It was a true blessing for me to accompany Mother Jana to Belarus from 9 – 19 November, 2018.
True, this was my second visit to Belarus, the first being about 20 years ago. The main purpose of our visit was to meet with all the Sisters in the province, the first meeting in Grodno and the second in Nowogródek. Nevertheless, Sister Maria Błaszczyk, Provincial Superior, very kindly arranged that we should visit every convent which she claimed was “on the way” from Minsk, to Grodno to Nowogródek and then back to Minsk for our departure to Rome.
Devotion to our Blessed Martyred Sisters has spread far and wide not only in Belarus but also throughout the world. This was evident, for example in the Parish of St John the Evangelist and St Maximilian Kolbe Parish, Minsk where the celebration for the feast of All Saints includes an All Saints Ball for young and old. This year’s program included a drama presentation prepared by Sister Sister Klara Wołczek on our Martyred Sisters with a particular focus on Sister Canuta. The silence and reverent atmosphere in the hall during the presentation were signs that all were touched by the performance.
May the example and spirit of our Blessed Martyred Sisters continue to light our path and inspire us to generously live our consecration each day.
The 2nd International Congress of the Europa Christi Movement took place from October 14 to 22, 2018, in Poland. Individual sessions of the Congress took place in Częstochowa, Warsaw, Rzeszów, Lublin, Łódź and Kraków. The Europa Christi movement aims to remind Europe of its Christian roots and the foundation of the moral values upon which Europe was built. The Movement is decidely against the secularization of the Old Continent. For if Europe loses its Christian identity, it threatens moral collapse and disaster for the whole world. It is important to recognize that this is an ecumenical movement, open to the cooperation of Christians from the Protestant Churches as well as the Churches of the East.
Each day of the Congress was devoted to a selected issue, which was presented in various ways by the many invited guests from Poland and around the world. Our Congregation received an invitation to participate in a session entitled: The Europe of Martyrs. This session took place in Łódź, at the headquarters of the University of Lodz. It is worth emphasizing that it was October 19th, the liturgical memorial of the martyrdom of Blessed Fr. Jerzy Popiełuszko. His person, words and martyrdom were somehow a guide for us throughout the day. I was asked to present the story of our Blessed Martyred Sisters of Nowogródek and the message of their sacrifice. The Provincial Superior, Sister Teofania Migowska, from Warsaw and Sisters from the nearby community in Kolumna also came to the session. Therefore, there was an opportunity to distribute brochures about our Blessed Martyrs to the participants of the session. For most participants their story was not known (especially, for example, by our guests from Italy, Norway or Croatia). I was glad that my presentation met with great interest. Some even found it very touching. I trust that participation in this Congress may be another building block in spreading devotion to our Blesseds.
M. Jana Zawieja