World Congress of Families – the third and unfortunately last day

May 20, 2013 8:54 pm

Unfortunately – because it’s the farewell day and the beautiful meeting comes to an end.

Today, apart from going to my own lecture:) and the talk of Louise Kirk, whom you probably from our trip to the UK, I have gone to all those session that were dedicetd to fatherhood. And I liked them veeery much. Not only were they very good as farr as the subject matter is concerned bacause they showed how much the presence of a father changed the lives of children and influenced their future functioning in life but also they were presented by excellent speakers – husbands who also followed their vocation as fathers.

So many knew people I got to know, so many inspirations, good experiences. Family is always the same, regardless of the latitude, confession, skin colour…

A novelty at the congress was a fashion show – where fashion was presented that expossed the dignity of woman.

I remembered then our fashion show, organised my by students of Personalistic Bases of Conjugal Love, wheObrazekre the students presented collections of clothes for different occasions, each outfit received a mark “L&R” (Love and Responsibility approved, conforming to the personalistic norm). Perhaps the possibilities were more limited than at the show here but the clothes presented were fit for different occasions, not only for extra nights out. Of course I did not hesitate to suggest it to the author of the show, Judy Limbers. She liked the idea. Their Facebook page is The Dress Shoppe.

Finally we heard the Tongan Touth Choir.

And, as usual, it was difficult to say goodbye. I wanted totalk a little with everyone and thank for the good. Wepromise to each other that we’ll meet again next year, meaning 1-12 September 2014. For many people it will be much closer. There’s also an idea to go to the congress in Moscow from Vladivostok, with the famous Trans-Siberian railway, 2 weeks before. It sounds good to me.

Tomorrow I have one day for myself to do some sightseeing in Sydney.

So far I have had mixed impressions of Sydney. I stay in theory in Sydney but in reality in… Chinatown. The whole district where our hotel is located consists of shops, restaurants and offices with names in Chinese.

Best greetings

Father Jaroslaw


World Congress of Families – day two

May 17, 2013 7:53 pm

Every day we have a plenary session in the morning and in the evening, as well es 4 seminar sessions a day, 5 thematic blocks in every session and 3 to 4 speakers. People from nearly every part of the world. An incredible place for the exchange of experiences. Every day I wonder a lot which subject to choose because each of them seems very important and worth hearing.

For example, do you know that there are 1 billion active users of the Facebook? I mean active users, not merely registered ones! That 43% people start their day, checking their account? And that the most active group is women, aged from 12 to 24? And the majority are 15 years old girls?

It’s worth knowing.

Each of us has something good to say to the whole world. It’s not important whether this world is the child whom we say that it’s our greatest treasure or our spouse whom we make a nice surprise today because I want to, or our neighbours, or colleagues, or… Facebook friends.
from Sydney

Father Jay

Happy Families – Healthy Economy

May 17, 2013 12:31 am

The local Committee has chosen a rather symbolic place for our Congress:  Australian Technology Park, the former railway yards. The place that used to promote technology, today hosts the event promoting family as the right point of reference.

One of the speakers today said: If you would like to go fast, go alone, if you would like go far, go together. I liked it a lot. The family is a place where you can go furthest. Contemporary civilization would like to turn us into isolated individuals fighting over their own selfish rights. For an individual – it is easy to accomplish the goals very quickly, but you remain single. When you walk together with the others – maybe it will take more time to achieve all the goals, because you have to adjust your pace to the slowest member of the team, but you may go far and share the joy of the covered distance with other people.

That is visible also in my situation. I’ve seen so many beautiful things, I’ve been to so many wonderful places, but it makes you feel really sad when you can’t take there with you your near ones, your friends – with whom you could share your joy. That’s why it is so important for me to share  my experiences with you. I am aware that since I have dominated the blog for over 6 weeks, we have diverged a bit from what this website was trying to be: the inspiration for discovering the joy of being a couple, a family. So I’m taking the right course again with my posts from the WCF.

One of the questions that people keep asking is: what can we do in such difficult times?The family is ipersecuted with growing intensity, the governments of many countries change the definition of a family, where should we hide to escape that? We’ll find the answer with the first Christians. At that time, the situation was about the same as now: abortion, divorce at request, promiscuity, homosexualism, pagan worship of false gods, idolatry. What did the Christians do when they were persecuted for several centuries? They looked after their families: they were faithful to each other, open to life, they prayed. Rome fell. Christianity survived.

A day rich in impressions.

