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Apostolic Movement

An outstanding pilgrim at the Schoenstatt Shrine in Koszalin

Sisters of Mary | Shrine Chełmska Mountain in Koszalin

On the afternoon of Monday, May 29, the feast of the Mother of the Church, we received in Góra Chełmska and in the Shrine of the Covenant an outstanding pilgrim: Mr. Andrzej Duda, President of the Republic of Poland.

After a brief welcome of the Head of State by Bishop Zbigniew Zieliński, Sister M. Elwira and the superior of the branch, Sister M. Joanna, the President laid a wreath at a monument at the foot of the mountain. This opportunity is reminiscent of previous visits to Góra Chełmska and the Shrine of the Covenant by previous Polish presidents – Lech Kaczyński and Ryszard Kaczorowski.

Präsident Duda

Like any true pilgrim, President Duda did not go up the mountain by car, but made his way up to the Shrine on foot. On the way, Sister M. Elwira had the opportunity to share briefly with the President about our mission. In front of the Shrine the other sisters and the invited priests were waiting. After a brief common and then personal prayer and veneration of the relics of St. John Paul II, President Duda signed the commemorative book and thanked us for our hospitality, kindness and, as he wrote, “the support of Polish women, for whose dignity and well-being the Sisters work with extraordinary sensitivity and strength.”

He then presented a gift for the Covenant Shrine: three beautiful altar candles. In turn, we presented the President with a hand-decorated candle from our Covenant Foundation and a large picture of the MTA, which the President reverently kissed.

Koszalin The last and the most important point of the visit was the awarding of the Commander’s Cross of “Polonia Restituta” to Auxiliary Bishop Edward Dajczak. As the ceremony took place on the square next to our newly built pilgrim center, the President took an interest in the works in progress and this time he also walked along the longest path to see them up close.

Präsident Duda

Excerpt from the Koszalin-Kołobrzeg Diocese report

“As read by the representative of the National Chancellery who presided over the ceremony, the Major Bishop received the award ‘for outstanding merits in pastoral activity, as well as in social and charitable activity.’

In awarding recognition to the clergy, I emphasize that such an award given by the President is not ecclesiastical, but rather a state award. It is a recognition by the Republic of Poland for the personal contribution of an outstanding man to the country’s development,” Andrzej Duda said.

After exchanging brief parting words, our pledge to pray for him and the President’s fervent petitions, a convoy of black limousines drove through the mountain; members of our state and local government waved us goodbye.

We hope that this visit to the Queen of the Covenant will strengthen our President in his difficult service to our homeland and perhaps inspire visits to other Schoenstatt Shrines in Poland.

Photos: Fr. Wojciech Parfianowicz

Photo source: Diocese of Koszalin-Kołobrzeg



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