By Gordon Nary
Gordon: When did you discern that you had a vocation, with whom did you discuss it, and what was their response?
Father Peter: I could not speak about my vocation if my parents weren’t zealous believers. Their traditional Catholicism was the response to my greatest question: “what was the most important in my young life?”. My parents did not have to speak too much, their actions spoke for them. I discerned my vocation in high school. The communism in Poland was collapsing, the fight between good and evil was conducted and I, being, brought up in the world of values, started defending them against my schoolmates who didn’t show any respect to Christian customs or traditions, and it was the sparkle which lights the flame of faith in my heart. Although, my parents had different plans for me, when they learned that had decided to follow my vocation, they agreed with God’s will.
Gordon: What seminary did you attend?
Father Peter: I graduated from Metropolitan Seminary and Papal Faculty of Theology in Wroclaw. I studied between 1991-1997.
Gordon: What was your favorite course and why?
Father Peter: All the subjects which could respond me why I believe. The most important book which I studied thoroughly, was The Holy Bible.
Gordon: What is your current assignment and responsibilities?
Father Peter: I am parish priest in a small village 40 miles from Wroclaw. Besides, I have been a teacher and educator for 20 years. Currently, I’m working on a special purpose school and education centre for youth. My hobby is evangelization, hence since the beginning of my priesthood I have always been using electronic media to achieve that goal. Therefore, the natural consequence of what I did earlier, was setting up the foundation.
Gordon: You are a co-founder of The Vide et Crede Foundation Please share with our readers an overview of its founding and mission
Father Peter: St. John Paul II Vide et Crede Foundation was founded as a fruit of 1stWroclaw New Evangelization Congress. It has been operating officially since 2013. It is making a big size billboard net, short films in the form of advertising spots and clips are made as an audiovisual commentary to the billboard. The contents are systematically uploaded onto the Internet, youtube channel, Facebook profiles both in Polish and English.
Billboards constitute a modern form of communication with many people, especially, the young ones living in the world of images. We are very much concerned not to have commercial or even demoralization contents in our surrounding but to use the advertising space to present Good News. The foundation along with its partners have successfully made three big evangelization campaigns in the public space. Only in Wrocław 65 billboards were stuck and 160 big size billboards were stuck on the area from Poznań to Łódz via Wrocław. Their content referred to1st Evangelization Congress in Wrocław in 1997, Advent, pro-life and John Paul II canonization. Along with Radio Rodzina[Family Radio], we support the organization of Wrocławskie Katechezy Czwartkowe[Wrocław Thursday Catechesis], which gather thousands of people every year. Besides, with the Pastoral Department of Wrocław Metropolitan Curia, we support the organization of the project “Noc Konfesjonałów”(wiosna)[The Night of Confessionals”(spring)] as well as the organization of the project “Noce Kościołów (lato)[Nights of Church](summer)with a group of Catholic media.
The foundation also benefits from the collaboration with Filmowy Ruch Ewangelizacyjny[Film Evangelization Movement] (FRE) from Bielsko-Biała. The creators of the movement propose retreats via image: introduction, film, prayer (the films have copyrights and are made by Christian directors) Along with Radio Rodzina in Wrocław[Family Radio]Vide et Crede Foundation in Wrocław is a co-maker of The Internet TV Rodzina[Internet TV Family], which presents the events from the life of our archdiocese, among others, numerous activities of Wroclaw parishes, Catholic communities and movements.
Professionals, including creative graphics presenting evangelic contents in a modern way, dealing with the production of posters, spots and many other forms of advertising, permanently co-operate with the foundation.
Vide et Crede Foundation, particularly, supported the preparation of Światowe Dni Młodzieży 2016 w Krakowie [The World Youth Days in Kraków 2016]. Preparing for that event we carried out an outdoor advertising campaign promoting the culture of mercy called „Miłosierdzie podaj dalej” [“Mercy pass it on”]
Since 2016 Foundation Vide et Crede and Fathers Franciscans from Niepokalanów has been the organizers of Międzynarodowy Festiwal Filmów Niepokalanów we Wrocławi.[International Film Festival Niepokalanów in Wrocław]. The event supports film culture and the artists promoting Christian values in their works.
Father Peter: The overall objective of the Festival is an overview of Polish and world achievements in the field of the film inspired by the values drawn from the Gospel.
The most important element of the festival is a film overview and film contest. Film overview constitute films selected by festival guests (directors, actors, film critics,). These are the film productions which are really meaningful for them. After the film show, festival guests talk to the audience about the selected movie. This type of meeting clicked with Wrocław audience which was shown by crowded cinema halls in Lower Silesian Cinema Center where the festival has its main office.
While the contest is to select the best film, which, in the eyes of jury, meets the festival requirements. Since 2018 there will be both feature film and documentary contest.
St. Maximilian Kolbe, pioneer in Polish Catholic media as well as the lover of good movie, has been the patron of this festival for 30 years. And these are the Maximilians like Oscars which are presented to the festival winners.
Apart from film overview and film contest, there are some accompanying events, among others: thematic lectures, discussion panels, film workshops, concerts and even amateur contest for youth which are held in Wroclaw city, too.
We cordially invite you to take part in this event which is unique on the global scale.
Gordon: Abortion has become a political issue, Please share with our readers why and when some of the laws governing abortion have recently changed.
Father Peter: The image of God’s law is blurred these days. Why? The contemporary world is developing but it prefers to swim in the shallow end at the same time which means they want to correct what’s hard or difficult. Unfortunately, for the contemporary human God’s law is hard and difficult. It happens so because the contemporary man looking for knowledge rejects faith. Therefore, what is left for us- believers, is testimony and prayer.
Gordon: What social media resources do you use?
Father Peter: I cordially invite you to contact me via Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and YouTube Channel.
Gordon: I thought that the best way to close this interview is with your favorite quote which I understand is also your motto
Father Peter: But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." [1 Peter 3:15]