“Pastoral accompaniment to a married couple and family in exile” was the subject of the plenary meeting of the Polish Pastoral Council for Western Europe on Saturday, September 26. Due to the difficulties resulting from the pandemic, it was held on-line.
The council published the following statement after the meeting:
On September 26, an on-line plenary meeting of the Polish Pastoral Council for Western Europe was held. The session was chaired by Bishop Wiesław Lechowicz – Delegate of the Polish Episcopal Conference for the Pastoral Care of Polish Emigration. The meeting was attended by representatives of Polish pastoral circles – clergy, religious, and laypeople. PRDEZ takes up current pastoral challenges and sets the directions of pastoral activities in Polish diaspora centers. The theme of this year’s meeting was “Pastoral accompaniment to married couples”.
The inspiration for the exchange of experiences and the formulation of postulates were conferences delivered by Mrs. Bożena Bass from the Institute of Family Studies in Łomianki (“Preparation of Polish diaspora leaders for the pastoral care of families in exile”) and Mrs. Małgorzata Walaszczyk from the Department of Pastoral Care of the Warsaw-Praga Curia (“Model systemic formation work with marriage “).
Despite the diverse situation in different countries, the participants of the PRDEZ plenary meeting admitted that accompanying young couples and couples in difficulties deserve special attention. The need for pastoral accompaniment of the so-called mixed marriages. Accompaniment should be practical, evangelizing and formative, and should be done with humility, truth, and love. It has been pointed out that the first pastors of marriages are the spouses themselves, while the clergy perform auxiliary functions. The Commission for Marriages and Families operating within PRDEZ undertook to prepare an outline showing the planes and forms of accompanying spouses in the Polish community. A decision was also made related to greater coordination and promotion of activities in the field of pastoral care for married couples and families.
The meeting ended with a rosary prayer for Polish married couples and families.