Poland Snapshots

Gifts for the Poor

Wojciech and Silwia had an unusual request for the guests at their wedding. Instead of gifts for the newlyweds, the couple asked for cutting boards, vegetable peelers, and other items useful in preparing a weekly soup for the poor.

The gifts for the poor were given to “Soup in Kato” an initiative of the Good Shepherd Community which is a ministry of the Archdiocese of Katowice. Meals are prepared by the community for the homeless in the city of Silesia.

The community was created by the Missionary Oblates in 1993 to provide activities aimed at the poor, homeless, and addicted. Currently, Fr. Andrzej Kordek, OMI, is the chaplain of the community.

Pope Blesses Crowns for Koden

A delegation of the Missionary Oblates visited the Holy Father on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the coronation of the image of Our Lady of Koden. 

The Shrine of Our Lady of Koden is the main Marian shrine in the Diocese of Siedlce in the easts of Poland. The Oblates have been responsible for the shrine since 1927. Annually, over 200,000 pilgrims visit the sanctuary.

During the papal audience at the Vatican, Pope Francis blessed the crowns prepared on the occasion of the 300th anniversary. Pope Francis also asked the Oblate delegation from Poland about their work at the Shrine which is located on the border with Belarus and very close to Ukraine.

“Last year was very difficult for Koden, but on the other hand, the spiritual development continues,” said Fr. Pavel Zajac, OMI, Provincial of the Polish Province.  “The situation on the eastern border led to our pilgrim house being used not only for pilgrims, but also soldiers, and policemen who stayed in this area most all the time, guarding our security and keeping an eye on the borders. From July 1, everything is open at the Shrine of Our Lady of Koden and thousands of pilgrims are gathering again.”