Welcome to the website

lektorzy ksiadz Bogucka.JPGWelcome to the website of altar servers of St. Stephen's Parish in the sanctuary of the Heavenly Mother of Bogucice in Katowice. We are glad you have come here. Maybe this virtual visit will inspire you to come to Poland and Katowice, and to our church of course - we do invite you to come! You will find the address in section 'Contact' on the home page.

Our liturgical service consists of candidates, junior altar servers (primary school), senior altar servers (middle school), as well as readers and animators who serve at the altar every day. In the Katowice archdiocese only boys are eligible to serve at the altar. Girls, on the other hand, belong to groups called Children of Virgin Mary and to our church choir. Serving God gives our young parishioners a lot of joy, and teaches them proper behaviours and attitudes. Devotion, punctuality, good manners, conscientiousness, proper appearance, etc. - all these character traits shaped through service to God are in fact an excellent investment in young people, and come in useful in their lives as adults. Nevertheless, it is the love of God that remains by far the most important. Now that many people depart from Him, altar servers are trwyszogrodzk swieca.jpgying to solidify their relations with Him through prayer, confession, and service at the altar, so that it is not only their alb or surplice that is white, but so that their hearts remain as pure as possible!
Our community is not large; however it is not quantity that matters, but quality! In total, we have approximately 30 junior altar servers and candidates, and approx. 20 active animators and readers. We also have a group comprising approx. 20 adult altar servers and students who attend masses only on Sundays and holidays. Currently our parish priest is Jan Morcinek, PhD., who continues the work of his predecessors: priests Alfons Tomaszewski and Józef Oleś. In his work, the Parish Priest places emphasis on actions geared to deepening religious life, increasing participation of laics in the life of the Church, supporting charitable activities, and most of all - strengthening the role of the sanctuary as a place to which followers make pilgrimages.

Currently our altar servers are coordinated by priest Cezariusz Wala, who is trying to organize their participation in the life of the parish through cultivation of their faith (adoration of the Host, Retreat, Concentration Days), as well as through weekly formation meetings, briefings, and excursions and integration outings.
Apart from the already mentioned priests, in the parish there are also the following curates: priest Krzysztof Jurczyński (studying in Warsaw) and priest Arkadiusz Rząsa. Apart from them, there is priest Krzysztof Kmak, priest Jakub Dąbrowski and priest Bronisław Czaplicki.

wieza1.JPGSince you are visiting our website, we'll tell you a few words about our church.
The first documented mentions of a settlement called Bogucice come from 1360. According to chronicles, the first church in the parish was St. Dorothea's wooden church located on a hill. It existed until 1773. Extended two times, it did not stand the test of time and in 1891 demolitions works commenced. Wood obtained from the demolished church was used to make crucifixes which every parishioner could obtain.
Our current church was built in 1894 thanks to the efforts of priest Skowronek and the generosity of all parishioners. The church was consecrated on 25 October 1894 by Cardinal Jerzy Kopp. The paining of Heavenly Mother Full of Grace was moved to the side altar of the new church.

The Miraculous Painting
The miraculous painting of Heavenly Mother with Infant Jesus was painted on linden board. Preliminary research on the painting of the Lady of Bogucice suggests that the painting is a highly complicated monument. The very presentation of Heavenly Mother puzzles researchers: the top coat, including the dresses, presents Heavenly Mother as Our Lady of Piekary. The third coat from the top (applied in the 17th century) presents Heavenly Mother as Our Lady of Chęstochowa. In 1994 the painting was subjected to thorough examination and restoration in Akademia Sztuk Pięknych (Art School) in Krakow. Thanks to efforts of the parish priest and custodian of the sanctuary - priest prelate Jan Morcinek, in 1999 a set of gold crowns was made in the studio of a Cracovian artist, Mr. Tadeusz Rybski. The crowns, which were funded by our parishioners, and which were adorned with precious stones, were consecrated by Pope John Paul II on 16 June 1999 in Gliwice during his pilgrimage to his Home Land.
Special coronation of the Miraculous Image was performed in Bogucice on 4 June 2000 by Apostolic nuncio in Poland - priest archbishop Józef Kowalczyk, who was accompanied by priest archbishop Damian Zimoń and other bishops. This was the second coronation using papal crowns in our archdiocese.

The painting of Heavenly Mother is worshipped in the parish as miraculous. A lot of grace has been granted thanks to the intercession of Heavenly Mother of Bogucice, Our Lady of Katowice. Every week Saturday at 8 p.m. (since Easter until the last day of October) we gather with candles to pray Apel Jasnogórski (Jasna Góra Appeal) for special intentions of the pilgrims and all people visiting the sanctuary.

This is just a few details about our parish, the miraculous painting and the altar servants. If you want to learn more, we invite you to visit Katowice and our sanctuary! It will be a great honour and pleasure for us to have you as our guest!

It will please us immensely if you make an entry and leave your greetings in our Guest Book. Your message will become visible after being accepted by our webmaster (to make an entry you need to find on the home page section 'Guest Book', click and fill in the right form).
Thanks to the Internet we feel as we're all living in one small village and although we might be even several thousand kilometres away from you, we believe that our faith unites us on our pilgrimage to the House of the Lord…. If we meet there one day, we'll surely have a nice chat ;)

Presented below you will find a prayer to Heavenly Mother, the Lady of Bogucice which you can pray on behalf of Your Family, Relatives and those you love:

Holy Mary, Mother of Jesus, Mother of Katowice. Matka Boza Bogucka.JPG
For over 5 centuries you've been watching us
From your painting in Bogucice.
So quiet and modest, although dressed in silver,
You invite those who put their trust in you and need help.

Good Lady, please, accept the homage
That we pay to You as Mother of our Lord
 in adoration.
We wish to worship You as Archangel Gabriel did
And as the Church has been doing for centuries.
We come to you trustfully, believing in Your
Intercession with God.
We bring you our everyday troubles and pains,
Our joys and indigence.
Intercede, Our Lady, for us with God,
Since we need light and power,
Since we need mercy when we grow weak and fall.

In Your Motherly hands we put our children and youth,
Married couples and families, those who suffer
And those who are coming to an end of their earthly road.
Oh, Mother, receive us, do not desert us, lead us to heaven. Amen.

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