They said this to test him

April 3, 2017 7:39 am

“They said to him, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?’ They said this to test him, so that they could have some charge to bring against him.” (JN 8: 4-6)

We can use hundreds of tools every day to achieve our ends; we can use, as a means to an end, everything, but not persons, because we are human beings, not human doings. “This woman” was used at least twice: first “in the very act of committing adultery” and second “they said this to test him, so that they could have some charge to bring against him.” This contemporary culture tries to convince us that our happiness is based on things we can have and use and that it is ok to use others as a means to an end if the other person is ok with this.

We don’t like this approach. We respect people. People can’t be used as a means to an end. Women are not for bringing pleasure or delivering children. Women are for being loved and respected and for being wives and mothers. When there are some complications—we help, support, and cure. We do not give babies to women, using them as a means to an end (like IVF does); we respect their dignity and help them to become mothers with their husbands as the fathers.

“I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, says the Lord, but rather in his conversion, that he may live.” (Gospel Acclamation) 

Homily for Education Phase II at Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study on Human Reproduction (for FertilityCare Practictioners and NaProTECHNOLOGY Medical Consultants)

The Kingdom of heaven is at hand

December 7, 2013 10:37 pm

“Ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest”.

Why? “His heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like a sheep without a shepherd”.

The couples who suffer from infertility or lost a child during pregnancy know how difficult life is – they are troubled and abandoned. And the worst – there is no one who can tell them why.

God, who is the Creator of life, who gave couples “the extremely important mission of transmitting human life” (HV, 1) has never abandoned them. Neither those suffering from infertility, nor those unable to conceive another child. His heart didn’t change when He went to Heaven.

Today He reminds us to ask the master to send out laborers. You are among them. He touched your hearts and invited you to join His harvest. Through your work He wants to show that He takes care of the troubled couples and that He is near their problems.

Today you have finished the first step and you will soon start helping other couples. This is not only your mission. First of all, this is His. He is the Master, He is the Creator of Life, He is the Redeemer and He is the authority (and has the power) to cure every disease and every illness. Connect your knowledge with prayer and proclaim the Good News – “The Kingdom of heaven is at hand”.

The important day

November 10, 2013 11:21 am

It has passed. Thanks to the prayer of so many of you, thanks to your support I have thrown myself in at the deep end and for the first time in my life – not taking into account Holy Masses – I have spoken a conference in English, without a paper, without a crib, using only a presentation prepared by the Boss of our Editorial Team  –  I don’t know how to show it to you, as it’s worth seeing.

I was only paralysed by the awareness that my speech was planed to last an hour. I prevented the organisers that it would be great if I managed to talk for 30, possibly 40 minutes. They told me it was all right – there would be a break, someone could speak about their experiences with the Creighton model, then a NaPro doctor, something about the Programme planned for mid-January and somehow we would make it until noon.

Everything started later. Instead of the planned 10 am we moved on at 10.20. Eloisa said a few words about the speaker, welcomed the viewers in other countries –  the conference was transmitted live – and I took the floor. When I finished speaking it was 12 am. I have never noticed that one hour and a half have passed! When I lacked words, the participants helped me, when I did not know the right word, I used a description; when I made a mistake and noticed it, I corrected myself.. I just shared what I had in my heart. Strangely enough, no-one protested that it took so long, no-one pointed out my mistakes.

I’m writing about all this because we know each other and that I know I can share with you this joy that I have overcome myself and have done something that seemed to me impossible not a long time ago. I wish you the same: the courage to overcame obstacles and the courage to witness. Believe me, when someone who for the whole adult life is a speaker and knows the ropes, feels that they have limitations in a foreign language, it may take the courage away.

Thanks to your support it was possible. Thank you for your being here and your support.

With thankful prayer

Padre J.

The fruit of the meeting

November 8, 2013 9:32 pm

When I visited Bishop Carlos Briseno straight after my arrival, we talked about the areas and limits of my involvement so that there was time for everything. Of course I was supposed to support the local church with my knowledge of marriage and family, and offer my assistance in the trainings in NaProTechnology and FertiltyCare led by the Omaha team, as well as through the Programmes. This was clear and the next time we were to talk it over more specifically, with concrete dates.

