M. Jana Zawieja
From April 6 to 8, 2018 in Zdzary, on the land of Blessed Mother Foundress, Frances Siedliska, there was a historic meeting, the first joint meeting of the members of the Association of the Holy Family from the Province of Warsaw. The theme of the meeting was: “My road to Nazareth – yesterday, today, tomorrow …”. The meeting was attended by over 200 people (including 150 members and children). The meeting was divided into three stages: 1) remembering the beginnings, 2) the realities of the Association today – with presentations by the groups, 3) and the place of the Association in the mission of the Congregation, and the mission of the Association within the Church (looking towards the future).
I personally participated with great emotion in this meeting, especially because I had the privilege to be with Association in Warsaw Province at its beginnings. It all began with an inconspicuous initiative to organize a weekend gathering for our families in Warsaw, in July 1994. At the request of those who participated, following this first meeting there were other weekends, and later also a week’s retreat. The group of interested people was growing. It was from the participants of these meetings that the first group of members of the Association of the Holy Family, the first 11 people, emerged. As someone rightly commented, these “Nazareth elevens” are interesting …
Since then many years have passed. Today, thriving groups of the Association exist in various places in Poland, connected with individual Nazareth homes. The Association’s formation program is very interesting and offers a whole range of possibilities. Among the members, married couples are the most numerous, including many young people. There are also single people, including widows and widowers, because some members have passed into eternity. There is also a large group of children and beautiful young people maturing into adulthood and growing in their faith in the shadow of the Association. From these, priestly, religious and marital vocations have already blossomed. There are more and more supporters of the Association, many of them join the Association in time.
During the meeting in Zdzary, I had the opportunity to accept three new married couples, who altogether were surrounded by a ring of 10 children! Also, three pairs of already experienced members received a special commissioning to fulfill the mission both within the Association and outside of it, in the wider understood pastoral ministry of families. These couples have been helping the AHF Director for a long time. At the end, I met with the Sisters responsible for the various groups of the Association. The Provincial Superior, Sr. Teofania Migowska, also participated in the meeting.
We had beautiful sunny weather. I think that our Blessed Franciszek Siedliska smiled upon us from above. Certainly, she would be pleased to host so many families in her Zdzary house. The meeting was accompanied by many joys, memories and emotions. How beautiful the fruit that was born from this little grain…. And may it continue to grow under the special protection of the Holy Family of Nazareth.