March 27, 2015
The Polish Province, in conjunction with the University of Saint John Paul II, hosted an international conference on Resurrectionist spirituality in Krakow on February 25. The conference was entitled “Resurrectionists: Towards the Spiritual Rebirth of Society.”
The conference included an opening Mass, presided by the auxiliary bishop of Krakow. All the Resurrectionists were able to celebrate mass and evening prayer on another night at a Benedictine Abbey that was founded in 1040 by King Casimir the Restorer.
Four of the talks were delivered by Polish scholars, one was delivered by a young Hungarian scholar, and the remaining talks were given by Fr. Paul Sims, C.R. of the USA Province and Fr. James Donohue, C.R. of the Ontario-Kentucky Province.
Fr. Jim’s talk is entitled “The Eight Principles of Resurrectionist Spirituality Applied to Undergraduate Teaching.” The conference was attended by dignitaries of the university, many Resurrectionist sisters and other religious, lay scholars interested in Resurrectionist spirituality, and the 40 religious superiors and pastors of the Polish Province. Opening remarks were given by the Polish Province Provincial, Fr. Wiesław Śpiewalk, C.R. and closing remarks were made by Fr. James Gibson, C.R., who represented the General Curia of the Congregation of the Resurrection. The conference was organized by Fr. Wojciech Mleczko, C.R., who will be leading the retreat for the members of Ontario-Kentucky Province, September 14-18, 2015.
The Resurrectionists were also able to tour the Wieliczka Salt Mines, just outside Krakow, where they celebrated Mass in the chapel of St. Kinga. The salt mines are quite an experience. The mine was worked in continuously from the 13th century until the late 20th century and features magnificent chapels, religious sculptures carved in salt, and unique views. Beautiful chambers, galleries and passageways.
The magnificent sculptures in the chapel are dedicated to St. Anthony. A wooden staircase with 378 steps provides access to the mine's 64-meter (210-foot) level. A 3-kilometer (1.9-mile) tour features corridors, chapels, statues, and underground lake, which is 135 meters (443 feet) underground. An elevator returns visitors to the surface; the elevator holds 36 persons (nine per car) and takes some 30 seconds to make the trip.
Even though the language is different, the Resurrectionist hospitality was nothing but what we always have come to expect: one of graciousness and generosity.