“The womb which hosts us is the first ‘school’ of communication, a place of listening and physical contact where we begin to familiarise ourselves with the outside world within a protected environment, with the reassuring sound of the mother’s heartbeat…, since each of us was born of a mother..even after we have come into the world, in some sense we are still in a ‘womb’, which is the family.” These beautiful words come from the 2015 Message of the Holy Father for World Communications Day.
In the light of these inspiring words, I’d like to take this opportunity to remind readers, and raise awareness for the first time perhaps for others, of the outstanding spiritual/pastoral initiative “From Ocean to Ocean” in defense of the civilization of life, love and the family. As one writer put it when over 2000 people welcomed this unique pilgrim Icon of Czestochowa in Westminster Cathedral in 2012, which has now travelled over 150,000km: “To look upon her face brings penitence, fear, awe, love, reverence, humility and respect. It is all of these things that this country needs in order to become a culture of life.”
During that momentous week when the Mother of Christ and the Infant Jesus toured Great Britain, I shall never forget the simple but beautiful moment when the Pan Orthodox Bishops of Britain and Ireland greeted her in the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Mother of God and the Holy Royal Martyrs in Chiswick. It was one of the most memorable acts of authentic Christian ecumenism I have ever seen and had the privilege to be involved with. In short, Mary brings unity and harmony in ways known only to her and the Holy Spirit, which is why as families we must always go to her with confidence and love. She can truly untie the knots of confusion, division and bitterness. So having toured the USA from August 2013 until now the icon is now in Mexico, which is the 27th country on the route of the pilgrimage. It is as if the Mother of God toured the globe along the equator three and a half times.
A lot of great pictures and reports, events and places were really outstanding. To commemorate and to further promote these events, a beautiful album “FROM OCEAN TO OCEAN with the Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Defense of Life” is now available in English and Polish. It has an A4 format, hard cover with membrane picture of Mother of God, 276 pages in full color. It is a kind of reportage from the whole pilgrimage, chronologically from individual countries. It is a testimony of faith, tradition and history of many nations, and also of love to the Mother of God and commitment of many people to the defense of life.
There are only 1,000 copies are available and the price is 25€ + P&P. All profits are used to cover the costs of further peregrination “From Ocean to Ocean” in Latin America. For further details, please contact Ewa Kowalewska on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, click here for an interview I did in 2012 for Vatican Radio on Family.
– Edmund Adamus
Director, Office of Marriage and Family Life – Diocese of Westminster