with a language that can be read and which is read with pleasure and joy. We mustn’t have fun in pictures. ‘Niedziela’ isn’t for pictures. ‘Niedziela’ is for a word, as clear as crystal and as deep as a well, anchored in God. Cardinal Nagy emphasized that we don’t have any right to be trivial and we shouldn’t be afraid of picture competition. Let’s use the word, God’s Word and be people of the truth’ – he said with emphasis.
In the Jubilee year a special meaning comes from Act of Entrustment of ‘Niedziela’ to Our Lady in Jasna Góra, which was read by the Chief Editor. There are words addressed to God’s Mother in it: ‘We want to listen to God’s voice with rapt attention, together with you and through mass media, which are a powerful empire in the modern world, we want to bring the Good News to people’. There is also a request to Mother of Wisdom for supporting ‘our efforts, especially now when Christian and national values must be defended on the Old Continent and when we must give a testimony of our love towards our Homeland and everything what creates Poland’.
At the end of the Holy Mass Cardinal Stanisław Nagy received a medal of the 30th anniversary of ‘Niedziela’, which, as Fr. Skubiś said, is a sign of connection between the editorial office in Częstochowa and Cracow, a sign of constant presence of the Cardinal in the editorial office and on pages of ‘Niedziela’.
Rooted in the heritage
The second part of the pilgrimage took place in an auditorium of the editorial office. People who have rendered great service to the newspaper were honoured. The Statuette ‘Sursum Corda’ was given to Fr. Msgr Marian Wiewiórski, a parish priest in St. Michael’s Church in Gomulin who based his pastoral work on ‘Niedziela’. In his parish numbering about 2 hundred of the faithful, 370 copies of ‘Niedziela’ sell every week. This exemplary parish from Gomulin has received the medal ‘Mater Verbi’. The gathered in the auditorium in the editorial office listened to a lecture of Father prof. Leon Dyczewski OFMConv, entitled ‘My look at ‘Niedziela’ on its 30th anniversary’. He analysed the contents of the newspaper, starting from its first editions to the latest ones. He emphasized that ‘Niedziela’ is deeply rooted in our cultural heritage, and also a newspaper continually developing. Its merits are: a rich column of information, thematic sections, a wide spectrum of authors writing on pages of ‘Niedziela’, engagement in social and public matters. ‘Niedziela’ is an open newspaper, making a dialogue with other religions. It is a multimedia institution with its own internet radio and television studios. It edits a book series called ‘Niedziela’ Library. We must do everything so that ‘NIedziela’ will remain an opinion-creating newspaper in our society, convince people of the fact that what is Catholic is important and that Decalogue is not less important than regulations made by governments and parliaments.
After the lecture, other accolades and awards were given. Among this year winners of the medal ‘Mater Verbi’ are: Archbishop Stanislaw Nowak – the (metropolitan) of Częstochowa, Father prof. Dr. Hab. Leon Dyczewski OFM Conv., Father Izydor Matuszewski OSPEE – the general of Pauline (Zakon Paulinow), prof. dr hab. Zachariasz Jabłoński OSPPE, Father. dr Jan Pach OSPPE, Father Szymon Stefanowicz OSPPE, Father Jan Maria Sochocki OFMCap, kpt. ż.w. Zbigniew Sulatycki. Winners of contests organized by ‘Niedziela’ also received prizes. They took part in two contests about the Pope and a contest:’ My Christmas’. The meeting was enriched with a concert performed by a singer - Jolanta Muratów and a pianist – Urszula Ledwoń.
On the day preceding the pilgrimage – 16 September in the church of Our Lady of Victory in Czętochowa there was a gala concert performed by a choir and orchestra of ‘Śląsk’ folk song and dance band. The program consisted of religious and patriotic songs, among the others: ‘Mother of God’(‘Bogurodzica’), ‘Black Madonna’(Czarna Madonna’), ‘Barge’(‘Barka’), ‘God save Poland’(‘Boże coś Polskę’). The concert was dedicated to readers of ‘Niedziela’ on the jubilee of the weekly.
See you next year, on 8 September in Jasna Góra.