MAITRI = FRIENDSHIP

Text: MAITRI

Translation: Anna Dominko

Our movement was born at the end of the pontificate of Paul the Sixth. We relied on the encyclical in which he called for a fair distribution of wealth and on examples such as the Jesuit father Beyzym, Jesuit - Czeslaw Białek, Pallottine - Adam Wiśniewski, and Warsaw doctor Halina Koperska. They show us the way.

The example of Mother Teresa appealed to us. We have sent parcels to her home in India over the years, thousands of tons of gifts. From her we learned the respect for the poor. She learned us love the poor. She infected us with the appeal: Together we can do something beautiful for God. Working at Nirmal Hriday in Calcutta we were getting to know her spirit. We accompanied Mother from her first in Poland.

The bond between Mother Teresa and the Pope was giving us courage. He was looking for a meeting with people pushed on the margin. By traveling to poor countries he paid attention to human problems. Also in Bialystok he asked us: who will take responsibility for the Third World? In the message for Lent he wrote that hunger is a huge drama.

You have to support the movements which carry relief to people at risk of starvation.In Wroclaw he said - At this moment millions of our brothers and sisters are suffering from hunger. On each of us hangs a small part responsible for this state. Let us learn to share.

He also said: Africa, despite its poverty, does not draw empty hands to the world. The love of life, the sense of mutual aid, openness to transcendence are the noblest gifts offered to us by the earth fertile by sandy dust. He did not stop emotion – he was talking about the values of the poor. And said that they also love. Catching him up was not easy. At the turn of the millennium he asked for forgiveness of debts of poor. Thanking for "Fides et Ratio" we gave him our icon of Christ the King of Friendship.

After the carnage in Rwanda we have started to rescue the children by adoption. This form of assistance was recommended by Pope in "Evangelium Vitae". In the chain of support participate adoptive parents and missionaries. Among them are lay people, nuns and monks. We were admiring their courage, attentiveness and the joy with which they devote themselves to this work.

We have proposed Father Marian for the Nobel Prize. He was comparing sufferings of the lepers to his own ones in the concentration camp. He had special warmth had for Bidżuli, who suffered from depression. He was organizing settlements called rehabilitation centers and employment which was providing self-sufficiency to the lepers. Many of these families got a pump as a gift from the Poland. The real breakthrough was a school integration for children from families of lepers and healthy.

Father Marian brought a new quality into the interreligious relations. Friendship with the high priest of a Hindu temple broke many a taboo. After his death, Polish Senate recognized him as a model.

Let us return to adoption. A Polish family adopted Chanda. As a result, she became a nurse. Then they adopted first grade pupil Aruna then Maurice from Cameroon. This allowed him to become a priest. Adoptive parents invited him to Poland. Welcome to the "mamma" was a lot of mutual joy. And a welcome with the sister.

The movement also supports life schools. The graduates get the tools. Movement Maitri supports African hospitals, health centers, building schools and feeding children. We help eight thousands young people.

The pope asked for the conversion allowing to give and to receive. The other people also help, for example schools from Mielec and Debica. With the help of the Foreign Ministry they were building an educational center in Congo.

After the death of Mother Teresa we have chosen her to be the patron of the Movement. Her beatification was hardly made by the weak John Paul the second. The ceremony was attended by people from all over the world. We were thanking the pope for this celebration in Rome. Papal teaching did not stopped with the departure of John Paul II. The pope Benedict XVI continued to talk about love, and we continued to listen and thank.

And the desire of John Paul II has come true - the victory of love. Because this is also our desire. As participants of the Maitri Movement of the Solidarity with the Poor, we came to thank John Paul II for the care of the poorest people in the world. We thank him for his encyclicals and letters on this matter. Thank you for his trip to poor countries. And for his speaking not only as an economic matter, but also for emphasizing human dignity.