See you tomorrow,

Fr. Jay


instead of on-line streaming

May 16, 2013 6:27 pm

We wanted so much to write here yesterday that we all could become part of the World Congress of Families audience in Sydney via live broadcasting, but – unlike in Madrid last year –  it is not possible this time. This morning Fr Jay was scheduled to give a talk during the session devoted to the family in the context of work. We hope to be able to hear his talk – “Work-Life Balance: Preserving Dignity, Protecting Family”- in post-conference materials.

Before we get the sign of life from our Fr Jay, whom we proudly count among the Invited Speakers, we would like to present you with some highlights from his talk – which may be important for us all in our thinking about work. And we attach a photo memorizing his preparations for the Congress.

“The need for purposeful activity was written in human heart by God, the first Creator and Artist, who rejoiced each time He looked at the effects of His work.”

“At work you may learn to cooperate, share responsibility, and handle conflict – and all those skills will become your personal asset outside work as well.”

“Sometimes it’s necessary to pose a simple question: “Do we really need this or that item?’ – and give an honest answer, instead of fostering the belief that ‘I have no choice but to slave away day and night at the cost of everything else in order to afford all that’.”

“When you don’t schedule taking care of your relationship into your weekly planner, your marriage will die, and it’s just a matter of time.”

“Someone else may replace you at work, but no one will replace you in taking care of your family’s needs. If you make them happy, you’ll be the happiest person in the world, too.”

work-life balance in practice

7th World Congress of Families

May 15, 2013 2:43 pm

The journey passed by very quickly. We arrived 50 minutes earlier than planned. We had to wait on the airstrip for the place in the gate. For the first time in my life I was third in the queue to the Immigration. My customs declaration was accepted and at 9:50 I began my stay in Sydney.

I reached the hotel half an hour later and experienced the same feeling as in Amsterdam and Madrid – the sensation of being part of the worldwide family of pro-family movement. I meet my “old” friends in the hall. I see Mary-Louise Fowler, the Chairperson of WCF Sydney Local Organizing Committee. She looks exhausted. The upcoming events have been prepared by the Australians with great effort. Then the hall is filled with the members of the Planning Committtee. It’s almost all of us who met in Madrid last year to plan the Congress in Sydney. Now we look at the progress of preparations of the Moscow Congress in 2014. Its topic will be: Large Families – the Future of Humanity. But the issues to discuss include the organization itself. We exchange experience and commnets.

Just as last year, I’m greatly impressed how many people in the world care for the family. So many religious denominations and cultures, from so many countries and continents. God created marriage and family and those who believe in Him also believe in the key role of the family.

Today we have our first informal meetings. Tomorrow –  the opening ceremony.

From the World Congress of Families in Syndey

Fr. Jay

WCF VI, Madrid, last day

May 28, 2012 8:12 am

Yesterday the day enden even later than the day before, which means: very early in the morning. ;(

Nobody wanted to say goodbye. After all, the next congress will be held no sooner than May 15, 2013. Will we manage to see one another again? With each year those congress meetings become some sort of “unfinished conversations” which keep us all waiting for their ending in eternity. This congress has just been over.

So it’s time for the wrap-up. Even in dry facts. 3000 registered participants. 7000 visits to the website which streamed all the plenary sessions live, 125 speakers from 69 countries, 16 panel sessions, 300 volunteers, 18 trnaslators, 45 exhibition stands, 150 acredited journalists, 6 tv programmes broadcasted from the Congress Auditorium, 12 cultural events (he show of the film “Cristiada”, frist time in Europe), 90 members of parliament from 22 countries. Even when you do not add any colours to this description, it looks as if we had a very serious congress. And so it was.

The organizers managed to invite the people who knew what they were talking about, though the extremely strict time limits left us longing for more. Which was very good, because it’s better to be left unsatisifed than satiated.

Conlcusions? Do what you do the best you can. If you only can, become an expert in your field. Then, when you get 10 minutes to speak, you will not waste it on telling people how they should do the things you do, but you will inspire them so that they will want good things for the others – the same way you do. Or.. They will invite you to their place and will give you as much time as you need to do for them the things your best at.

So: what are you good at? What would you like to be known for? 🙂

Fr. Jay

WCF VI, Madrid, Pentecost

May 27, 2012 2:18 pm

Days are becoming longer, as the nights are getting shorter. The consciousness that the meeting is just about to finish and we’ll see one another in a year – at the next Congress – makes us all hurry to the lobby during all the breaks and at the end of the day. We want to spend more time together talking, exchanging experience and plans, and sharing just oursleves with the others.

