The plenary meeting of the Council for Pastoral Care for Poles Abroad of Europe was held on 22-24 September 2023 at Domus Maria near the Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy in Vilnius, Lithuania. The Council brings together several dozen people – clergy, religious sisters, and laity, representing Polish-speaking pastoral care in European countries. Its chairman is the Conference of Polish Bishops’ Delegate for the Pastoral Care of Polish Emigrants, Bishop Piotr Turzyński. The meeting concerned issues related to catechesis.
We publish a communiqué following the meeting:
Communique of the Council for Pastoral Care for Poles Abroad in Europe
Vilnius – Lithuania – Domus Maria
A plenary meeting of the Council for Pastoral Care for Poles Abroad of Europe was held from 22 to 24 September 2023 at Domus Maria near the Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy in Vilnius, Lithuania.
The meeting focused on issues related to catechesis understood in an extensive range and dimension. In their speeches, the invited speakers presented some selected aspects of the development and functioning of children and young people in the context of global transformation.
They also spoke about issues related to the forms of conducting catechesis and formation and the competencies of catechists in various Polish communities. They stressed the need to show the true image of God, especially to young people. They drew attention to the importance of religious experiences, the encounter between God and the Church, and community experience.
The guests highlighted that the education and formation of young people should not only be informative but formative, as well. A programme and encouragement for adult catechesis were also presented.
Among the invited speakers were:
– Fr. Dr. Łukasz Simiński – Nicolaus Copernicus University (UMK) in Toruń – “Transmission of faith in the era of multiculturalism”
– Dr. Monika Dacka – Catholic University of Lublin (KUL) – “Selected aspects of development and functioning of children and youth in the context of global transformations”
– Fr. Prof. Paweł Mąkosa – Catholic University of Lublin (KUL) – “Faith without borders. Emigration catechesis in the face of challenges and opportunities.”
– Fr. Dr. Tomasz Kopiczko – Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University (UKSW) – “Breaking the borders. Innovative ways of adult catechesis.”
During the discussion, the meeting participants shared their personal experiences, joys, and problems. They searched for even more effective forms and ways of pastoral and formative work and reaching out to others.
The representatives of EWTN TV Poland as special guests were Fr. Piotr Wiśniowski, director, and Mr. Iwo Bender, representative of EWTN TV for Eastern Europe. They presented their work and encouraged the emigration communities to cooperate.
On Saturday evening, the assembly had the opportunity to meet the President of the World Council for Poles Abroad, Mr. Jaroslaw Narkiewicz, a native of Lithuania, a well-known Polish activist very much involved in the life of Poles living in Lithuania.
Representatives of the Council for Pastoral Care for Poles Abroad of Europe participated in a concelebrated Holy Mass at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mercy in Ostra Brama and the Church of the Holy Spirit. At the Hour of Mercy, they prayed at the Divine Mercy Shrine before the miraculous image of the Merciful Jesus. On the last day of the assembly, they visited the Hospice of Blessed Michael Sopoćko, where Sister Michaela Rak of the Congregation of Merciful Jesus ministers.
The members of the Council remember with gratitude the warm welcome they received in Vilnius from the local pastors: Father Wojciech Górlicki, the parish priest of the Parish of St. Peter and St. Paul, and Father Szymon Wikło, the parish priest of the Church of the Holy Spirit.
The Council for Pastoral Care for Poles Abroad of Europe brings together several dozen people – clergy, religious sisters, and laity, representing Polish-speaking pastoral ministry in European countries. Its chairman is the Conference of Polish Bishops’ Delegate for the Pastoral Care of Polish Emigrants, Bishop Piotr Turzyński.
Translation: Sr. Ewa Dobrzelecka / Office for Foreign Communication of the Polish Bishops’ Conference
Photo: Biuro Delegata KEP ds. Duszpasterstwa Emigracji Polskiej