Last Tuesday, 16 October 2018, was the 40th anniversary of St. Pope John Paul II’s election as pope.
The Polish – Scottish community at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Aberdeen marked this anniversary by preparing a special event – an evening of poetry and music. This was preceded by a special mass celebrated by the Cathedral Administrator Fr. Keith, who was assisted by Deacon Tony Schmitz.
The event drew about 70 people and was an opportunity for the Polish – Scottish community in Aberdeen to meet together and to celebrate the legacy of Pope John Paul II. The parishioners turned into real artists: the leader of parish readers, Irma Allan and the Parish Secretary Cowan Watson were narrators. In addition to them, there were several readers , such Dcn. Tony Schmitz, Maciej Kamiński, Kenneth Sadler, Marek Bogaczewicz, Katarzyna Wesołowska, Patrycja Iwaszkiewicz, Karol Vrba , Sister Magdalena , Iwona Pruchnicka.
Deacon Tony surprised everyone when reading a fragment of the Pope’s poem called “The Quarry” – he was tapping his hands and imitating the clicking hammers. There was also a humorous poem for the “twentieth’ birthday of the Pope, written by the famous Polish priest – poet – Jan Twardowski. The poem was presented to the audience by Janis Meļčenko and Agnieszka Pawlak. Participants of the event also had the opportunity to hear the poem read by Paweł Łubiarz – “Stream” of Lidia Konar, who also was the main organiser of the event.
The event would not have happened without the musical setting: Lidia Konar interpreted 3 poems of Pope John Paul II as songs and also performed her own song – “Your words are important forever ”, which she composed especially for the 40th anniversary of the election of Pope John Paul II. Lidia was accompanied by musicians: Paweł Fujcik – guitar, Katarzyna Wesolowska – flute and Robert Książek – piano.
In addition, participants of the event had the opportunity to learn many interesting stories from the life of the Pope, as well as about his pilgrimages, for example the one to the United Kingdom in 1982 – during the same trip, where he visited 7 venues in Scotland.
After the artistic part, all gathered people sang a favourite song of Saint Pope John Paul II – “Lord, You have come to the seashore” and then went to the Main Hall to try the pope’s favourite cake – a delicious cream cake called ‘Kremówka”. All cakes were prepared by ladies from the Polish community.