Kraków: Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski Baptized Three Adults in the Dominican Church

May 19, 2018

On Saturday, May 19, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Kraków presided over the Vigil Mass for the Solemnity of Pentecost in the church of the Dominican Sisters in Gródek. Three people received the sacraments of baptism and Holy Communion, and twelve were confirmed. Just as in previous years, the Dominican Liturgical Center organized the Vigil.

Adults on the Way of Faith

We may have the tendency to think that all new members of Church were received in infancy, but many new Christians are welcomed during their adulthood. Most dioceses, both now and historically, most diocese prepare non-baptized adults who have encountered God and desire baptism for adoption into the Church. The Dominican Liturgical Center has organized two such catechetical courses for adults at the Dominican monastery in Kraków, as they have for the past five years. 

Saturday’s liturgy concluded the year long preparation for the catechumens (those who prepare for baptism) and candidates (those who have been baptized, and are preparing for full initiation). Three elect, Bartosz, Aneta and Jagoda, received baptism, confirmation and Communion. Nine successful candidates were confirmed.

For over a decade the Dominican Liturgical Center has organized Pentecost Vigil celebrations. These vigils supplement the rich array of prayerful celebrations that take place in Kraków during the Pentecost Vigil. The first evening of prayer organized by the Center was part of the wigilie gregoriańskie (Gregorian Vigil) series. The first Vigil Masses took place in the Church of St. Giles near Wawel. Following the new translation of the Missal and Lectionary, the Masses were moved to Church in Gródek. Krakow’s bishops have preceded the Vigil Masses at Our Lady of Snows for the past five years; confirmations were given at each of these celebrations. This year Archbishop of Kraków Marek Jędraszewski joined us.

A Celebration of the Whole Community

Following a centuries old tradition, adults generally receive the sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil Mass. This year however, the sacraments of baptism and communion were given on a different traditional date: Pentecost. 

At the direction updated liturgical documents, Celebration of the Solemnity of Pentecost began with an expanded Liturgy of the Word. The Liturgy included six readings, four psalms and subsequent prayers. After the homily, the Litany to the Saints was sung and the baptism water was blessed.

The bishop asked the candidates if they renounce Satan and all of his works. After they gave three affirmations of their commitment, their hands were anointed with the Oil of Catechumens, one of the three oils blessed at the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday. The anointing signified the slickness of the newly baptized, who can escape the devil’s grasp.

After the elict made their professions of faith, the bishop poured water over their heads, baptizing them. They put on an alb (a white rob) and received a lit candle as a sign of the change which had just occurred in their life. They went on to be sealed in the Holy Spirit alongside the other candidates, and they received Holy Communion for the first time during the Liturgy of the Eucharist. 

Different Paths to One Truth

The Dominican catechesis is led by priests connected to the Dominican Liturgical Center, as well as brothers and lay catechists from Beczka (Student Ministry), Dominikańskiego Studium Filozofii i Teologii (Dominican Studies of Philosophy and Theology) and the Światło-Życie (Life Light) Movement. The catechumens and candidates sought the sacraments of initiation from different experiences. Some received adult catechesis because their parents decided to allow them to chose their faith in their adulthood; others were converts or had only recently encountered Catholicism. Though classes took place in a group setting, the group was small, and catechists were able to apply individualized approaches, reflecting the understanding that each individual in catechesis had a different story.

The church of the Dominican sisters in Kraków was a natural place for adult confirmation as the catechumens and candidates have gathered there weekly with the Dominican Liturgical Center and the church community for mass throughout the year. The cloistered sisters supported the catechumens and candidates through their prayers.

The Dominican Liturgical Center runs many projects in addition to catechetical preparation. They have pastoral, educational and online programs, including a website entirely devoted to the sacraments, accessible at www.7pierwszych.pl. One of the other projects they are currently preparing for is the eleventh edition of the Mysterium Fascinans Liturgical Retreat, scheduled for September 7-9, 2018.