On 2-4 March, the meeting of the Provincial Council in which the Superiors of the Houses, Fr. Provincial, Assistants and Delegates participated, took place. Most of the participants were present at the Hebdów Retreat House, and the others via the Internet, a total of 21 religious.
The meeting began with the prayer of the Crown of Divine Mercy. The first sessions were formative in nature. Fr. Tadeusz Florek O.C.D gave the talk dedicated to the topic of preparing superiors to accompany in the community. He took the time for the community prayer of the liturgy of the hours, the worship of the Most Holy, the celebration of the Eucharist, fraternal meetings and eight sessions.
Fr. Piotr Recki, Delegate of Vocational Pastoral Care, reported that over the past two years, despite the pandemic, 20 shifts of vocational retreats were organized with the participation of 142 boys in the age between 16 and 30 years, most are university students. As a group of participants 12 of them are our students and 6 come from our parishes. In addition, 7 young people took advantage of the possibility of individual retirement. Such retreats are organized at the juniorate house in Kraków. In the evaluation the boys greatly value the atmosphere of the community, hospitality and welcome, candor and fraternity. The program contains the possibility of individual talk with spiritual accompaniment.
Fr. Tomasz Jędruch, Assistant of the parishes, described the parish situation during the pandemic. We continue with the preparation of the first Communion and Confirmation. The schedule of Eucharistic celebrations and others remains stable. The sick and the elderly are able to receive the sacrament of the Unction. In some parishes you can see the growth in the number of funerals. The parish groups of the formation follow their path, although some of them online or without prior regularity. There are new initiatives such as miniponences of fundamental theology for university students in Kraków Pijarska, catechesis for adults on the sacraments and sacraments at Kraków Wieczysta, the Seminar on the Renewal of the Faith via the Internet in Jelenia Góra, the night worship of the Most Holy in Kraków Rakowice. After many months, the seven Calasanz Cultural Centres that form the network of non-formal education at the provincial level begin to operate. Fr. Tomasz set some challenges in the parish dimension: the proper celebration of the Eucharist with the participation of children, the preparation for the first Communion with the formation of parents, the systematic practice of the Confession of minors, the formation of existing groups and above all the need for a proposal for training for children and young people in their age.
Fr. Sławomir Dziadkiewicz, Assistant of the Schools, recapitulated that in today’s school carried by the Piarists in 8 cities in Poland, there are 4106 students. The test results at the end of elementary and high school are very satisfactory. In recent months, virtual meetings for directors and accountants have taken place. The low initiative is the support group for the educators and psychologists of our schools. The Provincial Council of Educational and Pedagogical Innovation that make up ten people, among them, the religious and lay people of our schools, continue their work preparing the following editions of the Piarist Educational Meeting and proposing the summer training field for our high school students.
Fr. Łukasz Adamusiak presented the fruit of the work of the Secretariat of the Initial Formation, that is, the new proposal of the annual Prenovitiate. Its objective is: God’s experience in personal and community prayer with an emphasis on the Sacrament of Confession; self-knowledge; individual work in the dimension of relationships with their parents and their families; the experience of the Calasanctian charism; maturation on the path of free response to the Piarist vocation.
Fr. Dominik Bochenek, Delegate of the Pastoral Care of Children shared the good experiences of the operation of the family office “Effata” in Bolesławiec which has the free help of 16 specialists, such as psychologist, psychiatrist, psychotherapist, pedagogue, speech therapist, nutritionist, family life counselor, professional life counselor, spiritual director, and others.
Fr. Jacek Wolan, Assistant of Youth Pastoral and Communication, showed the website with the first materials for the Calasanz Movement groups. Because of the pandemic, unfortunately, the Shifts of the Discernment Course were cancelled, but we hope to take advantage of the possibilities as soon as possible. A new initiative appears in the provincial calendar of youth ministry, i.e. the Summer School Youth Meeting in Poznań. In the coming years we will have the very significant events: the Youth Spirituality Congress is scheduled for September 2021; “Piarist Youth Meeting” in Rzeszów – Kraków, the meeting of the Piarist youth of European demarcations is postponed to the summer of 2022; we try to organize a Piarist group for WYD in Lisbon 2023.
Fr. Józef Tarnawski, Provincial Treasurer, presented the economic situation of the Communities and Works of the Province which, despite the urgent needs, thank God, is stable. Expenditures in communities and religious were discussed in detail to reflect on how to live the poverty vow.
Fr. Mateusz Pindelski, Provincial, reported on the preparations of the General Chapter. The great challenge for the Province is the project of the Days of the Piarist Charism. This project is the concrete response to the proposal of the last Provincial Chapter: In the middle of the quadrennial, organize a meeting of the Piarist -religious to deepen the knowledge of our charism, to analyze and update it in the communities. In two shifts of these Days organized in October of the current year, will participate all the religious and novices of the Province with the presence of a day of the Piarist Sisters, the members of the Fraternity, the representatives of our laity and young people. The Team dedicated to this task prepares the materials and people who will begin the preparatory path for these Days in the communities after Easter until September of this year.
P. Jacek Wolan Sch. P.