February 1, 2021, marks the 103rd anniversary of the birth of Archbishop Ignacy Tokarczuk - the Metropolitan Archbishop of Przemyśl, an uncompromising advocate of an independent Poland, a steadfast bishop, whom the communist authorities considered one of the main enemies of the communist system.
Bishop Ignacy Tokarczuk, as a firm opponent of the Soviet occupation of Poland, was fiercely invigilated and falsely accused by the security service. He received the episcopal sacrament in Przemyśl on February 6, 1966 from the hands of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński. At that time he began a program of sacred building. He was guided by the idea of developing the pastoral ministry. During his ministry in the diocese of Przemyśl, despite opposition from the authorities, 220 new parishes and 430 churches were created. In the 1980s, he supported the activities of independent cultural circles in churches, including an exhibition in Przemyśl called "Man-God-World", which was organized outside of communist censorship, and in which artists from various continents sent their works.
He was a member of, among others: The General Council of the Polish Episcopate, the Commission for General Pastoral Care, for the Building of Churches, and from 1967 to 1989. - Joint Commission of the Episcopate and the Government of the People's Republic of Poland. On June 2, 1991, John Paul II appointed bishop Tokarczuk as archbishop, and on March 25, 1992, he established the metropolitan of Przemyśl. On May 3, 2006, he was awarded the Order of the White Eagle by President Lech Kaczyński.
The year 2018 by the resolution of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland was celebrated as the Year of Archbishop Ignacy Tokarczuk. During a conference dedicated to him, Marek Kuchciński - the then Speaker, said, among other things: "He was an extraordinary man, a steadfast advocate of an independent Poland [...] Father Bishop deeply instilled in our hearts and minds the desire for an independent and democratic Homeland". He also recalled that the Metropolitan of Przemysl spoke out for the dignity of the ordinary man and the rights of the faithful, he was a model of courage and uncompromising attitude, he broke the barrier of fear of the communist security apparatus, he supported independent culture and publishing and brought help to the repressed and their families.
Let us uphold the memory of this extraordinary Polish priest.