Meeting with Rev. Stanisław Bartminski, opposition specialist in impossible matters

- His kindness and openness, determination and courage, his personal commitment and countless initiatives and above all his good heart made the times of the communist regime less gloomy for farmers and the democratic opposition. I can personally testify that in Krasiczyn at the presbytery this opposition developed excellently', reminisces the Prelate Marek Kuchciński.

The pastor, celebrating his 80th birthday, met with the Speaker of the Sejm on Saturday. As he wrote in the invitation: "Scripture says that the measure of human life is seventy years. And when we are strong, even eighty. Since I have already reached the limit granted to me by the Scriptures, I decided to meet people to whom I owe so much in my - according to many - long life, thanks to whom it was possible - also according to many - to realize some of my pastoral and social intentions.

- It is not easy to find the right words to honour the Jubilarian who has done so much good for other people and the Podkarpacie Region', thinks the Speaker of the Sejm Marek Kuchciński. - It is impossible to mention all the merits of the Venerable Priest. However, I would like to remind the dark times of the martial law and the unusual activity of the Reverend in organising help for the miners and workers from Silesia and Nowa Huta, victims of the pacification in the Wujek mine, internees and those who were repressed for their opposition to the regime. Today, from the perspective of many years, this help seems natural, but we must remember that after December 13 there was a shortage of medicines, food, basic necessities, and the average Pole lived very modestly on his monthly salary. The parish priest did great things - he successfully organised collections of money for miners' families and food for Silesian inhabitants. By doing so, he proved that in any situation, even the most hopeless, something had to be changed and that one could not remain passive in the face of human misfortune and totalitarian power. The fight against communism was not only strikes and publishing, but also demanding respect for people and a dignified life. The Security Service did not like the wide-ranging assistance, but the constant nagging and high fees did not discourage Father Stanislaw. On the contrary, he worked even more energetically on behalf of the repressed. He gave employment to those who were fired from their jobs, and those sought by the regime's services found asylum in the rectory. I think that at that time he understood better than many of us that the best way to fight communism was solidarity across social divisions and active work for the good of others," adds the Marshal.

Violence, intimidation of citizens and the atmosphere of insecurity constantly fueled by the services aroused distrust on the one hand, and the need for community on the other. With his extraordinary ability to listen carefully to people, the Reverend recognized the need to build spiritual unity. We did not have to wait long for the results of Father Stanislaw's actions, and the retreats organized for farmers from all over Poland contributed to the formation of the nationwide pastoral ministry of farmers operating at St. Martin's parish. These retreats were exceptional in character - they conveyed the unvarnished history of Poland and its rich culture, restored dignity and respect for hard work on the land, and taught due rights. They also made it possible to create the structures of the All-Poland Farmers Resistance Committee.






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