Ten years for construction

Artur Stelmasiak

In 2002 the Primate of Poland Cardinal Józef Glemp used the first spade in building the Temple of Divine Providence. What did we manage to realize for these 10 years and what else is yet to come?

The residents of the so-called Town Wilanów in Warsaw do not remember times when in this place the construction of this temple had been started- the vote of the Polish Nation. When in 2002 a cornerstone was built in, in the presence of the state authorities and the Episcopate of Poland, the celebrations were organised on an open field. When a few months later, the Primate of Poland Cardinal Józef Glemp took a spade into his hands, he was also standing in the middle of an overgrown wasteland. Some people were commenting even in a spiteful way: ‘Who is he building this church for?’ – This picture of 10 years ago does not resemble the present reality at all. Now, the 75-metre construction of the church marks the centre of new Wilanów – says Sylwia Kabala-Prawecka, a press chairman of the Divine Providence Centre.

The landscape around the church has changed completely. Instead wildly growing grass and bushes, there is a panorama of modern residential areas, and there is a wide Alley of Polish Republic leading to the Temple of Divine Providence.

Every zloty counts

– Although the result of the 10-year-old construction is spectacular, we will have to wait for the final effect of all the works. – The temple starts to exist thanks to the devotion of people. Therefore, it is being built in such a tempo we can afford. We do not want to stop the investment but we will continue it according to our possibilities – explains Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz, the metropolitan of Warsaw.

The tempo of our construction depends mainly on the generosity of our donors. And we should not complain about it because although there is an economic crisis in Poland, in 2011 we managed to gather more money for the Temple of Divine Providence than in 2010 – Therefore we should thank for every zloty, every penny – emphasizes Cardinal Nycz.

The last year income of financial means was over 9 million zlotys. 3 million and 600 hundred zlotys of this sum was gained from the nationwide collection carried out on the Thanksgiving Day – says Piotr Gaweł, a chairman of the management of the Divine Providence Centre.

Thanks to it, the construction of the temple has an ensured financial fluency which will allow for continuation of the works without any disruptions.

Museum in two years’ time

The temple has already got 100 percent of its height. So the open unfinished building is ready. However, it does not mean that the construction is not progressing – we have just finished the phase of securing the roof surface of the Museum of John Paul II and Primate Wyszyński. Thanks to it, the rain water is led directly to the sewage system – explains Marcin Adamczewski, a director of the investment bureau COB.

The works planned for the year 2012 are also a breakthrough for the whole investment. – We would like to warm and cover the dome, install a skylight and build in windows and door. In this year’s plans there is also the elevation of the temple. The unfinished and concrete construction is supposed to be warmed and covered with bright stone. However, all this depends on they collected funds – says Adamczewski. The most important this year’s undertaking is to achieve a closed unfinished construction. – If we managed to realise it, then in two years’ time we could invite everybody to visit our museum – emphasizes Sylwia Kabala-Prawecka.

The only such a roof

At the moment the experts of COB are thinking over the technology of covering the dome. Will it be steel or copper sheet? We consult every step with prominent experts – says Piotr Gaweł. For, it is not an easy investment. There has not been such a roof construction like that in Poland yet. Apart from the fact that it is a convex surface, it is also patchy, with windows and skylights.

The Temple of Divine Providence is becoming more and more beautiful year by year. It attracts both pilgrims and ordinary curious people from whole Poland. After 10 years from using the first spade, we can say that we are at least in the mid of the construction of this national votum. ‘Let this temple become a place of a special thanksgiving for the freedom of our homeland. I pray so that no painful event would disrupt this thanksgiving with which we have been waiting for 200 years’ – said Blessed John Paul II in 1999.


"Niedziela" 08/2012

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