He was with us, and is still among us...
Polonia (Poles living abroad) are important to Poland, as Poland is to Polonia. They are mutually important to each other. (Cardinal K. Wojtyła in USA, Aug. 10, 1976)
Cardinal Karol Wojtyla chose our parish community and graced us with his presence on August 29 – 30, 1976, coinciding with the celebrations of the Golden Jubilee of our Polish Parish in the City of Angels. He came to us then, after having attended the Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia, PA.
His words to us, recorded in the pages of the Parish Memorial Book, prove to be very eloquent, prophetic even, exciting, and motivating to profound thoughts and reflections: In remembrance of the ceremony on August 29, 1976, in Los Angeles, I give my best wishes and God's blessing, to continue in multiples of fifty years the service of the Polish Parish of Our Lady of Czestochowa to the People of God of the local Polish community. Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, Archbishop of Krakow.
After returning to his homeland in September 1976, he addressed personal correspondence to Fr. Wladyslaw Gowin SChr, which mentioned that historic visit, thanking them for all their kindness and for earnestly carrying out the pastoral care of the Polish community, and above all, providing a pastoral blessing. He wrote: Please accept my thanks to you personally, and to all the members of the Society of Christ, whom I met during my stay in the United States, and who so beautifully and effectively work among the Polish community - particularly, I mean Los Angeles ( ... ) Thank you for showing me such kindness. I wish you God's blessings in your work and I send you fraternal greetings in Christ the Lord.
In January 1978, in a letter to the pastor, Fr . Zbigniew Olbryś SChr, Wojtyla personally thanked parishioners for donations to build a legendary temple, the Ark of the Lord in the Parish of Our Lady Queen of Poland in Krakow - Nowa Huta, which were offered during his stay in our parish. He wrote then, among others: (...) I thank you for being so benevolent to the memory of the Church in Krakow and for the gift of the construction of Nowa Huta. On the threshold of the New Year, I wish you the Grace and blessings of God.
One must also mention the correspondence from the Vatican Secretary of State, signed by Fr. Bishop Eduardo Martinez Somalo, an associate to General matters, on November 6, 1979, which states, inter alia: (...) His Holiness Pope John Paul II with joy and emotion accepted the cordial words of memory, devotion, and kindness sent by the Venerable priest and His Parish Community. The Holy Father fondly recalls visiting the Parish. (...) Thank you for the generous gift from the parishioners, a proof of generous self-sacrifice. He sends the Parish Community hopes for further development in the spirit of unity and Christian love, and gives a special Apostolic Blessing to the faithful and to the pastor.
(Click HERE to see photos and LISTEN to the recording of his visit in August 1976)
John Paul II returned to our temple exactly on the 35th anniversary of this historic event, his visit to the Polish community in Los Angeles, which coincided with the 85th anniversary of our parish. This time, he came in the sign of holy relics, during our celebrations of the Virgin of Czestochowa on August 26, 2011, just three months after his beatification. The solemn act of his introduction to our Marian temple was conducted by our Pastor, whereas the Holy Mass was presided over and the word of God preached by Fr Zbigniew Pieńkos C.Ss.R., Director of the Office of Radio Maria in Chicago. This was the first and only reliquary of his on the American continent at the time. It was given to our parish community on July 10, 2011, by his personal secretary, Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki, Metropolitan of Lvov, during the nineteenth Radio Maria Family Pilgrimage to Jasna Gora. Previously, we had received a letter, in which he wrote, inter alia: Thank you for your letter of May 18, 2011, in which the Pastor asks that the Polish Parish, Our Lady of Czestochowa in Los Angeles, may receive relics of Blessed John Paul II. Responding with joy to the presented request, I am happy to provide relics of the 1st degree of ex Capilis Beati Joannis Pauli II. (...)
Our Pastor, Rafal Dyguła SChr, received the relics of the Blessed Polish Pope in person, at the shrine of Jasna Gora in Czestochowa, at the feet of the Black Madonna.
On this occasion, our parish community received a blessing from the Archbishop of Krakow, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz. The Papal Secretary wrote to us, among others: (...) I am glad that the Polish Parish Our Lady of Czestochowa in Los Angeles, California will house the relics of Blessed John Paul II. As papal legate, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla prayed in this church 35 years ago, on the occasion of the Eucharistic Congress; and now he comes here as a Blessed, to remain among his compatriots residing outside Polish borders. May His spiritual presence bring all the faithful closer to Christ. He is our Father, and our Guide in finding the way to God; He is the way of love and trust, and his "Totus Tuus - all yours" pledged to the Blessed Virgin is an example of a loving relationship with Jesus. May Blessed John Paul II intercede on behalf of all those who come to present their requests and concerns before the throne of God. In union with the prayers of your Pastor and the entire parish, I send cordial greetings and blessings.
One must also mention at this point the fragments of correspondence to the priests of the Society of Christ in Los Angeles from the Polish Primate Fr . Jozef Kowalczyk, the Archbishop of Gniezno, which reads: (...) In his homily during the beatification of the Polish Pope, the Holy Father Benedict XVI emphasized that < John Paul II is Blessed because of his faith: a strong and generous, apostolic faith. (...) Today the Church is pleased to announce that forever John Paul II is Blessed, and as inscribed in the very words of Christ: "Blessed are you, Simon" and "Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed." It is exactly this blessing of faith, which John Paul II received as a gift from God the Father; faith for the building up of Christ's Church > . I take to heart the words of Benedict XVI, and I wish you such strong and apostolic faith. I promise you my prayerful support, especially in the intention of further success in your pastoral ministry. May God richly bless you in this work; may you continue with the dedication, sacrifice, and dedication that has strengthened the spirit of unity among the Polish community in the parish of "Our Lady of The Bright Mount."
Prayer for the intercession of Bl. John Paul II
John Paul II, our holy messenger,
patron of difficult cases.
You, whose life exemplified great love for God and people,
leading us through Jesus and Mary,
loving both, and wanting to help others.
Through love and great suffering, offered up for others,
every day leading closer to sainthood.
I would like to ask you to intercede on my behalf ...
believing that by your faith, prayer and love, help take my plea to God.
I trust in the mercy of God and the power of Thy papal prayer.
Following your example, I wish to become closer to God through Jesus and Mary. Amen.
Our Father ... Hail Mary ... Glory be to the Father ...
Blessed John Paul II, pray for us!