EUROPE/POLAND - Priests and bishops of the diocese of Tarnow on pilgrimage to the shrine of Tuchów, to renew missionary zeal and overcome the pitfalls of "priestly sloth"

Saturday, 10 June 2023 priests   missionaries   vocations   bishops   pilgrimages  

Warsaw (Agenzia Fides) - At the feet of Mary to pray and ask that missionary zeal be revived in hearts. This was experienced by more than 500 priests and 6 bishops of the diocese of Tarnow who, once again this year, at the beginning of June, went on pilgrimage to the shrine of Tuchów, where since 1597, many pilgrims have been going to venerate Our Lady of Tuchów. The pilgrimage, now in its 7th year, is an opportunity to return to the source of the intense missionary passion that has always been a distinctive feature of the diocesan community of Tarnow.
Located in the south of the country and considered the "spiritual lung" of Poland, the diocese of Tarnow - one of the largest dioceses in Poland - began
to send the first fidei donum missionaries 50 years ago, first to various African countries, then to the rest of the world. From that moment, missionary service for Catholic communities in mission territories occupied a prominent place in the fabric of works and initiatives promoted by the diocesan pastoral care. Tarnow also began to distinguish itself for the significant number of priests ready to be sent by the bishops to carry out their pastoral service far from their homeland. A service rendered by many with dedication and joy, thanks also to the support of a real local network, created over time to support materially and spiritually the priests who go on mission.
It is in this context that the Marian pilgrimage to Tuchów took place, which this year paid particular attention to the problem of the discouragement of priests. Father Jaroslaw Tomaszewski, national secretary of the Polish Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith, preached the meditation of the pilgrimage, emphasizing in this regard that "priests too often pass through this spiritual trap, if they forget their first meeting with Jesus Christ and the reason that led them to receive the sacrament of the ministerial priesthood". When this happens – Father Tomaszewki remarked – it becomes necessary to "go back to the beginnings of one's vocational 'yes', to "leave the sadness", to draw on the effective and operative grace of the sacraments, "and also to ask oneself: "how can I work concretely on my missionary commitment? This thoughtful discernment should help to heal the discouraged heart of priestly sloth". (EG) (Agenzia Fides, 10/6/2023)