A few days after the celebration of the 700th anniversary of the founding of the city of Vilnius and in the year of the 60th anniversary of Robert Schuman’s death, a three-person delegation under the project Animators of the Poland’s Image in Europe (AWPE) visited the capital of Lithuania for the second time.
On January 28, 2023, a meeting with Poles living in this former Polish city was held at the Vilnius City Hall. Thanks to the kindness and support of Mrs. Renata Cytacka, a conference was organized in the council meeting room in the capital’s local government, attended by several dozen people. This meeting was combined with lectures of the next congress of students of the current edition of the Universal University of Christian Social Teaching (PUNCS), who joined the gathered participants via the Internet. Father Jacek Gniadek SVD, a missionary and expert in the Catholic social teaching, presented the topic “Specification of rules to verify the compliance of the organization’s activities with the Christian-social thought”. All those gathered could learn about the principles of subsidiarity, the common good and the common use of goods. It was a very good opportunity to reflect on the importance of solidarity and subsidiarity in society.
Then Mr. Bogdan Romaniuk from the Foundation. Ulma Families SOAR, discussed the topic: “Beatification of the Ulma family as a premise in the process of compensation for Poles from Germans. Not reducing compensation only to the financial level, but their dimension of compensation, similarly to the condition of the sacrament of confession”. Józef and Wiktoria Ulma lived in the village of Markowa near Łańcut in the former Lwów Voivodeship. The couple, together with their six children and one unborn child, were brutally murdered by the Germans for helping Jews. Thanks to the efforts of Mr. Bogdan Romaniuk, a museum commemorating their sacrifice and martyrdom was opened in Markowa. During the lecture, Mr. Romaniuk reminded that among the 26,900 people commemorated at the Yad Vashem institute in Jerusalem as thanks for saving Jews, there is a group of 6,800 Poles, the most numerous of all national groups. Currently, the beatification process of the Ulma family is underway, as is the process of the Servant of God Robert Schuman.
After the PUNCS classes, the School of Building the Image of Poland in Europe was inaugurated, which already has over 30 people living in Poland, Lithuania, Germany and Italy. During her lecture, the project coordinator, Malwina Hopej, said that as part of the creation of the School there will be twelve theoretical and practical meetings, including lectures, discussions and meetings at Polish embassies in various European countries.
Krzysztof Janowski, the coordinator of the AWPE project, invites all representatives of Poles and the Polish diaspora living in the country and abroad to actively join the project of Animators of Poland’s Image in Europe. It is worth recalling that the aim of this project is to increase the attractiveness of Poland’s image among foreigners, in the area of culture, education, science, tradition of Christian values, patriotism, economy and politics in accordance with Robert Schuman’s concept of socio-economic solidarity.
Members of the Schuman Thought Institute try to ensure that their activities in European countries, meetings organized at Polish embassies and conferences with experts and local leaders contribute to showing the true image of Poland, which has been based on a strong Christian foundation for hundreds of years. This year, there are plans to visit the Embassies of the Republic of Poland in: Paris, London, Lisbon, Madrid, Rome, Bucharest, Prague, Amsterdam, Oslo, Bratislava, Dublin and Copenhagen.
The project is aimed at people interested in social and political issues who want to become such leaders in their place of residence and protect the good name of Poland and Poles through their activity in public life. It is a continuation of the great work begun by the Father of the Commonwealth of European Nations, Robert Schuman, who was an unconscious heir to the values of the First Polish Republic. As part of this activity, it is also possible to receive a special Certificate of Promoter of Poland’s Image in Europe.