On Sunday, November 19th, the Polish Community in Cork and Ross experienced a unique celebration.
Mass in St. Augustine’s Church was celebrated by Bishop Artur Ważny, Auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Tarnów and chairman of the Committee for the New Evangelization within the Polish Bishops’ Conference.
Bishop Artur traveled to Ireland at the invitation of the Polish families involved in the Domestic Church movement which celebrated its 10th anniversary in Ireland at Knock Shrine last Saturday the 18th of November. While Bishop Artur has been to Ireland before, this was his first visit since being ordained bishop.
The Eucharist was also attended by Bishop Fintan, who in his address to the Polish community gathered in the church, thanked the Tarnów diocese and the bishop of Tarnów for the priests who have previously served and those who currently minister in the diocese of Cork and Ross: Fr. Piotr Galus (also present in the church that evening), Fr. Kazimierz, Fr. Rafał, and Fr. Kamil.
Bishop Fintan expressed his appreciation for their ministry and spoke with hope about further cooperation between Cork and Tarnów. He asked the Polish Community not to lose their identity on the one hand, and on the other not to be afraid to integrate and become more involved in the local faith community, which is becoming increasingly international. Bishop Fintan also asked Bishop Artur to pass on his greetings and an invitation to the Bishop of Tarnów to visit Cork.
Sunday's meeting was a good opportunity to recognise the presence and help of the Augustinian Community, who have been hosting the Polish Community continuously since 2005, when Fr. Piotr Galus - the first chaplain to the Polish Community came to Cork.
Bishop Artur's visit gathered many Polish people in the church: a large group of the altar servers, the choir, the parents and the Polish families to pray together. Before the Eucharist, in the afternoon, there was an open meeting with Bishop Artur and Father Galus at Ballincollig Community Hall. After the evening Mass Bishop Artur led the congregation in worship and solemn Benediction.