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The world-renowned astrophysicist, professor of the Jagiellonian University and Mariavite priest, Konrad M.P. Rudnicki, will be celebrating services in the Episcopal rite in Cracow. (The services will be in Polish.) He was authorized to do it by the bishop-in-charge of the Concovation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, the Rt. Rev. Pierre Whalon. The Rev. Rudnicki will be assisted and supported by Dominik Chmielewski, young Methodist theologian from South Poland. The first service will be celebrated on Saturday, October 13, at 5 pm in Sw. Filipa 23/6 street. (More about the services here.)
The Rev. Professor Rudnicki, whom we address, at his own request, simply as Brother Pawel, has been for years the pastor of the Cracow Mariavite congregation which meets in St. Martin’s Lutheran Church in Grodzka street, and you can still meet him there at the altar, almost every Sunday. The Cracow Mariavite congregation is a unique ecumenical initiative, since it brings together Mariavites from the two the churches of this tradition. (The Plock and the Felicjanow one.) Apart from that, Rev. Rudnicki is also the Minister General of the Ecumenical Mariavite Order comprising members of different Christian churches as well as the publisher and editor of the magazine “Praca nad Soba” (“Work on Oneself”). When in the 80s he worked in the observatory in Castel Gandolfo, pope John Pole II invited him to celebrate Mariavite Eucharist in his private chapel. About his relationship with the Episcopal Church he told us:
During four years of my research stays in the United States (three years in the Los Angeles diocese and one year in the Galveston-Houston diocese [Rev. Prof. Rudnicki probably means here the Episcopal diocese of Texas] I served as a non-stipendiary priest in three Episcopal parishes. It was simply a need of my soul: not to stop being a priest. There were only low church parishes in the surroundings of the University where I worked, even though I would rather have served in a high church one. But I had no choice. I obtained a permission and a referral from my bishop in Plock and got a certificate from the bishop in charge of the respective Episcopal diocese. The Anglican church is doctrinally comprehensive enough for me to fit in with my Mariavtism without any problem.
Knowing about the “Episcopal episode,” we invited him of course to the conference Bringing the Episcopal Church to Cracow, which took place in March of this year at St. Martin’s. Since then he has been accompanying us in our initiative practically all the time. Together with Bishop Pierre Whalon he celebrated the first Episcopal Eucharist at the conclusion of the conference in Cracow. He was also present at the retreat in Poznan and there too, with the Rev. Tony Litwinski, celebrated the Service of Holy Communion. When at the end of the retreat we were thinking about future activities of our Episcopal Network, he suggested celebrating services in Cracow. Of course, we immediately took up the idea. And that is why we can invite you now to St. Filip street on Saturday. We hope that we will be able to celebrate the presence of our Lord in the community of the faithful in a possibly large group. And if you cannot come, please remember us in your prayers.