On March 22, 2024, a theatrical musical was performed at the Holy Trinity Church in Gdańsk, Poland. The musical, entitled, “Why We Are One,” was about priests who stayed strong in the face of communist persecution. The show was the opening act of a two-day program entitled “Antidote – Talking about Father BLACHNICKI” a series of events dedicated to Father Franciszek BLACHNICKI, the founder of the Light-Life Movement.

This program series was organized by the Institute of National Remembrance and the Conventual Franciscan St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe House of Reconciliation and Encounter Movement (DMK) in Gdansk, Poland. The program was intended to explain who Father Franciszek BLACHNICKI was and to outline the situation of the Catholic Church in the setting of post-war Poland. Dr. Karol NAWROCKI, President of the Institute of National Remembrance said it would have been impossible to overthrow the communist system and regain Polish independence without the Catholic Church and churchmen such as John Paul II, Cardinal Stefan WYSZYŃSKI and Father Franciszek BLACHNICKI.
The program series was preceded by a ceremony in which the Reipublicae Memoriae Meritum gold medal was awarded to Friar Marek KIEDROWICZ of the local DMK movement. As explained by Dr. Karol NAWROCKI: “The Reipublicae Memoriae Meritum award is intended to honor all those who build a “republic of remembrance” a common republic that is aware of its past, but also thinks of its future. Friar Marek KIEDROWICZ is certainly this kind of person. For many years, he has been present wherever God needs him, but also wherever the true history of Poland needs to be told.”
Friar Marek KIEDROWICZ has for many years been engaged in activities aimed at promoting patriotism and bringing Polish history closer to young people through his service in the Polish Scout Organization as a chaplain in its Flag of Gdańsk Association.
Friar Marek has visited many places connected with events important for Poland. In Eastern Europe, he visited Katyn’, Kharkiv, Miednoje, Bykownia, Kuropaty, Kamieniec Podolski, Lviv, Vilnius, and Huta Pieniacka. In Western Europe, he visited Monte Cassino, Bologna, Loreto, Normandy, Mont Ormel, Breda, Ghent, Oberlangen, Haaren-Maczków, and Wilhelmshaven. These visits have given him a wealth of knowledge and experience that he gladly shares with others at conferences, meetings, speeches and lectures.
The Reipublicae Memoriae Meritum Medal was established in 2015 by the Institute of National Remembrance to honor all those who strive for the lasting commemoration of events and figures in the history of Poland between 1917 and 1990 and who support the Institute of National Remembrance in its educational, scientific and editorial activities.
The highlight of the second day of the program was Mass at Holy Trinity Church in Gdańsk, presided over by the Most Reverend Piotr PRZYBOREK, Auxiliary Bishop of Gdańsk, to pray for the beatification of Servant of God Father Francesco BLACHNICKI. After the liturgy, the faithful gathered in the Oblate Center for Education and Culture, where they had the opportunity to participate in conferences and film screenings. These helped them look at contemporary history in a broader context. The title of the two-day program “Antidote – Talking about Father BLACHNICKI” itself contributed to the conversation about modern authority figures and an attempt to find an antidote to the dangers present in the contemporary world.
In a literal sense, “antidote” also refers to the poisoning that caused the premature death of Father Franciszek BLACHNICKI. Speakers on this topic were: Anita GARGAS (journalist), General Andrzej KOWALSKI, Andrzej URBAŃSKI (journalist) and the historian of the Institute of National Remembrance, Daniel GUCEWICZ.