On 3 June, 2016, in the auditorium at the St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr Church in Rome, a promotional meeting of a new book by Fr. Andrzej Dobrzyński took place. The book, entitled Kapłaństwo może być piękne. Twórcza moc ośmiu błogosławieństw (The Priesthood Can Be Beautiful. The Creative Power of the Beatitudes), was published by Homo Dei, the publishing house of the Redemptorists from Krakow, in cooperation with the Center for Documentation and Research of the Pontificate of John Paul II in Rome.
The meeting was conducted by Fr. Dr. Jan Główczyk and the experts on the priesthood in the academic work as well as in the ministry of preaching and retreat took part in it.
“God will not deny His mercy to anyone. Heaven and earth may change, but God’s mercy will never be exhausted.”
S. Faustina Kowalska
In Pliszczyn, on May 12-15, 2016, took place the last in this academic year retreat for the John Paul II Foundation’s fellowship recipients. Rev. Dr. Tadeusz Michałek, Sacred Heart Priests from Sosnowiec led the retreat. The leading theme of the retreat was mercy. We listened to very interesting and informative speeches about Divine Mercy, how to notice it in daily life, and how to show it to others. The retreat provided a great opportunity to better examine our conscience and prepare for the confession. During confession, we were able to tangibly feel this infinite and incomprehensible mercy of God, who does not want to condemn man but to accept him/her even with the greatest sins. Besides that, the retreat time was a time of reflection and prayers. There was daily Chaplet of Divine Mercy prayer, which is the prayer that Jesus gave us, revealing it to St. Faustina Kowalska. We listened to a few conferences during which anyone could speak, ask questions, to which the priest eagerly provided answers dispelling all our doubts. During group exercises, we were able to present and discuss our own visions of mercy.
On Sunday, May 15th, 2016 in Pliszczyn took place another John Paul II Foundation’s Day, commemorating the birthday of the Founder and Patron. Let us recall that already for 26 years the John Paul II Foundation provides spiritual and material support to students from Central and Eastern Europe.
Every year in Pliszczyn fellowship recipients from all years, gather to spend time together on this festive day. This time, celebrations started in the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church with a concert prepared by the early music ensemble “La Folia”. After the concert, a Mass in the intention of St. John Paul II, the Apostle of Divine Mercy, was celebrated by our dear priests – Rev. Jan and Rev. Franciszek. The Eucharist was led by Rev. Tadeusz Michałek, Sacred Heart Priests, who also delivered the homily. Some were able to get to know Rev. Tadeusz personally during the last two series of retreats in February and May which were dedicated to Divine Mercy. After the Mass, at the monastery gardens, snacks and refreshments were provided to all participants.
The John Paul II Foundation was established by a Papal Decree on October 16, 1981 as a religious, educational, charitable and non-profit organization. Its official seat is located at the Vatican. The Foundation owns a building in Rome at 1200 via Cassia where the secretarial offices are located. The main goals of the Foundation include:
- preservation and development of the spiritual heritage of John Paul II as well as Christian heritage and culture;
- providing educational assistance and scholarships to young intellectuals from Eastern European countries (outside of the European Union) to study at the Catholic University in Lublin, and the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Kraków, Poland.
- collection and preservation of documents and propagation of Pope John Paul II’s teachings;
- assistance to Christian pilgrims on visits to the Holy See, particularly pilgrims from Poland and Eastern countries;
Some specific activities of the Foundation include:
- The Center for Documentation and Research of the Pontificate of John Paul II preserves documents relating to John Paul II’s pontificate and is passing on this patrimony to future generations. The collected materials are used in leading scholarly researches, studies and press articles. The Center is also organizing symposia and exhibits. Approximately 30,000 volumes located in the Center's library are available to scholars researching the teachings of John Paul II.
- The Museum of gifts offered to John Paul II by pilgrims. So far 10,000 items were formally catalogued.
- Scholarships for students from Eastern Europe. The John Paul II Foundation prepares future intellectual leaders for the countries of Eastern Europe. It does this through scholarship assistance given to students attending the Catholic University of Lublin and the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Kraków, Poland. The Foundation covers all costs of education, and provides scholarships to 161 students from 7 countries. Students reside in the John Paul II Foundation Home. As of today over 900 students have completed their courses of study, received their academic degrees, and returned home to work.
- Short-term scholarships are provided to individuals who come to Rome to do research on the John Paul II teachings.
- John Paul II Foundation - Casa per Ferie in Rome is open to all pilgrims. At the home scholarly meetings and religious and cultural gatherings are held. The Home is a place where pilgrims experience religious and cultural dimensions of their pilgrimage.
All activities of the John Paul II Foundation are possible thanks to the continuing financial help and support provided from around the world. The John Paul II Foundation is open to cooperate with organizations and institutions that are dedicated to promote and disseminate the Pope John Paul II teachings in their Christian outreach and in cooperation with the Apostolic See.
The supreme authority of the Foundation is governed by Cracow's Metropolitan Archbishop Most Rev. Marek Jędraszewski. The Chairman of the Administrative Council is Most Rev. Card. Stanisław Ryłko.
The Administrative Secretariat of the Foundation is led by Rev. Dr. Krzysztof Wieliczko. The Secretariat provides support with respect to the activities of The Center for Documentation and Research of the Pontificate of John Paul II, as well as other institutions of the Foundation, such as: John Paul II Foundation - Casa per Ferie (Director: Msgr. Mieczyslaw Niepsuj) and John Paul II Foundation Home in Lublin (Director: Rev. Jan Strzałka, SCJ).
The Center for Documentation and Research of the Pontificate of John Paul II is subdivided into the Documentation Division and the Research Division led by Rev. Dr. Andrzej Dobrzyński.
The Administrative Secretariat makes the Foundation present wherever possible and promotes the purposes of the Foundation. It also edits the quarterly Bulletin, which informs its readers about the work and activities of the Foundation.
The generous contributions of many benefactors from Poland and from all over the world make the work of the Foundation possible. Many of the benefactors are members in the Chapters and Societies of "Friends of the Foundation". There are 48 groups of Friends of the Foundation in 18 countries on four continents.
The Foundation is able to realize its goals and purposes thanks to the financial and moral support it receives from its Friends, who see in the Foundation's work a contribution to the great pontificate of John Paul II. The Holy Father emphasized the contributions and generosity of the Friends in his address to them at a private audience on October 26, 1995, when he said:
„The good work of the Foundation was made possible only through the good will of many people who individually and in an organized way through the Friends' Chapters of the Foundation in many countries helped this important endeavor. ... I thank you for what you are doing to help this valuable institution grow and I encourage you to continue your generosity in the future.”
HOW CAN YOU HELP THE FOUNDATION?
- Join or organize a Chapter of the Friends of the Foundation;
- Spread information about the Foundation and its work;
- Send your gifts to the Foundation;
- Remember the Foundation in your Last Will.
In the intentions of all Benefactors special prayers are offered daily in the Chapel of the Polish Home, especially on Thursday when special prayers are offered at the grave of the Servant of God, John Paul II.
Fondazione Giovanni Paolo II
Banca Prossima S.p.A.
POPE JOHN PAUL II FOUNDATION
Via di Porta Angelica 63
Tel. 39-06-3036-5181; 06-3031-0398
Access from Rome City Center: bus nr. 201 from Piazza Mancini, bus nr. 907 form Via Cipro; Train FM3 (to Viterbo, Cesano, Bracciano), to Station La Giustiniana (from Station 3 bus stops nr. 021, 201, 223; approximately a 10 minute walk).
From Grande Raccordo Anulare: follow exit 5 towards Cassia-Viterbo.