On December 1, 2018, a symposium was held at the Conventual Franciscan Major Seminary in Lodz-Łagiewniki, Poland, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the return of the Friars Minor Conventual to this Antonian shrine after having been suppressed by the Russian Empire in 1864. The symposium also commemorated the 40th anniversary of the major seminary’s inauguration.
The symposium was divided into two parts. The first part was comprised of history lectures. Friar Roland PREJS, OFM Cap., spoke on “The Franciscan Orders in Poland after World War I and Their Development in the Following Years.” Friar Rafał KWIATKOWSKI, OFM Conv., presented “The Return of the Franciscans to Łagiewniki in 1918” and Friar Paulin SOTOWSKI, OFM Conv., lectured on “The Activities of the Franciscan Major Seminary in Łagiewniki”.
This first part ended with Mass celebrated in the Shrine of St. Anthony of Padua and Blessed Rafał CHYLIŃSKI. It was presided over by the Most Reverend Władysław ZIÓŁEK, Archbishop Emeritus of Łódź, Poland. The homily was given by Friar Wiesław PYZIO, the Minister Provincial of the Province of the Immaculate Mother of God in Poland (Warsaw). Other participants included Friar Jacek CIUPIŃSKI, the Assistant General for the Federatio Europae Mediae et Orientalis (FEMO); Friar Tomasz RYŁKO, the Vicar Provincial of the Province of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe in Poland (Gdańsk); together with professors from the Seminary; friars from the friaries in Lódz; priests from the diocese; and a large group of Secular Franciscans.
The second part took place after lunch and was dedicated to the commemoration of various people connected with the shrine and the seminary in recent years. This was followed by lectures presented by Archbishop ZIÓŁEK, some friars who worked in Łagiewniki, and two professors from the seminary.
Thanks to the friars of Łagiewniki for contributing to the great history of this place and we hope that, guided by the Holy Spirit, a great history will be written about it the future.
Friar Jacek CIUPIŃSKI, Assistant General for the FEMO