EXTENDING THE MERCIFUL HAND OF THE HOLY FATHER
A new papal almoner archbishop Konrad Krajewski, chose the word ‘Mercifulness’ as his bishopric motto. It will mark a direction of the current ministry of the former ceremony master, who had worked in the Office of Papal Celebrations since 1998, and in 1999 he was a papal ceremony master. He was performing this ministry during the pontificates of the three popes: John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis. On 3 August, he was appointed a new chief of the Office of Apostolic Charity by the Holy Father and was raised to the dignity of the titular archbishop of Benewent in the Northern Africa. The sacra of Fr. Konrad Krajewski took place in the Basilica of St. Peter on 17 September 2013, on the feast of Stigmas of St. Francis of Assisi. The ceremony was unexpectedly attended by pope Francis, without a chasuble, only with a stole on his arms, he was praying with everybody and blessed his new almoner. The liturgy was attended by a few dozen cardinals and bishops and a few hundred priests, there was a very big group of pilgrims from Poland. The Eucharist was presided over by cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, who also preached a sermon, and who runs the Government of the Vatican State. He referred to the place where the ceremony was being held.
Co-consecrators of the new papal almoner were: archbishop Pierio Marini, a master of papal liturgical ceremonies for years, and archbishop Władysław Ziółek, the metropolitan of Łódż in the recent time, who gave priestly ordination to the current papal almoner 25 years ago.
At the end of the ceremony, archbishop Konrad Krajewski asked not to address him by ‘Excellency’ but as always ‘Priest Konrad’. He called the Vatican workers as his friends. In a special way he thanked priest with whose help he had grown up in his childhood. He called him a ‘real almoner and witness of mercifulness’, because he had supported the youth in need with his own money, also giving a moving testimony of faith and prayer.
– I said ‘yes’, so, I will try to exceed myself, as the Gospel says: ‘Resign from oneself’ in order to be the face of merciful God and the Holy Father’ – admitted archbishop Krajewski after the bishopric consecration, in an interview for Radio Maryja and Television Trwam. – What the Holy Father wants from me, is not to wait for the poor who will knock on the door of Vatican, but go and look for them, to exceed oneself, go to palliative centres, represent the Holy Father, take the rosary there, bless, pray with these people, go out into streets, so do what the Holy Father in Buenos Aires was doing – he explained.
As the Catholic Informative Agency informs, the papal almoner is the archbishop who belongs to Famiglia Pontificia, that is, the closest people group of the Holy Father, is always present, besides the prefect of the Papal House, at ceremonies and general audiences. His tasks comprise giving alms to those in need on behalf of the pope. He also deals with giving papal blessings – on their form there is a signature of the papal almoner. Any income for this reason are assigned for the papal works of mercifulness and charity institutions belonging directly to the Holy See, and also for a few schools in Rome and Castlel Gandolfo.
Surely, the Polish chapel in the Vatican Caves, with the image of Our Lady of Częstochowa, will still be a favourite place of the morning Holy Mass for archbishop Krajewski. We hope that as the papal almoner, he will still be able to go in foot pilgrimages to Jasna Góra with the archdiocese of Łódź.