Together at the altar and a microphone
In 2011 two anniversaries important for the editorial office of the Catholic weekly ‘Niedziela’ coincided: the 85th anniversary of existence and the 30th anniversary of reactivity of the newspaper after 28 years of break caused by the sanctions of communist governments. On 26 September, at the end of the jubilee celebrations, in the Rector’s church of the Holy Name of Mary in Częstochowa there was a meeting of ‘Niedziela’, Maryja Radio and Television ‘Trwam’ with the faithful listeners, viewers and readers of the Catholic media. The chief editor of ‘Niedziela’ – Fr. Inf. Ireneusz Skubiś was a host of that meeting whose rich program included a prayer, discussion about ‘Niedziela’ and the situation of Catholic media in Poland, and also an artistic performance. The director of Maryja Radio and Television ‘Trwam’ was present among the guests.
A vicar for the parish priest
The meeting was started by Fr. Dr Jacek Molka who reminded that ‘Niedziela’ was founded by bishop of Częstochowa Teodor Kubina 85 years ago and its first chief editor was Fr. Wojciech Mondry. After the ‘Angelus Prayer’ led by Fr. Mariusz Frukacz, Fr. Inf. Skupis spoke to remind that ‘Niedziela’ had its ministerial role from the beginning. According to suggestions of Teodor Kubina,‘Niedziela’ was to be ‘a vicar for a parish priest and a suffragan for a bishop’. Its subsidiary role for the Church, which ‘Niedziela’ has had for those years, is still very important. In the jubilee year it is worth reminding that Fr. Inf. Skubiś took a part in attempts of reactivating the newspaper and he has been conducting it for 30 years. The editorial office ‘Niedziela’ started to work in two small rooms, equipped only with one type writer. This newspaper was reactivated in the period of enthusiasm connected with the beginning of ‘Solidarity’, and in its first edition there were two tragic events presented: assassination to John Paul II and the death of Prior cardinal Stefan Wyszyński. For nearly 10 years, till the times of censorship, the editorial office was struggling with interference into the articles of the newspaper. An evidence for readers’ great need of the Catholic word was the fact that all editions of the newspaper were sold without any return.
On God’s roads
Fr. Inf. Ireneusz Skubiś presided at the Eucharist for the intention of readers of ‘Niedziela’. He also delivered a homily on the situation of the Church and Catholic media in the contemporary world. He referred to nearly finished pilgrimage of the Holy Father Benedict XVI to Germany where the youth, during the meeting in Fryburg, showed a banner with the inscription: ‘The highway to Heaven B16’. It means that Benedict XVI shows Germany a road to Heaven. ‘It is amazing – Fr. Inf. Skubiś said – that 40 thousand of German young people cheer in honour to Benedict XVI. Those people, often suspected of being atheists and very critical towards the Church, behave towards the Holy Father very cordially. For the Church is a key element for the history of the world. The Church indicates people a way in the world, this way which was called a highway to Heaven by the young Germans. Then the chief editor of ‘Niedziela’ said: - ‘Christ is present in the Church on the whole globe. Therefore the Church is attacked, prosecuted, accused and destroyed in many ways. These attacks are like a throat of a condemned dragon which vomits with water at Christ and the Church. We also see it in our Homeland. This satan’s throat is seen on television, radio and other means of communication. And people see everything bad in the Church. Somebody once said: ‘Look, there are spots on the Sun’. But somebody wiser answered: ‘that’s true but the Sun shines and there is no life, there is nothing without the Sun’.
The preacher emphasized that although those spots may happen in the ministry of the Church, it is just the Church which shows people God’s ways. Whereas the perverse world allows for and promotes what contradicts with nature: homosexual couples, killing the unborn and euthanasia. There is often the desire of profit behind these actions.
We must remember that the Church guards the basic values pointed in the Decalogue which is God’s law and is not subject to any ballot. – There is no voting for: to kill or not to kill, to steal or not to steal, lie or not to lie. The Decalogue taught by the Church exists. This Decalogue was taught by Christ, and this Decalogue has been written in the Holy Scriptures. And although even a professor at university wants to tear the Bible to pieces, we must know that the Bible is holiness, it is a way to Heaven – emphasized the Chief Editor of ‘Niedziela’.
