John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin

It has served ‘God and Homeland’ for 90 years

Urszula Buglewicz

John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin has existed for 90 years. Its foundation was connected with Poland that regained independence in 1918. The University was founded by Fr Idzi Radziszewski, who became its first rector. The thought accompanying the foundation of the Catholic University was the cultural and religious role of Lublin in the history of Poland. Because of the location and tradition the city was the best place to educate the future Christian elite in changing Europe and to create the new statehood of the Polish Republic. Founding the university, Fr Radziszewski dedicated it to the special protection of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Therefore, the academic community of the Catholic University of Lublin (KUL) celebrates its foundation day on the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. On 30 May 2008, students, academic and administrative staff as well as guests gathered at the university that serves ‘God and Homeland’ in order to thank Lord God and people for 90 years of the University. The first event of the celebrations was a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Marian Jaworski of the Roman Catholic Metropolitan of Lviv. The faithful gathered in the academic church ‘to tune the rhythm of their hearts with the rhythm of the Heart of Lord Jesus’, as the University Grand Chancellor Archbishop Jozef Zycinski said. They prayed and thanked Cardinal Jaworski for his Jubilee Doctor, i.e. recognition of his doctoral degree after 50 years. Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki delivered a homily, reflecting on God’s wisdom and referring to the Litany to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus ‘Heart of Jesus, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.’ At the end of the Mass the Rector Prof. Stanislaw Wilk re-consecrated the University to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. ‘Gathered here before You, hidden in the Blessed Sacrament, we want to renew our offering. We desire the whole academic community of the Catholic University of Lublin become a beloved heir of Your Heart’. After the Mass the University Museum was dedicated and opened. The most valuable objects connected with the founder and the most eminent professor Karol Wojtyla were placed in the hall, which is just behind the monument to John Paul II and Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski. The celebrations continued in Cardinal Wyszynski Aula. The Rector thanked God for all the academic years, ‘for his protection during the first twenty years when the University and its material and legal foundations were formed; for the years of the occupation when its professors organized secret courses and its workers and alumni shed blood defending the homeland; for the years of the Polish People’s Republic when the University was persecuted, and enduring suffering it got strengthened; for the work of the giants - John Paul II and the Primate of the Millennium.’ Rev. Prof. Wilk stressed that ‘the University was not only a place of intellectual adventure but also a place of reflection on life and a place to form human character, a specific breeding ground of young students’ personalities.’ Then there was the conferment of Jubilee Doctor on Cardinal Jaworski, during which the laudatory speech was delivered by Sr. Prof. Zofia Zdybicka. Cardinal Jaworski, filled with emotions, thanked for the recognition, which is the highest form of honouring faithfulness to the oath made years ago and the long standing service to the Truth. ‘In spirit of gratitude I receive this distinction; nevertheless I am aware that I could have done more.’

"Niedziela" 23/2008

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: