People interested in the scholarship program are often wondering what is happening with the youth after they end their adventure with the Foundation. Its significant result is The Association of Alumni Dzieło, which gathers those entering into the adult life, who want to continue promotion of the Christian values.Some of alumni start families, others develop a career. And there are others, who devote their lives to serve God and other people, and join the priesthood – just like Fr. Bogdan, the former scholarship holder, who shares his testimony with us.
I have been a priest for over a year and currently I servein St. John the Baptist Parish in Radłów, where Blessed Karolina Kózkówna was baptised.
At the beginning I would like to recall words of St. John Paul II, who said that vocation to the priesthood is a great gift and a mystery at the same time. Being aware of the truth of these words I thank God for my vocation. I am grateful that God allowed me to join priesthood and I try to serve Him with all my dedication and commitment, with St. John Paul II as my guiding light.
I believe that the God’s grace is the root of my vocation and fruitfulness of my priestly ministry. Only God knows when this great work in my life has begun. Surely my family and the atmosphere between us had a huge impact on the development of my vocation. Family is our “first seminar,” where we learn how to live, shape our humanity, we learn to pray and discover our true calling. I was lucky to be raised in a deeply religious family, where praying was an important part of every day. My parents taught me responsibility, diligence, and above all, love for God and the others. I am grateful to them for everything they did for me and my siblings (I have three brothers and two sisters, to whom I also owe much).
At present I am the former scholarship holder ofthe „Dzieło Nowego Tysiąclecia” Foundation, but it was a part of my life for many years, since High School to my finishing of the Higher Theological Seminary in Tarnów. Thanks to the Foundation I experienced the great goodness and I owe a lot to the Living Monument of St. John Paul II. I appreciated not only the financial help I received form the scholarship, but also the formation program based on the teachings of St. John Paul II – our Great Patron. I could explore his words by participating in many camps organized by the Foundation, where I also had the opportunity to visit many interesting places and meet a lot of wise people. I am very glad that the Foundation organizes summer formation camps to help the scholarship holders toget to know each other, but also to create a prayerful, joyful community gathered at the Eucharist. As a frequent participant of holiday formation camps I want to emphasize that everyone gathered there could feel truly family atmosphere, full of joy, mutual concern and kindness. I had the opportunity to meet there many courageous people, who were giving a testimony of truly Christian lives, what was especially admired by the citizens in towns where we stayed during the camps. They were simply surprised that in Poland there is still such youth. And thanks be to God for it – let the spark of St. John Paul II surprise and change the world!
Now, looking back at my several months long priestly ministry, I dare to say that participation information program organized by the „Dzieło Nowego Tysiąclecia” Foundation has truly influenced my current ministry in the parish in Radłów. I must admit that I am fascinated by the person of St. John Paul II and on many occasions I try to remind his teaching to others. It is also influenced by the fact that as the Foundation scholarship holders we are referred to as the Living Monument of St. John Paul II. That is why I try to explore this teaching and pass it further, so that the figure of St. John Paul II is still present in our country, and I believe that St. John Paul II prays for all scholarship holders and alumni, so they could find everything they need to fulfill their destiny. In my testimony I would like to share that every time I see on the clock the time of death of St. John Paul II – 9.37 PM, I always think of him and I pray to God with the intercession of our Patron Saint.
I am grateful to God forthe „Dzieło Nowego Tysiąclecia” Foundation, I assure of my prayers for donors, scholarship holders, as well as for its workers, asking for God’s blessing and grace needed for all of them. I believe that the Foundation, which is the Living Monument of St. John Paul II, will continue to grow and fulfill its mission of sharing St. John Paul II heritage, and let it all be for the Glory of God.
Fr. Bogdan Mikołajczyk
St. John the Baptist Parish in Radłów
The Diocese of Tarnów