We are convinced that an authentic Catholic life is informed by properly living out the Holy Mass as the Eucharist sustains the Church. For this reason, we meet Sundays during the academic year for a joint Mass at Gródek, a Dominican cloister in Kraków. We invite you to share in the community of individuals who support catechumens as they prepare for the sacraments of initiation.
This community depends on authentic involvement in the liturgy. Such a commitment begins with internally; therefore, we individually pray “preparatio ad missam” before each Mass. We hold the intentions of our benefactors close to us as we come to before the altar. Mass intentions, which will be included in the Prayers of the Faithful, can be made through our online form. To aid in participation in the Mass, we maintain silence before the collections and in the proper moments of the Roman Canon.
Everyone present is invited to join in the offertory. The offertory does not only include financial donations; we also present food for the Sisters at Gródek, gifts for the community present (such as cakes, pastries and fruit), and gifts for the church (bread, wine, flowers, oil, and candles). We share these gifts after Mass and bring such gifts to those who could not attend the celebration. Instead of having a choir, we are led by a cantor who invigorates the whole congregation in chant. Songbooks are distributed at Mass. Some of the chants are Gregorian: in particular, we sing “Asperges Me,” the original antiphon for the Rite of the Sprinkling of Holy Water, during the penitential rite. A member of the congregation serves as lector.
We specifically pray for those preparing for baptism and confirmation. When liturgically appropriate, we celebrate the sacraments of initiation during the Mass. The community which gathers for Mass at Gródek often serves as the first community catechumens know.
After the Mass, we meet in meet to converse over refreshments as we want to form a faith community.
These Masses are not our own, they belong to Jesus Christ. Therefore, everyone is welcome to join us on Sundays at 11:00 AM.
To support the Dominican nuns at Gródek:
Ø Make a transfer to 16 1240 4650 1111 0010 3901 6929
To make a donation for the needs of the Mass at Gródek (the contribution will go towards liturgical groups and other expenses):
Ø Make a transfer to 88 1140 2004 0000 3502 4564 2401 (with the note Masses at Gródek)
Ø Make a deposit through the below form
Ø Give cash during the Mass
The Gródek Monastery
In the beginning of the 14th century, the site housed the manor of Kraków’s Mayor Albert. In 1331, the manor became the headquarters for the rebellion of German townspeople against the rule of Władysław Łokietek over Lesser Poland. Once Łokietek suppressed resistance, he demolished Albert’s manor and built the fortified castle “Gródek” in its place.
Gródek served as the seat of power for Grodzki family in the 14th century, and for the Tarnowski family in the 15th century. In 1475, the castle burnt down, and a new residence replaced it.
In 1621, the site was adapted for a cloister, and the new church was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This only occured after a shift in the cultural perception of religious orders. According to tradition, the dedication occurred in thanksgiving for the victory of the king's son, Stanisław Lubomirski, at Chocim. The Sisters began their regular religious lives on the Solemnity of St. Michael the Archangel in 1621. The Church as dedicated on October 8, 1634.
At first the community consisted of five Sisters. They were Tertiary Dominican Sisters. Over the years, the community grew in numbers. Their history was tied to the city of Kraków- the Sisters often had to flee the monastery because of plagues and invaders. The monastery also was subjected to three fires, but the Blessed Virgin Mary aided the Sisters.
One such case of the Blessed Virgin’s assistance occurred in 1655, during the siege of Kraków by the Swedes. One major attack was concentrated at the gate of St. Nicholas and the monastery. The roof of the monastery caught fire, but the fire was stopped by students defending the monastery. According to monastic tradition, the Blessed Virgin appeared in the smoke and shielded the monastery with her cloak. This terrified the Swedes, who halted their attack. This miracle is commemorated by a painting on the monastery façade.
In 1768, during the Muscovites’ conquest of Kraków the monastery was looted and burnt. On July 16, Abbess Krystyna Dembińska and Sister Katarzyna Szwandrówna were murdered. In order to survive, the Sisters temporarily ran a girls’ school. In 1856, the Sisters were allowed to return to contemplative life under an order of Father A.W. Jandel. Sister Jacinta Cama, from the Mauleon monastery in France, became Prioress.
In 1938, Sister Jordana Ostreyko traveled with eight Sisters to the Vilnius colony to begin a new convent. When Nazism gained traction, both sites provided shelter to Jews. During World War II, the Sisters of Gródek were displaced to the convent of the Poor Clares in Kraków (between 1944 and 1946). The Gródek monastery was occupied by Ukrainian prisoners before it became the Ujazdowski Hospital. After the war, the Sisters regained the monastery after much difficulty. The site was once again a cloister.
Today, the Sisters fill the same role they have historically. They stand before God, begging for His mercy on the world. Every evening they sing the Salve Regina in procession.
We encourage you to support the Sisters during the Sunday collections (once a month, the collection is entirely given to the Sisters) and through gifts at Mass. You can also donate using previous tab.
A permanent element of the Holy Mass at Gródek is the Roman Canon, a Eucharistic prayer recommended by the Church for Sunday Mass. To learn more about the wealth offered by this prayer form, we recommend the book Modlitwa w Stylu Retro, available at the Dominican Liturgical Center’s Store.
Every Christian can and should be a theologian, as everyone should think seriously about God, according to their own situation and skills. Every lay man or women should cultivate their knowledge and faith by nature of their baptism and confirmation. We look forward to members of the laity writing commentaries on the liturgy. We appreciate homilies which explain the deposit of faith contained in liturgical prayers and actions. Both commentaries and homilies contribute to more active participation in the liturgy, allowing the laity to understand and cling to the meaning of the liturgy.
For these reasons, Modlitwa w Stylu Retro is a systematic discussion of the Roman Canon. It is not a hermeneutic work in a strict sense, though it does reveal liturgical reasons for many parts of the Canon, discussing their formulation, as well as their meaning. In addition to presenting a systematic discussion on the Roman Canon, the author also opens a discussion of liturgical issues.