Thirty five years ago, on October 16th, 1981, on the very beginning of John Paul II Pontificate, Holy Father signed by Himself the Foundation By-Law.
It is a Vatican Foundation, and therefore underlines our close connection with the Holy See. A visible sign of this relationship with the Holy See was the audience with the Holy Father Francis. The Polish Home, purchased in 1980 thanks to the generosity of Polonia from around the world, and especially Polish immigrants from the United States, become its headquarter. These are the roots of the John Paul II Foundation; it means faith of the Polish emigration and their attachment to the Church as well as love to the St. Peter’s Successor, Pope John Paul II… Today among us are present eyewitnesses of this establishment: Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, then the Holy Father’s personal secretary, Archbishop Jozef Kowalczyk, then an employee of the Secretariat of State, and deceased Mr. Władysław Zachariasiewicz (104), the initiator of the collections for the Polish Home among Polish American emigration and the promoter of the first Foundation Chapters in the United States.
Faithfully departed Cardinal Władysław Rubin was the first Chairman of the Administrative Council. Then, Archbishop Szczepan Wesoły undertook this responsible function which he held for twenty years. This year, he is celebrating his 90th birthday. We would like to wish him all the best. The Polish home, form the very beginning, was not only the Headquarter of the Foundation, but also, and foremost, it was serving Polish pilgrims who were arriving in increased numbers to the Rome; friendly piece of “Poland” in Rome, where Polish people were able to feel at home…Today, the function of the Director of the Polish Home is held with dedication by Monsignor Mieczyslaw Niepsuj, who is being helped by Rev. Dr Piotr Studnicki, by the Sisters of the Sacred Heart, and Brothers from the order of Sacred Heart of Jesus, and laic personnel. Special thanks to all of them.