October 22nd is the day the Church remembers Blessed John Paul II, whom Pope Francis will soon (April 27, 2014) declare Saint.
John+Paul. Tha Apostle of love and Evangelizer. For me, his most distinctive feature is respect for another human being, shown in his eyes, gesture and words. His whole personality expressed the conviction that “In reality, the name for that deep amazement at man’s worth and dignity is the Gospel, that is to say: the Good News. It is also called Christianity.”*
Fiancées, married couples and families owe him so much. Love and Responsibility, Man and Woman He Created Them, and Familiaris consortio – just to name the most famous titles which were the point of departure for the Programs for the Development of Marital Relations. Does not “gentleness”, so much present in the Programs – this “pause” and taking a break before we let our despotic “I” take the other person into its rule – stem out from the necessity to protect the dignity of the other?
He knew so much about family, because he was with them and for them. Also today – he is close to us, our cares, difficulties and struggles, ready to take them into his powerful and loving prayer of intercession.
It’s year 1974. Thomas W. Hilgers, MD, after completing his study comes here with his wife Susan to begin residency at St Mary’s Hospital. For the 4 years to come.
One day in 1974 he accepts the invitation from Missouri Nurses for Life (by the way, I wonder since when we’ve got to tell the pro-life doctors from the others – and shouldn’t we have in that nomenclature: pro-life and anti-life doctors – the neutral doctors do not exist, or do they?).
That group of nurses included Ann Prebil and Diane Daly. Dr Hilgers was asked to give a lecture on a pregnancy resulting from a rape and the special role of pro-life nurses in handling the patient after such a trauma.
A year later he called Ann with the offer of cooperation: she’s asked to take the post of an Education Coordinator of a new program for Natural Family Planning at St Louis Univeristy. Ann accepts the offe, and initially shares her time between her work as a lecturer in a nursing school and this new program.
On February 12, 1976 the first meeting of the new program was held. It looked a bit like contemporary Education Programs. 6 people took part in it: Sue Hilgers, dr Thomas Hilgers, Ann, Diane and one more married couple who later left the project.
In January 1977 Dr Thomas Hilgers with his Wife and two sons, Paul and Steve, left for Omaha. A year later the first FertilityCare Center was opened in St. Louis.
What happened next and where the name Creighton Model of FertilityCare System comes from – in the subsequent parts of the story.
It seems American people like parades (which Poles associate with the former communist May 1st celebrations). In July there’s a special occasion for that in Utah, commemorating the arrival of Pilgrim Fathers at the Salt Lake Valley to make their home here.
I must admit this is s a great experience. Whole families are camping along the longest street of the city – on chairs or blankets – to watch the 2-hour march.
The parade gives the opportunity to show everytjing that serves the local community (and to advertise our businesses, of course). So there were firemen and policemen, mayor and city authorities, Miss Utah, hospitals and health care units, schools and university, shops and offers for leisure (to start with dancing and finish with bike trips), projects for volunteers and old cars, soldiers who’d been in Iraque and Afganistan, and WW II veterans, school bands and a jazz band. Almost 70 groups altogether.
It was great to watch elderly people enthusiasticaly greeting “their” secondary school which was just passing. It was wonderful to see the viewers reactions, which expressed: we are proud of what we do, we want to share that joy, we want to “infect” you with our enthusiasm. And now we’re happy to be here, thanks to our ancestors who came here – thanks to them, here is our home.
Maybe this sounds very American, but I would like to witness an event like that in my hometown of Łomianki near Warsaw.
On April, 29 we celebrate three anniversaries – very important for The Family Support Foundation.
Firstly – it is the 67th Anniversary of the liberation of Dachau concentration camp, among the prisoners of which was Archbishop Kazimierz Majdański – the Originator and Founder of our foundation. The camp was liberated during the novena to St. Joseph held by Polish priests kept there – in which they asked for rescue. When they initiated the novena on April 22, 1945 – in the face of the planned final extermination – they promised to serve the idea od revival of families (among other things) as a form of thanksgiving for being saved from death.
Hence – the next anniversary: 37 years ago a scientific center for studies on family was set up – now it’s the Faculty for Studies on the Family Science at Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw, Poland. It is a way to serve families – as promised to St Joseph. The Faculty has been our partner in countless undertakings.
And finally – exactly 5 years ago Archbishop Kazimierz Majdański left for a better place (that time it was also The Good Shepherd Sunday, as it is today).
Is it a mere coincidence or the sign of God’s Providence?