Appeal for Poland is a tradition of love and sharing

Sat, Aug 8th 2015 08:00 am
Diocesan Coordinator, Catholic League
Student priests begin the day with concelebrated Mass at the Polish Pontifical College in Rome. (Courtesy of Father Matthew Kopacz)
Student priests begin the day with concelebrated Mass at the Polish Pontifical College in Rome. (Courtesy of Father Matthew Kopacz)

The 2015 Catholic League Appeal for Religious Assistance to the Church in Poland takes place throughout the month of August in the eight counties of the Diocese of Buffalo. Your contributions will help keep open the Polish Pontifical College and the Polish Pontifical Institute, both in Rome, where bishops of Poland send their talented priests for higher studies.

Last academic year, you helped to provide this opportunity for about 100 priests. They are most grateful.

While residing in Rome, these young priests study at many prestigious Roman Institutions such as the Pontifical Biblical Institute, the University of the Holy Cross, the Pontifical Gregorian University of St. Thomas (Angelicum), to name a few. The locations of the college and institute provide the opportunity for these priests to become familiar with contemporary and ever emerging issues of the Church.

The bishops of Poland are keenly aware that there is a tremendous need for a well-educated clergy, to have learned dogmatic theologians, Holy Scripture and liturgy scholars, canon law professors and others to serve in chanceries and leadership roles.

While in Rome, in the closest proximity to the footsteps of Saints Peter and Paul, the fathers of the Church, the early martyrs and saints, these student-priests immerse themselves in the historical splendor of the Catholic Church. As with former alumni, surely they are inspired to a deeper faith.

The mission of the Pontifical College and the Pontifical Institute remains unchanged - to prepare well-educated priests and mentors for Polish seminaries, universities, colleges and chanceries. Some will become bishops. When these priests return to Poland, the quality of their education will directly or indirectly affect seminarians and the laity.

Your charitable contribution to this years' appeal will have a ripple effect. The Catholic League, if financially able, will also provide assistance to bishops' requests for orphanages, hospitals, needy parishes, evangelization and missionaries.

Exciting things are happening. Bishop Andrew Wypych, auxiliary in the Archdiocese of Chicago and national executive director of the Catholic League, informs us, "As part of our reflection and conversation about the future direction of the Catholic League, I would like to begin a discussion of how we could possibly broaden our definition and understanding of the mission of the league."

"When the founders of the Catholic League met in September of 1944, they adopted a new constitution which listed 12 specific purposes for the league. The first purpose was to spread, foster and strengthen the principles of the Catholic faith among Americans of Polish descent. It is my hope and desire that we can formulate and put together a vision and action plan that will help us to assist with the needs of Polonia in the United States."

In just two years, the Catholic League will begin preparations to observe a 75th anniversary and possibly, hopefully, with a national convention. The only way to ensure the future viability of the organization is for all of us to come together and strive for its success. I hope and pray that, once again, I can have the support of clergy, deacons, parish administrators, religious and laity.

I entrust all our efforts through the intercession of Our Lady of Czestochowa. God bless you for what you will be able to do. Contributions may be made in your parish collection or forwarded to me.


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