Bialystok (Agenzia Fides)- “On the solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, the Church presents herself to the world as a communion of persons, in the image and likeness of God, because God is a communion of three persons. May this great mystery be for you, dear Taddeo, a project for your diocesan church. May your diocesan community be a communion of persons who in prayer and sanctification encounter Christ to whom they bear witness. Be for them a humble and generous shepherd ready to shoulder the burdens of the people; instill trust among your priests and religious, foster cooperation and sharing; never be discouraged by difficulties”. These words by Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples (CEP), were addressed to Fr Tadeusz Wojda SAC during the Mass for his Ordination as Archbishop of Białystok. The two assistant bishops were Edward Ozorowski, emeritus archbishop of Bialystok, and archbishop Henryk Hoser, SAC, of Warszawa-Prague, former CEP secretary adjunct and President of the Pontifical Mission Societies.
Cardinal Filoni ordained the new archbishop (don Wojda, SAC a Pallottine father and former CEP undersecretary official), in the Metropolitan Basilica of Białystok, on the morning of 10 June, in the presence of 33 bishops and circa 350 priests. Among those present a large delegation from the CEP and the Pontifical Mission Societies, led by the Cardinal Prefect and Bishop Protase Rugambwa, CEP Secretary adjunct and President of the Pontifical Mission Societies. The celebration was attended by members of the local Orthodox and Protestant communities as well as civil and military representatives. The President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, sent a message to the new Archbishop which was read by the president’s chaplain Fr. Zbigniew Kras.
“Don Taddeo is a worthy son of this beloved country of Poland and I am happy that he asked me to ordain him a Bishop, not only because of the friendship which unites us but because I myself, having been ordained by Saint John Paul II, can, so to say, hand on a little of the spiritual DNA of that great Pontiff to you and to the whole of this local Church so dear to us” said Cardinal Filoni in the homily.
Encouraging Archbishop Wojda to be a shepherd “who guides the people of God on its earthly pilgrimage to eternal happiness”, the Cardinal concluded thanking him for “the twenty seven years in the service of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples. And you, dear brothers and sisters of Białystok love and pray always for your new Shepherd. May Mary Most Holy, Queen of Poland, protect you and your Church . Amen.”. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 12/6/2017)