At a Mass of Thanksgiving marking the first year of Aleteia’s Polish edition, Kazimierz Cardinal Nycz said that “during this Holy Mass we wish to thank God for what originated a year ago and all that has happened since in the Polish edition of this evangelizing online portal.” The Archbishop of Warsaw added that this was moreover an opportunity to thank the friends from France who were instrumental for this entire endeavor, and all those who carry out the mission in many countries and who have brought it to Poland, too.
Making a reference to the venue of the celebration — Sts. Albert and Andrew Church in Warsaw’s Theatre Square, known as “the church of the creatives” — the celebrant observed that gathered in the congregation are those who want to make a lasting imprint on culture, arts and all the important matters of the life of the Church. “In this sense, you have come to thank the Lord as a truly creative community right at the heart of the Church,” said the Metropolitan of Warsaw to the editors of Polish Aleteia.
Cardinal Nycz highlighted the fact that the Church has spoken about evangelization for a long time, even if many seem to think that the first to put forth the idea was St. John Paul II. Actually, however, it was Pope Paul VI’s exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi of 1975 that mapped out all the major challenges the Church has to address in this respect. “Aleteia in all of its language versions seems to be responding to this post-conciliar call for evangelisation which God wants the Church to take on,” stressed the cardinal. He moreover added that the creativity of the portal’s editors and collaborators is expressed not only by the content provided, as outlined in the Church documents and in the teaching of the popes in recent years, but also in the application of cutting-edge evangelization tools and methods.
Commenting on the readings of the day, from the Epistle to the Colossians and St. Luke’s version of the Beatitudes, Cardinal Nycz stressed that both texts point to the essence of evangelization’s message: “It is the Crucified and Resurrected Christ.” He added that this is the greatest gift offered by Christ to His Church: to preach and share with others the Gospel which has the power of salvation.
The Holy Mass was co-celebrated by Archbishop Stanisław Budzik of Lublin as well as by many priests, including Fr. Paweł Rytel-Andrianik, spokesperson of the Polish Bishops’ Conference.
After Mass, the first birthday of the Polish edition of Aleteia was celebrated at a special gala and banquet in the meeting room of the Polish Bishops’ Conference. Archbishop Stanisław Budzik expressed a wish that Aleteia should always pave the way to the discovery of the truth about God and man in the Church and that it should always teach us love, as truth without love is cruel and love without truth blind. The Metropolitan of Lublin stressed moreover that Aleteia has an important role to play in the new evangelization, on the path to discover and build a Christian identity in today’s world.
The unquestionable contribution of the website was further indicated by Marcin Przeciszewski, Director of the Polish Catholic News Agency. “We are witnesses to an unprecedented success of a religious portal in Poland. We are extremely glad and thankful to our readers, whom you represent.” Przeciszewski explained that the success consists in bearing witness to and inspiring “a Christian way of everyday living, in line with the Gospel: how to be a Catholic businessman, entrepreneur, father, mother, how to live in a family, as well as how to love and live more.” He observed that people in Poland are hungry for such a message.
Aleteia’s Director General Pierre-Marie Dumont spoke about the inspirations contributing to the creation of the Polish edition of the portal. He confessed: “Ever since I became director of Aleteia, I opted for starting the work in Poland. It is in Poland and in the eastern part of Europe that we deal with a spiritual renewal which the West knows nothing about and yet needs so badly.” He stressed that Poland, unlike the Church in Western Europe, is still reaping the good fruit of the Second Vatican Council. “New Evangelization begins when all Christians are faithful to their vocation, carrying out their duties in the family and workplace, being images of the love and mercy of Christ. All of this is to stress the unity of Christians,” observed Dumont. He moreover recalled that, contrary to the tendencies in Western Europe, Catholic journalists should be inspired in their work by the Holy Spirit and the message of the Beatitudes. He observed that this divine inspiration is tangible in the work of the editors and collaborators of the Polish Aleteia, who are irreplaceable in the joint creation of this international website.
Anna Sosnowska, editor-in-chief of Aleteia Polska, too stressed the fact that the success of the Polish portal is a collaborative effort of lay Catholics who enjoy the confidence of the Church and wish to create an online community which addresses important issues in a balanced, non-divisive way. She shared her staff’s commitment: “We long for talking calmly and peacefully about what is the most crucial.” Sosnowska thanked Cardinal Nycz and Archbishop Budzik for the trust the Polish bishops put in the authors of Aleteia Polska: “It is of paramount importance that the Church trusts us, lay Catholics who love the Church dearly.”
This article originally appeared in Aleteia’s Polish edition. It has been translated and edited for our English-speaking readers. Congratulations to Aleteia Polska on its first birthday!
Click here for a photo gallery of the Polish anniversary celebration.