Let’s build Catholic media
Commercial media have their bad part in blurring the consciousness among their recipients; those media, using slogans of ‘freedom’ and apparent ‘tolerance’ blur the sense of fundamental values. Fr. Skubiś appealed to recipients: - ‘We, dear Catholics, must be aware of the fact that we have to build Catholic media. We mustn’t be indifferent, we must do everything so that people would read Catholic newspapers, learn to understand the reality from the catholic newspapers and learn about the Catholic social teaching. He emphasized that not only the weekly ‘Niedziela’ has the evangelic function but also the books edited in the series ‘Niedziela’ Library, the website of the editorial office, television and radio studios of ‘Niedziela’ have this function as well. – ‘We draw God’s ways everywhere, beautiful ways which do not disturb anyone – emphasized the Chief Editor of ‘Niedziela’.
On the jubilee occasion he addressed his thanks to everybody who have been present on the way of ‘Niedziela’ over the years and who support ‘Niedziela’.
We are grateful to ‘Niedziela’ that it is so close to Jasna Góra, that it proclaimed the Mother of God its patroness, that it forms our white and red consciousness – said Father Zachariasz Jabłoński, Definitor General of the Order of the Paulines. He also wished ‘Niedziela brought fruits of Evangelic spirit and Evangelical wisdom which we need so much.
Father Tadeusz Rydzyk expressed his thanks to Fr. Inf. Skubiś as well. – ‘We thank you for your sermons, clarity in speaking, your courageous telling the truth. He emphasized that Maryja Radio and Television Trwam have been meeting with great kindness of the Chief Editor of ‘Niedziela’ since the beginning of their existence. In the end of the Holy Mass father Tadeusz Rydzyk read Act of entrustment to Our Lady.
The richness of the word
The prayer part of the meeting were also Rosary prayer led by the workers of ‘Niedziela’ and listeners of Maryja Radio and Jasna Góra Appeal which was led by Father Kamil Szustak, the director of Jasna Góra radio. During the considerations of the Appeal Fr. Inf. Skubiś said: - ‘It is impossible to live without the Holy Scriptures, without a prayer or a Rosary. It is impossible to live without any look at Holy pictures, Eucharist, the altar or confessional. He emphasized that ‘Niedziela’ as a Catholic newspaper includes all these values and also the whole world of social life, the world of moral values. – In our newspaper there is no place for stupidity, cynicism or a lie. Unfortunately, a lie is born under our eyes. We see it in various media. What a pain it is that the public television employs a Satanist giving him a very good salary coming from the pockets of Polish Catholics. How painful it is that people, who worked for Catholic newspapers, behave in such a way today as if they forgot that they had ever worked for them.
The meeting was enriched with songs and poetry by students of the Catholic Primary School and the Catholic Gymnasium of St. Jadwiga in Częstochowa. The program ‘Giving proper words to things’ prepared by the actor Marian Florek, also included the fragments of Arturo Mari’s statement, recorded by the television studio of ‘Niedziela’. The Pope’s photographer emphasized that John Paul II not only knew but also appreciated and read ‘Niedziela’ every week.
The last part of the meeting took place in the radio studio of ‘Niedziela’ where Father Waldemar Gonczaruk CSsR was leading ‘Unfinished talks’ – everyday program of Maryja Radio. The topic of the evening talks was: ‘ (AA)
An interesting exception, especially for the listeners who do not know the reality of the editorial work during communist times, was a memento that in 1981 ‘Niedziela’ had to have a permission for editing the newspaper. The permission included strictly defined conditions: the volume of the weekly and an amount of given paper, a printing office where the newspaper was to be printed, an office of censorship which allowed each edition to be printed and a way of distribution. The memories and discussion were joined by listeners on the phone and people connected with ‘Niedziela’ in different ways – Father Jerzy Tomziński OSPPE from Jasna Góra – the former General of the Order of the Paulines and Cardinal Stanisław Nagy SCJ from Krakow, a co-operator of ‘Niedziela’ for many years and bishop Wacław Depo from Zamość.