Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Dear Polish Catholic Community,
Fr. Tomasz Klin, your “good shepherd”, is about to leave us.
First of all, in my own name and that of the Diocese, I want to thank him from my heart for his beautiful ministry among you. These have been for you, for him and for us years of grace and mercy. We will miss him very much! We will not forget him. His fruit will last. We ask God’s blessing on his future.
He leaves behind a strong community:
– aware of its Christian mission,
– capable of facing the future in peace and hope,
– relying on God alone.
You will remember what St Paul says: ‘What is Apollos? What is Paul? They are servants who brought the faith to you. Even the different ways in which they brought it were assigned to them by the Lord. I did the planting, Apollos did the watering, but God made things grow. Neither the planter nor the waterer matters, only God, who makes things grow’ (1 Cor 3:5-7).
And so to the future! First, the bad news… As you know, we learned earlier this year that the Society of Jesus is not able to provide a successor to Fr Tomasz. I have made approaches to the Conventual Franciscans in Krakow, England and Gdansk. But they too are not able to provide anyone. Other avenues have led nowhere. I am now approaching another religious congregation.
Then, the good news…
1. The provision of three Masses on Sunday for the month of November will continue, with help from Fr Jakub Czajka and others. This has been arranged.
2. On the 26th November, Fr Sławek Jeziorski will come for Advent and Christmas. While he is here we will discuss the possibility of him remaining here for 6 months in all. This is what he would like, and I too. It will give us time to find a more permanent solution. This depends on him being given permission to continue his doctorate here.
3. If that is not possible, there is another Polish priest who can serve you, until we find the new chaplain.
So I foresee some months of ‘filling in’, until matters become stable.
I wish I had the perfect priest to offer you now! But God will provide. It is for you to keep praying, for me to keep searching, for us all to keep trusting in the God ‘who makes things grow’. All will be well. “Pray, hope and don’t worry”, said Padre Pio.
For all practical matters regarding the provision of Mass and the Sacrament of Reconciliation and other issues, I have appointed Maciej Kamiński as the link person. Please respect this and support him.
Please pray for me too. I am very proud of you, the Polish Catholic Community of Aberdeen, and I know that together in Christ we will continue to flourish. ‘You are God’s field, God’s building’ (1 Cor 3:9).
Devotedly in the Lord,
+ Hugh OSB
Hugh Gilbert OSB
Bishop of Aberdeen
18th October 2016