All Souls' Mass
celebrated by Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski
phot. Łukasz Głowacki
The chronicle of former Festivals
About Christian Culture Festival
Christian Culture Festival was organized for the first time in 1997 on 10th Anniversary of the Logos Theatre. In a sense, it extends the idea of Christian Culture Weeks organized in Poland in 70s and 80s of the last century, which were to become counterpoise to lay media model promoted by the State. Lodz Christian Culture Days were organized in churches all around the city, so as to accommodate the artists, spectacles, exhibitions and projections.
One of such places was the John Paul lecture theatre in the vault of the Assumption of Holy Mother Church in Kościelna Street. This is where the Logos Theatre started, before it was moved to the church in Maria Skłodowska-Curie. It was this church that Archbishop Władysław Ziółek gave to the Lodz artists in 1993, and in which the Centre of Creative Communities’ of Lodz Archdiocese was appointed. It is here that the ‘logistic’ centre of the Festival is located, and where some of the Festival events take place.
Traditionally, the Festival takes place in November, on the first Sunday after All Soul’s Day. It usually lasts for two weeks, during which various event take place – spectacle premiers, other theatres come to Lodz, there are exhibitions of invited artists, performances of choirs and musicians, very often not to be seen anywhere else in Poland at any other time. The Festival programme is the result of the whole year’s work of rev. Waldemar Sondka, the Festival Director, who – using his contacts – invites artists who are interesting, out of the ordinary, noteworthy and creating art perhaps not always religious, but always searching and at the highest level. Care for the level of the Festival offers is a permanent rule, the Logos environment has always wished to provide the Lodz citizens with the possibility of contact with art deprived of parochialism, open to the man and as perfect formally as possible.
The Festival is not an activity that brings profit. Any entrance cards are issued as invitations that are free of charge, and the team of the Logos Theatre and all the people engaged in the Festival organization, act as volunteers. This does not mean that Christian Culture Festival costs nothing. On the contrary, to organize such a cultural event at appropriate level is always connected with costs. Rev. Waldemar Sondka deals with organizing means to secure the Festival events all year round. He manages to gain sponsors (without whom the Festival would not exist) and subsidies from institutions that deal with funding culture (without which the Festival could not develop). All that in order to realize the basic idea of the event that derived from the Lodz Christian Culture Days – to enable anyone who wishes and needs that, to live the Mystery through art. This idea assumes a free of charge participation in all the artistic events, which has been the case since the very beginning of the Festival until today, the only condition is that on the day of the Festival opening, one must queue as long as it takes to get invitations. The only limit to the number of invitations is the capacity of rooms in which the events are organized every day throughout the two weeks of the Festival.
current files and logos
XX Christian Culture Festival in Lodz
6th — 20th November 2016
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Theology sciences professor, between 1997-2012 an assistant bishop of Poznań, currently an archbishop of Łódź and since 2014 has been a deputy of the Chairman at the Conference of Polish Episcopate.
Between 1967-1973 he studied at the Archbishop Seminar and at the Papal Theology Faculty in Poznań. He was granted his ordination by the Archbishop Antoni Baraniak.
After graduation he worked as a vicar at the parish of St Martin in Odolanów near Ostrów Wielkopolski. Since 1975 he had been completing PhD studies at the Faculty of Papal Philosophy of the Gregorian University in Rome and he completed his habilitation on the basis of a dissertation “Jean-Paul Sartre and Emmanuel Levinas — in search of new humanism. An analytical and comparative study” — obtained at the Papal Theology Academy in Cracow (1991).
Between 1980-1998 he worked as a lecturer at his alma mater. Between 1987-1996 he was a member of an editors house of “Przewodnik Katolicki”, and since 1990 he has been the editor of that magazine. In 1996 he accepted the post of a visiting professor at the Papal Lateran University in Rome and two years later he was appointed an Associate Professor at UAM. Between 1998-2012 he was the head of a Christian Philosophy Department at the Faculty of Theology Department of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. On January 2nd 2002 he received the title of a professor.
On 17 May 1997 pope John Paul II appointed him the assistant bishop of the Poznań Archdiocese. While he was performing his duties, Marek Jędraszewski was also — as part of the Polish Episcopate Conference — a member of Permanent Council, a Commission for Catholic Upbringing, Section on Philosophical Sciences of the Commission for Faith, a member of a Council for the Ministry of Youth and a delegate of Academic Ministry. He was also a delegate of the European Episcopate Conference Council for the Academic Ministry and a member of KAI Programme Board.
On July 11th 2012 Marek Jędraszewski was appointed an Archbishop of Łódź by pope Benedict XVI, the ingress took place on September 8th. He received his metropolitan pallium from pope Francis on June 29th, 2013. Half a year later Francis appointed his a member of a Congregation for Catholic Education. A year ago the Archbishop received a statue of Złoty Hipolit and the title of an Outstanding Personality of Organic Work, granted by the Poznań Association of Hipolit Cegielski.
He is a founder of the idea of monthly “Dialogi w katedrze”, during which he personally answers questions sent to him via the Internet, and these are not always easy ones. Each of the meetings looks into a different topic and has a different artistic setting. Marek Jędraszewski as a spiritual director of the Church of Łódź undertook and resurrected many of the forgotten yet important for the region and Poland alike, historical topics, e.g. the history of a Nazi camp for Polish children “in Przemysłowa”, memory of the Cursed Soldiers, or the Łódź Operation of 1914. In a very open yet firm manner, he reacts to any contemporary threats to human spiritual condition and dignity.
The Christian Culture Festival has been taking place in Łódź since 1997 so this time the Festival will be celebrating its 20th anniversary. For so many years, thanks to the tireless Father Waldemar Sondka and the group of the LogosTheatre, the inhabitants of Łódź have had every year the exceptional, often the only, opportunity to commune with valuable and interesting events and artistic phenomena that take place outside of our city, or even Poland or Europe. Father Waldemar Sondka has never been discouraged by the organisation of the most challenging events and the rank of this festival has given him the reputation and the trust that we want to thank him for.
The year 2016 is very special for us as almost all of this year is dedicated to the Jubilee of Mercy announced by the Holy Father Pope Francis. At the beginning of the Jubilee the Pope wrote: “My thoughts now turn to the Mother of Mercy. May the sweetness of her countenance watch over us in this Holy Year, so that all of us may rediscover the joy of God’s tenderness”. The motto of this year’s 20th Christian Culture Festival — the last phrase of Pope Francis’ thought — seems to be the perfect message for this time. Reading his words further, let’s remember that “Mercy: the fundamental law that dwells in the heart of every person who looks sincerely into the eyes of his brothers and sisters on the path of life. Mercy: the bridge that connects God and man, opening our hearts to the hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness”.
I wholeheartedly bless the organizers, the invited artists and the audience for the whole duration of the 20th — jubilee — edition of the Christian Culture Festival.
Metropolitan Marek Jędraszewski
Archbishop of Lodz