This time we went to this meeting together:  Eloisa, Beatriz and me (Eloisa started promoting NaPro in Mexico and is the first trainer of the Creighton model and you know Beatriz from Programme 1 that was organised in May). The meeting was beautiful and fruitful, even more than I’d expected. There was only one problem: the Bishop wanted me to start with the information and motivation meetings this Saturday, so I have only this day to think over all the things I’d like to share. Perhaps it would not be so difficult as such but it will be in a language foreign to us all so I hope that Mexicans will forgive me mistakes in English.

So please pray for me to Mary of Guadalupe so that I receive the light and the wisdom and ease of speech and so that I can find the right words. I would like to try for the first time in my life to speak everything from the heart and from from a sheet of paper. I have found out many a time that when you speak from a sheet of paper, the words go also to the sheet of paper when the listeners take notes but if you speak from the heart it is also where the words go. When we speak the grammar is less complex. Please pray so that I can perform my task as the Holy Family wishes. If I survive the meeting, I will let you know what it was like.

Remembering you

Padre J

Pope Paul VI Institute

October 24, 2013 10:38 am

– is the place where I mostly spend the days of this week. In a large portion on confessing and conversations. It turns out that not only the EP students need  a chaplain. So does the staff.

Thanks to my ministry I can also hear the hidden and so far unknown life of the Institute. Like for example the phone system equipped with loud speakers, through which different information is shared (the Mass in five minutes, lunch for all in a quarter of an hour or that it is time to say goodbye to our Maureen, who is retiring).

I also heard a short prayer flowing from te speaker. For all that is happening in the Institute, for staff, and for patients. A small reminder that we are not alone, that our work is a service and that God is lovingly watching over us – and it is Him that we serve.

Maybe we shouldn’t naively expect that we’ll be able to have the same sound system in our workplace or at home, but it is good to find something in the usual pace of the day which will remind me of the sense of my life and my work. It used to be the bells, tolling three times a day to encourage us to pray Angelus. But today in many mobile phones you’ll hear the alert reminding of Angelus, the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy or Rosary.

Whatever it is, it’s got its role – to tell me I’m a part of a larger project: God loves me infinitely and wants me to be with Him. In giving His love to the others.

With heartfelt prayer,

Fr. Jay

The grand epilogue

October 20, 2013 9:36 pm

This is always a great moment when an intensive week comes to an end – after we had study, exercises and lectures but also prayers and meetings. I heard so often from the participants that they found it an extraordinary meeting and place, that those people were so different. They represent so many countries, cultures and languages and yet we experienced such a deep unity.

When I heard each one presenting themselves, I heard about the life stories of all of them. Now I know many of them, many of them told me their stories and I am full of gratitude for everything that has happened.

Today is the mission Sunday. Let us pray for the missionaries. And today a new group of people are going to their homes, towns and circles – with a mission to proclaim the Good News about life and love. They are equipped with new tools and new knowledge. They will meet the married couples that need this meeting most. They will come again here in a few months’ time, in April, to report and to deepen their knowledge.

And I picture those stories they will bring with them, and the meetings, when the Good News will reach the homes that hoped for so long that their prayers would be heard.
Some time ago a student from the previous year wrote to me that five couples were celebrating the conception of their children, only because he’d made an effort to come here for the necessary knowledge. Joy has come to so many homes and will come to so many more. We just must rejoice!

We heard that the Holy Scripture was inspired by God and that the first man was created by God’s breath. When we read the Scripture, this life-giving breath is present there. We started every day with the Holy Mass, hearing God’s Word and eating the Eucharist. Now, strong with Him, we can carry the Spirit of Life to others.

With my prayers for them and for all of you

Fr. Jay

Huskers

October 16, 2013 1:33 pm

Dr Hilgers is known for being a fan of University of Nebraska-Lincoln fotball team – the famous Huskers. This time the lectures coincided with an important game. Therefore, it didn’t surprise anyone  when Dr Hilgers asked his wife to keep him updated about the match results when possible.

For us, Poles, the emotions linked with sport in America go far beyond our imagination. Even though we had our Euro (European Football Championships) and we have games in other sport disciplines, the American ones are quite complicated for us: they have their football (not to be confused with our soccer), in which you hold the ball under your arm and run about the whole football pitch, baseball, in which you hit the ball with a baseball bat, or rugby which we are a bit familiar with, not to mention golf and wrestling. Each state has got its famous team and stadiums, both for football and baseball.

What won my heart was that the Huskers team always pray before the game in the pitch, kneeling on one knee on the grass.

