The 25th General Synod of the PNCC was held October 1-3, 2018, in Belleville IL. Our parish was represented by Rev. Tadeusz Czelen and Tadeusz Kukula.
The delegates, lay and clerical, traveled to and from the retreat center of the Synod, on Sunday and then on Thursday. We began on Monday at 7:00 for breakfast, convened at 8:00 and continued straight through with our Holy Synod to Wednesday at 3:00 in the afternoon. On each of the three days we started at 7:00 with breakfast, had evening sessions Monday and Tuesday, the latter of which concluded at 11:00 that night. With time limits on discussion, and an informed body of parish representatives, disposition was made with some ease except, of course, for those areas of concern requiring greater consideration. Some of these included proposed changes to the PNCC constitution (none were accepted but one), financials (multifaceted and broad ranging) and the election of a prime bishop for the next eight years (we have one). The bulk of the time spent at Holy Synod was devoted to the work of the Church, i.e., matters relating to the work of the Future Directions Subcommittee of the Supreme Council. We repeated the brainstorming process from Erie, PA, four years ago, as we reviewed past activities and assessed them for improvements going forward and for advancements in new areas of focus within the five broad themes: Growth and Membership, Increase Spirituality, Lifelong Learning, Sacred Vocations and Community Involvement and Presence. The small groups considering these areas reported their plans to the Holy Synod with the knowledge that their efforts will be coalesced into the working plan for the next four years. The delegates’ labors were intense, and everyone applied himself and herself diligently to the tasks and debates at hand. An uplifting and beautiful opening liturgy was celebrated in the stunning worship space which the chapel of the Our Lady of the Snows Retreat Center afforded us. Our Prime Bishop’s message to the Holy Synod on that occasion was inspiring, and his exhortation, together with the beauty of the ceremonies fed us deeply in our spirits and in our lives. The exultant phrase, “Lord, it is good for us to be here,” (Mt 17:4) was a constant refrain as the work of Holy Synod XXV unfolded before us. In many ways, our work was blessed. May that work be a blessing for God’s Kingdom through the Polish National Catholic Church until the next quadrennial is in 2022.