She loved God, people, life. She helped everybody who needed support. She was murdered in Bolivia where she served as a missionary volunteer in an orphanage for children. Helena Kmieć was only 25

She came from Libiąż. There she went to school and, having prominent achievements in learning, she received scholarship and possibility of learning in a prestigious catholic secondary school in Great Britain. After her studies at the Silesian Polytechnics she began working as a flight attendant in airlines. When she returned home after a sleepless night, she used to regret her time to take rest, and, instead, she preferred to spend her time with her friends, pray in a religious group or help somebody. – I will have enough sleep after my death – she used to joke.

In summer 2016 she got engaged as a volunteer of the World Youth Days. She became a chief of a parish branch of the World Youth Days. – She was very religious and open to another man – bishop Jan Zając, a brother of Helen’s grandfather, mentioned in an interview for TV Trwam. She used to pray with a breviary, sing the Little Office of Our Lady, read the Holy Scripture, often led prayers in her religious group and adorations. – She let God lead her – says Magdalena Kaczor, a friend of Helena. – She got engaged in the missionary work, because serving God was her whole life.

Helena was murdered on 24 January this year in Cochabamba town in Bolivia. An assailant stabbed her with a knife and despite attempts of reanimation – she died. The witness of the murder was another missionary from Poland.

Legions of little martyrs

Helena Kmieć could not stay in one place for a long time. She was happy when she had a possibility to be for others. She was able to sing and play board games with her friends all night. She was known as a master in organizing spontaneous trips. – She infected others with joy, was full of life and ideas, so a lot of people wanted to spend time with her – her acquaintances say.

She had an unusual music talent and used it for the glory of God. In 2012 she joined the Missionary Volunteering Salvator and at once she got engaged in the activity of a music group: she organized adoration concerts, adorations, took part in pilgrimages of Salvator to Jasna Góra, took care of music accompaniment for the Holy Mass. – When she was singing, walls of a church were trembling –says Magdalena Kaczor, a specialist for promotion of the World Youth Days. Due to her passion and devotion, Helena was liked in the Academic Religious Group in Gliwice, where she sang in an academic choir.

She was also engaged in pro-life activity. She had recently been working on a mobile application for the youth for Spiritual Adoption of a Conceived Baby. – We are grateful to her for it. And we believe that in Heaven she was welcomed by legions of little martyrs grateful to her for supporting the work aimed at saving their little sisters and brothers – says Katarzyna Pazdan from Powerbank for Life on Facebook.

Bolivia: Possible Mission

‘Although it is incredible – this MISSION is POSSIBLE!’ – Helena had written it on Facebook just before her journey to Bolivia. ‘We send our greetings from Cochabamba which will be our home for half a year’ – she added a month later, on 9 January 2016, on the day of her arrival there with Anita Szuwald, also a volunteer of the World Youth Days.

In Bolivia the Polish missionaries were to work with children in an orphanage run by Sisters the Servants. From the moment when they got there, they were renovating rooms – they were painting, cleaning, washing windows. Later they were to be support for Sisters in the orphanage in taking care of children. – They were prepared for this work - other missionaries say. Before her journey they had to learn Spanish, gain important knowledge about customs and the way of life of the local people, geography, history, tradition and culture of Bolivia. Also Helena’s friends say about her excellent preparation for the mission, both in the spiritual and substantive way. – She could go everywhere and she would be a treasure everywhere. She was definitely better than us, an example of behavior – says Magdalena Kaczor.

She loved cuddling, loved children and they were clung to her. She had a missionary talent and vocation to serve the youngest. – She used to say that she wanted to show love to children who had not received love – Fr. Marek Gadomski SDS, a priest of the Missionary Volunteering Salvator in Tzrebinia said in an interview for the Catholic News Agency. This need led Helena even to far Bolivia. In order to go there, she had to take half a year unpaid leave from her work. It was not her first missionary journey - as a volunteer she had been in Hungary, in Romania and in Zambia before that.

It was not simply volunteering as others. Missionary volunteering is a different look at the world, this is a lifestyle, this is a missionary attitude to faith. When you have really entered it, you are getting really engaged in it. You are looking at everyday life from a distance, because you know that finally what matters is how close to God and people you have been during your life – says a friend of Helena.

New mission in Heaven

2 days before the tragic event Helena had published another joyful information on Facebook about the life of the mission and shared photos of the renewed orphanage house, prepared to give home to children. ‘Now you are beginning a new mission’ – internet surfers wrote after her death. They wrote how much they had been impressed by her martyrdom. ‘Helenko, you are already a saint for us! Sing with angels, cuddle as you always did and take care of us, our Friend’ – her friends from the Missionary Volunteering Salvator in Trzebinia wrote on the fanpage on Facebook.

‘This is what modern saints are like…’; ‘you have not had enough time to enjoy missions in Bolivia. Today you have begun a different mission’; ‘Heaven really exists. You have already got your home there…’; Please, help us from Heaven now, in our evangelization’; ‘See you in Heaven!’; ‘there is something in you which attracts others and lets us see further. What gives hope….Blood of martyrs is sowing the Christians….Thank you for your testimony of Your life…’ – these are only a few entries on the profile of Helena in the social portal. A lot o testimonies of her acquaintances and also the anonymous people prove the holiness of the young missionary. – It was clear for me that she was not an ordinary person, that she was called for great things. That she was walking here, on the earth, but was looking up, further at our Father – said Magdalena Kaczor, a friend of the deceased missionary.


„Niedziela” 06/2017

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