Fr. Tom Cassidy, now on sabbatical after completing his second term as provincial superior of the US Province, is writing a journal during his trip to Poland in October. We will post excerpts from it on our province blog. Here is the first entry, written on October 3:
I’m off for Poland! At the moment I’m sitting in Chicago’s O’Hare Airport waiting my flight to Frankfurt and then on to Warsaw. I leave Chicago at 6:25pm and will land tomorrow in Warsaw at 1:50pm. It’s a long trip but I have some much longer than this one. I managed to bring everything I needed with the exception of my Magnificat Daily Missal. It’s not a great loss as both my iPad and iPhone have the iBreviary app that also includes both the daily readings and Mass prayers in English. It would be hard for me to follow it all in Polish.
The chief purpose of this trip is to attend the dedication of a conference center in Kracow that our United Sates Province help to fund. It is actually the renovation of a large building owned by the Polish Province. I saw the building several years ago on my first visit to Poland following the meeting of the European SCJ Major Superiors that the major superiors of Canada and the US were invited to attend. Secularity was the theme, and although there are differences on what that means and how it is applied in Europe and the US as well as Canada.
Fr. Artur Sanecki is the current Polish Provincial. He has just started his second three-year mandate. I know Artur from his days as a student in Rome where he obtained his doctorate in scripture. Artur is no stranger to the US as he spent several months living at Villa Maria (our old retirement community).
Artur invited me to attend the dedication/blessing of the new conference center since the US Province helped fund the project. I reminded Artur that my time as provincial has come to an end, but he said to come anyway and since Fr. Stephen Huffstetter, our new provincial, is just settling into office I got the chance to represent the US. It also fits into what I am going during this transition year (sabbatical). I am taking time to visit the various provinces and regions I worked with while on our General Council, as well as doing some work for the congregation by spending several months in India early next year as well as assisting with English in the Philippines in April and May.