On July 31, 2018, the Ukrainian District was formally incorporated into the Southern Poland Province and became an integral part of it. This was part of the restructuring process setting out new boundaries for the Society's Province in this part of Europe. Several Jesuits from PME have been working in Ukraine for years, but this new reality will provide more impetus for cooperation in the field of pastoral ministry. Seeing the success of Pray As You Go had in many countries, including Poland since 2011, the next logical step was to develop the Ukrainian version, iMolytva. In autumn 2018, plans to launch the project started taking shape thanks to Fr. Віталій Осмоловський (Vitaliy Osmolovskyy) sj. It was only natural to build on the experience and achievements of Modlitwa w drodze (the Polish version of Pray As You Go). The project is the fruit of inter-provincial cooperation. Thanks to a dedicated team, it offers audio clips, texts for reflection and much more. Since Ash Wednesday, iMolytva is available on www.imolytva.org in both desktop and mobile versions. Those looking for an application will have to wait a couple of months. Work has already started but there remains some technical glitches to solve before the application is fully functional. In the meantime, we are happy to share with you the fruit of our collaboration and encourage you to spread the message.
It is a magical and sacred place for the highlanders, and for some of them - even the last resort. What is the Zakopane "Górka"? And why is it so unusual? Zakopane "Górka" is a special place for highlanders - there, in front of the image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help at the Jesuit church, addicted people vow the abstinence from alcohol and other addictions. Addiction to the alcohol and more and more other substances is a big social problem in Poland. It affects individuals, but also their families and neighbours. It is not only the civil society’s problem (health issues, crimes committed under influence and many others), but also for the Church (broken families and neglected children to mention only few). Mostly men experience that kind of problems, but it affects the whole society. - “Mainly lost and confused people come here. They come to find peace and persevere in sobriety, in good,” says Fr Antoni Drąg. “Some do a vow for a month or two, others for a year. There are also some who vow for life,” adds the Jesuit. Every day vows are pronounced from a few to several dozen, circa 5.000 a year. - “In Podhale it is the case that when you vowed on "Górka", such a person is no longer offered alcohol”, one of the abstinent says. – “There is a conviction between the highlanders that the devil will come to the one who breaks a "Górka" vow”, he adds. The Sobriety Chaplaincy "Górka" at the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Zakopane was established in 1971, and its founder was a Jesuit, father Wojciech Krupa, who died for over twenty years now. The pastoral ministry was established almost by coincidence, because it all began with the fact that in the presence of Fr Wojciech a young Highlander gave his wife a word of honour, that for a month there would be no vodka ball. After a month he came to “Górka” and suggested to Father Krupa that he would give the same word of honour to God this time. The priest didn’t want to accept this, but in the end, he was convinced by the argument of the Highlander: “I gave the word of honour to my wife and I kept it, how could I not keep the word of honour given to God”?
The first meeting of psychological and spiritual support centres, based in our Jesuit Centres all over Poland, took place in Warsaw last December. About 20 representatives from the 7 existing and 2 soon-to-be clinics met at the headquarters of the Inigo Foundation for Psychological and Spiritual Assistance. The day spent together was an opportunity to get to know each other, listen to and exchange experiences. All those invited, were enthusiastic to attend and were pleasantly surprised when they saw they were in such big number. While in Gliwice, Kraków, Łódź, Lublin, Poznań, Toruń and Warsaw there are psychological and spiritual assistance centres that have been open for many years, others in Gdynia and Częstochowa are about to open their doors. These places were borne out of the desires of Jesuits and lay people. This meeting - also the fruit of desires - was another step forward. Everyone went their separate way with the desire of Magis and aware of the mission that unites us, in spite of the different places and realities we work in.
2019 will be the Year of St. Melchior Grodziecki in the Silesian province. This form of commemoration of the seventeenth-century martyr associated with Cieszyn Silesia, who died for his faith, was agreed by the councillors gathered almost unanimously during the session of the Assembly of the Silesian province in Katowice. Melchior Grodziecki was born in 1584 in Cieszyn. He belonged to the Grodziecki family, coat of arms Radwan. At the beginning of the 16th century his ancestors moved to the Duchy of Cieszyn and settled in the castle in Grodziec. His grandfather and father were castellans of Cieszyn. Melchior studied at the Jesuit college in Vienna and then in Brno, where he joined the Jesuit novitiate. He stayed in the Jesuit convents in Kłodzko, České Budějovice and Prague, where he was ordained a priest in 1614 and later became a youth educator. After his solemn vows in 1619, the Order directed him to Košice, where he became chaplain of the imperial army. Apart from him, two other Jesuits – the Hungarian, Stefan Pongracz and the Croatian, Marek Križ - canon of the Cathedral of the Primate of Hungary in Ostrzyhom - also fulfilled this mission. All three suffered martyrdom at the beginning of the Thirty Years' War in September 1619 by soldiers of the Duke of Transylvania, Bethlen Gabor, commanded by General Juraj Rakoczi. The martyr was elevated to the altar by Pope Pius X in 1905. The canonization was conducted by John Paul II during his apostolic visit to Košice on July 2, 1995.
Pray-as-you-go is developing rapidly in Poland. Last year, the number of listeners increased significantly and we introduced many new functionalities to our application. Recently, we have asked almost two thousands of our users to complete a Prayer on the Move survey. Its results are good reason for optimism. Statistics show that in the past year the average listenership to our reflections has increased. There wasa daily increase of 1700 users, more than the previous year. In October more than 122,000 people connected every week to Pray-as-you-go. A year ago, the average weekly listenership did not exceed 90,000 listeners. One of the reasons for this positive change is certainly the increasing number of collaborators. Last year, 82 people cooperated with us, in 2018, this number increased to 95. It is worth mentioning that two years ago it was "only" 50 people. our co-workers mainly include people writing reflections (78 people), teachers (9), remote IT employees (2), two volunteers, three proof-readers and one studio employee. Among the reasons for the increase in the number of users are our  additional functionalities, which we regularly add to the application. They attract new listeners. These include: Ignatian Examination of conscience. Fr. Remigiusz Recław’s sung Rosary, the Ignatian Way of Mindfulness of Father Paweł Kosiński SJ or Retreats with Father Pio. The so-called #WiaraLive's  meetings with our listeners live on Facebook are also an effective tool of promotion. Recently, our programs have gained a new, very professional image. we no longer transmit them via phone. Instead we have prepared a special studio, and the Inigo Studio team helps us in the technical implementation.
Jesuit, priest, comic artist, youth chaplain in Opole runs a blog, which has already been used by many people for meditation prayer inspired by the image. Father Przemysław Wysogląd SJ, apart from philosophy and theology, studied the spirituality of the Christian East. He is the author of the award-winning comic book "Kostka" about the life of St. Stanislaus Kostka SJ and numerous illustrations. He also creates religious paintings, which, together with a short commentary, he places on his artistic blog.