Nobody feels offended or shocked, or surprised. In Poland we can sometimes catch the glimpse of a player furtively making the sign of the cross. And here the whole team is praying. Strange country.

This prayer is also known to every Huskers fan:

The Husker Prayer  

Dear Lord, the battles we go through life,
We ask for a chance that’s fair
A chance to equal our stride,
A chance to do or dare

If we should win, let it be by the code,
Faith and Honor held high

If we should lose, we’ll stand by the road,
And cheer as the winners go by

Day by Day, we get better and better!
Til’ we can’t be beat…
WON’T BE BEAT!

from Omaha,

Fr. Jay

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More pictures: HERE

The first moments with the new class

October 13, 2013 3:57 pm

I’m travelling to the opening of the Program a bit later. It used to be 6:30, today it is enough to arrive at 8:45. The first moments are devoted to the Program overview and giving basic information to the participants. Now we know that we’ll host 82 students from 33 countries and 33 states.

When I look at all of them and listen to their short introductions (name, country and which Program they selected), I’m thinking about the stories they have brought with them. Not only their personal stories, but also the stories of the people they serve to. One doctor who came here with his wife is a father of 6 born and 6 unbron children. Another doctor is a mum of a 5-week-old daughter. Another one is the first doctor to be willing to take on NaProTechnology training in her country. There is also one participant who said “yes” to the request from the bishop of her diocese, who had been looking for doctors interested in NaProTechnology, but one after another refused. She’s a doctor and mother of 6 children.

It all reminds me of the title of the pastoral constitution – “Gaudium et spes” (Joy and Hope). The joy that there are still people willing to serve the others in the matter so essential for humanity, and the hope that their service will bring good fruit for so many.

Each of them is surrounded by the prayers from their families, friends, parishes. There is also one doctor from Poland. Let us support the participants, too.

With prayer and memory of all of you

Fr. Jay

editorial family extended

October 12, 2013 10:15 pm

Kamilka po chrzcie

Kamila was born on August 25, 2013 and is the third daughter of Agnieszka and Rafal, whom Fr Jarosław (excuse me, now Fr Jay) tenderly calls “Brussel Sprouts”. They stand behind the organization of the Programs for the Development of Marital Relations in Belgium. Moreover, Agnieszka has helped me create the English version of this blog and recently she has been patiently translating the posts on her own.

We would like to offer our somewhat delayed congratulations from the bottom of our hearts and wish all that Heaven can give to Kamila’s whole wonderful Family!

And for all the parents, in particular those feeling the toil of parenthood, a little anecdote. Sue Hilgers told me once the story, in which their already adult daughter Teresa, reproached for some trifle by her Dad (she is known to be the apple of his eye), replied: “Wait, I’m the supreme gift!” 🙂 It was of course the quotation from Pope Paul VI’s encyclical – the document which inspired Dr Hilgers to develop the science of NaProTechnology: “Children are really the supreme gift of marriage and contribute in the highest degree to their parents’ welfare”  (Humanae Vitae 8).

So let our children hear it as often as possible. Let them wake up and go to bed with that news in mind. “You are a fantastic gift for us!”. “You are one of a kind!”. “You CAN do it”. “I’m happy to see you!” (not because I believe you’ll fulfil my expectations, ambitions and dreams).

Let the children be strong with our love, so that they don’t need to compensate it anywhere else. “Anywhere” may leave wounds for the rest of their lives.

Margaret

Education Phase 1

October 11, 2013 3:46 pm

Thank you all for the words of support in this new challenge. It helps me when I know we’re together.

The journey was long, but so was the distance. Almost 10-hour flight, 6 hours of waiting at Chicago airport, and one more hour needed to get to Omaha, where I’m going to spend the next few weeks, devoted to the ministry at Pope Paul VI Institute.

Tomorow begins for the 36th time the Allied Health Education Program for Creighton Model Parctitioners and doctors interested in NaProTechnology. We’re expecting over 80 students from many places in USA and from other countries. It’s a special time for the whole Faculty. The days start very early in the morning and finish very late at night. Parallel to EP1 of the Program is the Love&Life Unlimited Conference for all who care for life and who would like to learn something more about Creighton Model and NaProTechnology, as well as acquire more theological knowledge in that area.

For me it is in the first place the time of meetings with the Students and of my ministry as a chaplain. So many good things are happening in this time. It is also amazing that we can support one another despite the distance.

Keeping you in my prayers,

Fr. Jay

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