There are no barriers of language, nationality or denomination. We experience speaking one language of the same Breath who told us to leave our well-known places and take the risk of encoutering “the new” – a new challenge, task, and especially – a new person.

Yesterday’s Mass of the Penetcost Eve, celebrated by a bishop from Argentina in the company of two priests, in Spanish, with the homily translated into English, in this community of all national colors – made me aware anew of the power of unity built on His acting human hearts. Only He can take us our from our various niches, send us to stand in front of the “God-fearing . . . from every nation under heaven” (Acts 2) and to procalaim family rights, and the right of the family to meet God.

Let’s allow the Holy Spirit guide us.

What can that mean for you, in your particular life situation?

Fr. Jay

WCF VI, day two

May 26, 2012 9:03 am

Yesterday abounded in special celebrations. To start with the official opening ceremony and speeches in the beautiful Congress Auditorium of Palacio del Congreso, and to finish with the symphony concert, rewarded with a standing ovation, and closing with an excellent encore.

Before noon there are plenary sessions, and in the afternoon – panel sessions which take place simultaneously in 5 rooms. That shows how many issues are discussed – by experts from all over the world – but also confronts us with the decision which panel to choose, as you cannot be everywhere at the same time.

The breaks consist in meeting other people. The ones we’ve known since the previous congress editions (How are you? How’s the situation of the family in your country?) and the ones we may get to know and exchange visiting cards (the pile is growing and reminding me I should think at last to have my own cards made). That is followed either by general invitation to come and visit a place, or the actual “orders” for participation in various undertakings.

And we’ve got the strict timing discipline, except for a minor delay at the beginning, which is self-evident, as we’re in Spain. 😉

That discipline allows the speaker to talk for 10 minutes, and then there’s the sound of the alert that your time is up. That discipline kept me awake yesterday/today, because I was rehearsing my speech, trying to make it shorter by 2 minutes. For the time being – I chose to speak a bit faster. We’ll see the outcome. Anyway, I’m asking for your support. A Pole, a priest, about infertility, in English, in front of the audience of 3 000 participants. I don’t know it will be enough if you just raise your thoughts to Heaven – I may need more thean this. 🙂

Hasta mañana.

Fr. Jay

Note from Editors: You can view Fr. Jay’s presentation on-line (live) during the plenary scheduled for 11:00-12:00 (about 11:20) on the official WCF website.

Today’s program: HERE

World Congress of Families in Madrid

May 25, 2012 9:27 am

An unusual organization. It organizes congresses in many countries worldwide, for thousands of people. And it began with the idea of just one man –  Allana Carlsona.

Today there’s just one manager, Larry Jacobs, and the meetings, which used to be held once in several years, have now become much more frequent. Their regional editions (London, Nigeria, Latvia and Moscow) inspire other cities to join in the idea, and they become cyclical, too.

There was Prague, Geneva, Mexico, Warsaw, Amsterdam, today Madrid, next year – Syndey, then – Moscow…

This is possible because the idea gathers all those who care in their hearts for the good of the family. All those congresses rely on the work of volunteers from many organizations.

So today it begins. Almost 3000 participants have registered. Among them, there will be the leaders of organizations assisting families, researchers, activists, politicians and members of parliament. All coming together to share ideas and plan strategies. People from various countries and cultures having one thing in common – the concern for the family in contemporary world.

Without the family there is no future for the world – nor for the Church. Every effort we make to help the family become who they really are – is building the future for us.

You are not in Madrid today. But you have your own family or some families near you. Join us and do something tangible. We can change the world together.

Fr. Jay

choose life – as they do in Madrid

May 24, 2012 7:00 am

“Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome” (Acts 23:11)

This time our Fr. Jay Szymczak is travelling to Madrid. Tomorrow begins the long expected and prepared World Congress of Families – its VI edition. There will be guests from the entire world, and they will speak about the family in this world – so often completely neglected by high and low politics.

And we owe so many talents and skills to our own families! Unfortunately, sometimes the “inheritance” includes also the burden of problems to deal with. So, there is nothing more important than a family. For a small child – their family is the whole world, and when the family is missing – the world collapses.

Today we would like to ask our Readers for their prayer for the Congress, and especially for the Captain of the “Harbour,” who in Madrid is going to talk about the process of becoming parents – and the hindrances to it. We count on your support!

And we’re already waiting for the letters from Madrid.

“Harbour” Team