24 lipca 2021 /FP | Family News Service
The institution MIVA Poland, operating under the auspices of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, organized for the 22nd time the National St Christopher’s Week, from 18 to 25 July. During this time drivers especially support missionaries. “We encourage them to look at their car’s meter, the count the kilometers, and donate the calculated amount (1 kilometer = 1 grosz) for vehicles that missionaries badly need. MIVA Poland supports the missions in this specific way,” said the institution’s director, Father Jerzy Kraśnicki.
The St. Christopher campaign—1 grosz for 1 kilometer—is not the only initiative undertaken during St. Christopher’s Week. “From the beginning, MIVA Poland has also promoted the so-called Decalogue of the Driver. Alongside car key rings or prayers for a happy journey, we distribute pictures with the image of St. Christopher and the Decalogue of the Driver, which contains the most important recommendations for drivers, e.g., “Don’t be selfish on the road,” and above all “Be guided by love on the road.” We also add “Be a Christian also on the road,” detailed Fr. Jerzy.
The initiatives undertaken on the occasion of St. Christopher’s Week aim, among other things, to make travel safer for individuals as well as whole families. The parent’s responsibility for the family manifests itself, among other things, by making sure that the journey of their loved ones is safe. The destination of the trip or the comfort of the passengers are important, but the safety of the family is the absolute priority.
As Fr. Kraśnicki emphasized, what counts most at this time is supporting missionaries with prayer and material aide. Safe Driver Day is celebrated on Saturday, July 24th, and the main day of celebrations will be on Sunday, July 25th; the central celebration will be held in Lapy, at Holy Cross Parish (Diocese of Lomza). The theme of this year’s celebration is: “On the Road to the Source of Life.”
MIVA Poland operates under the Commission on Missions of the Polish Bishops’ Conference and supports the purchase of means of transport for missionaries. It was established in Poland in 2000 as an idea transplanted from Austria where MIVA (Mission Vehicle Association; the German Missions-Verkehrs-Arbeitsgemeintschaft) has been active since 1947.
MIVA was founded in Cologne, Germany, in 1927 by the Missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate Paul Schulte. The director of MIVA Poland talked about the dramatic circumstances of the establishment of this institution: “The motive for this was the death of Fr. Paul’s colleague, who was a missionary in today’s Namibia. This young priest fell ill and because of the lack of transport the journey to hospital took too long. Fr. Paul knew that if there were better means of transportation, the missionaries would not have to lose their lives so easily. In such cases, every moment counts. It is worth mentioning that Fr. Paul Schulte really enjoyed flying. He was a courageous man who had a vision of evangelization with new means of transport. There is a certain analogy here with St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe.”
With the help of MIVA Poland, missionaries can get to where they are needed. The institution supports Polish missionaries who work in almost 100 countries around the world. MIVA accomplishes nearly 100 projects each year. Thanks to its commitment, it was possible to buy, among others, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, boats, vans, ambulances, but also wheelchairs, horses, rickshaws, and a paraglider.
Fr. Jerzy Kraśnicki expressed gratitude for the help of the drivers. “We are happy and thankful to all drivers and travelers who take part in the MIVA Poland action 1 grosz for 1 kilometer,” Fr. Jerzy emphasized. “I must only add that those who thank us for the kilometers driven, also try to drive safely and to be Christians on the road. This connection is very visible. They too know how to say thank you, and the vehicles that we purchase each year, which we also announce on www.miva.pl, are the fruit of this gratitude,” added Fr. Kraśnicki.
Bishop Jerzy Mazur SVD, Chairman of the Commission on Missions of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, also encouraged the public to join in the celebration of St. Christopher’s Week: “Let us give thanks for God’s help and protection in our daily journeys and support our men and women missionaries with our gift, and out of our gratitude for the happy kilometers traveled, great things will be born on the scale that God Himself has intended.”
How to support MIVA Poland : http://www.miva.pl/wesprzyj-17482
THE DRIVER’S PRAYER
O Lord bless our journey
Grant me o Lord a safe trip
and lead me safely and happily to my destiny
St. Christopher’s pray for us.
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR DRIVERS
- You shall not drive in a manner which is self seeking.
- You shall not use offensive actions, gestures or words.
- Remember to pray to St. Christopher when commencing your journey – be grateful for a journey safely completed.
- Respect the rights of pedestrians.
- You shall not kill – stay sober.
- Ensure that everyone fastens their seat belts.
- Do not speed on the road.
- You shall not drive in a manner that places you or the lives of your passengers in danger.
- Help others on the road.
- You shall obey the road rules and follow the instruction of the police.