The Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has approved the election of Blessed Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński as Patron of Secular Institutes in Poland. The decree was solemnly announced on 25 January this year at the Secretariat of the Polish Bishops’ Conference.

As we read in the Confirmatio of the Dicastery of 23 November 2023, “the members of the Secular Institutes in Poland surround with special veneration Blessed Stefan Wyszynski, bishop, good and fearless shepherd, who put everything on Mary and wanted to serve God alone”.

Agreeing to their requests, Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, approved the choice of Blessed Stefan Wyszyński as Patron of the members of Secular Institutes in Poland, and submitted the request for Confirmatio to the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on 18 August 2023.

Joanna Wójtowicz, president of the National Conference of Secular Institutes, acknowledged that at the beginning of many secular institutes there was contact between their founders and the Primate and consultation about what to do with lay people who want to be in the world but want to be consecrated at the same time. “And this was a common reflection, but the primary and decision-making source was the Primate. He, too, deserves our respect and knowledge of his teachings and the witness that he is the source of many of our secular institutes” – she stressed.

“The awareness that Primate Wyszyński is our Patron will not only strengthen our activities, but also set further directions. The Primate simply knew what service to God was and how to do it in secular conditions” – noted Joanna Wójtowicz.

Agnieszka Kołodyńska, General Responsible of the Institute of Primate Wyszyński, admitted that Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński “surrounded with paternal care many secular institutes that did not yet have an understanding of the reality of the Church and the world”.

There are 32 Institutes and Associations belonging to the National Conference of Secular Institutes. There are 866 persons who professed perpetual vows in the Institutes, 113 after temporary vows and 32 in initial formation – a total of 1011 persons. The Institutes have different charisms, founders and therefore different spiritualities. The delegate of the Polish Bishops’ Conference for Secular Institutes is Bishop Józef Szamocki, auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Toruń.

Press Office of the Polish Bishops’ Conference