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New Archbishop of Lodz, Poland, focuses on traditional spirituality, re-evangelization

Few bishops have done as much to advance the new evangelization as Bishop Grzegorz Ryś, now the head of the Archdiocese of Lodz.

Earlier this year, I was in a large building overflowing with people, mostly in their twenties, who had come from all over the city to see a man they adore. Getting a seat was out of the question; most in attendance were standing, squeezed together like sardines. I was not, however, at a rock concert or sporting event. I was at the Franciscan church in Krakow, Poland, at a Lenten retreat preached by Bishop Grzegorz Ryś, then the auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese.

A youthful 53, Bishop Ryś has been tapped by Pope Francis to lead 1.4 million souls in the Archdiocese of Lodz (pronounced “Woodge”), Poland’s third largest city. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen so much attention in the Polish media, either Catholic or secular, given to an episcopal nomination. The media response has been overwhelmingly positive, including in the left-liberal media that almost always writes about the Church in a negative light. Bishop Grzegorz Ryś is a pioneer of the new evangelization, and he will now have the opportunity to turn things around in a diocese that needs to be re-evangelized.

The significance of Lodz

The Diocese of Lodz (it became an archdiocese later) was erected by Pope Benedict XV in 1920. While the first written records about Lodz, which is located in the very center of Poland, come from the 14th century, the city was an insignificant provincial town until the nineteenth century. At that time, once-mighty Poland was partitioned between Russia, Prussia, and Austria. Lodz found itself in Russian Poland and became a major center for the textile industry. The growing local economy led to a large influx of Poles, Jews, and Germans, and Lodz quickly became a major Polish city. The Dickensian conditions in the city’s factories in the nineteenth century have been captured accurately (if harrowingly) in Andrzej Wajda’s classic Oscar-nominated film The Promised Land.

Read more at the Catholic World Report –

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