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Former Polish Prime Minister to Speak on Legacy of St. John Paul II

8/25/2014 - 10:48 AM PST

Catholic PRWire

Austrian Symposium to mark 25th Anniversary of fall of Communism

STEUBENVILLE, OH (August 25, 2014) - Former Polish prime minister Hanna Suchocka will give the keynote address at a one-day symposium on the legacy of St. John Paul II, hosted by the Language and Catechetical Institute in Gaming, Austria, on September 13. The symposium will be held at Franciscan University of Steubenville's study abroad site, the beautifully restored 14th century monastery, the Kartause Maria Thronus Iesu, in Gaming.

Suchocka was the fifth prime minister of post-communist Poland and the only woman to have served as Poland's prime minister. She also served as Poland's Ambassador to the Holy See from 2002 until 2012. Her address, "Poland at the 25th Anniversary of the Fall of Communism and the Contributions of John Paul II," is sponsored by Franciscan University of Steubenville's Henkels Lecture Series.

The Language and Catechetical Institute (LCI) has organized the symposium in honor of the canonization of St. John Paul II, whose call to the new evangelization inspired the founding of the LCI, and to mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of communism in Eastern Europe. Both offer good occasions to reflect on St. John Paul II and his legacy, says LCI co-director Jennifer Healy.

"The legacy of John Paul II is the new springtime of the Church, all the initiatives for the new evangelization in every field," says Healy. "Family, life issues, politics, theology, art, and so on!"

The symposium will afford attendees the opportunity to discuss and come to a deeper understanding of this broad legacy St. John Paul II has left to the Church and the world, said Healy, adding that Her Excellency Hanna Suchocka was appointed to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences by St. John Paul II in 1994 and to the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors by Pope Francis in April 2014.

During the symposium, several workshops will be offered on topics. Two additional talks will also be part of the day's events. British journalist Dame Joanna Bogle will speak on "John Paul the Great: His Life and Work," and Dr. William Newton, associate professor of theology for Franciscan University of Steubenville, will address "John Paul II's vision for Marriage and Family." The day includes Mass and vespers and concludes with a classical music concert and reception.

The LCI has arranged for the symposium to coincide with an English-language intensive program for Byzantine and Roman Catholic bishops and senior curial staff from Azerbaijan, Belarus, Czech Republic, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine.

With a motto of "Forming Disciples for the New Evangelization," the LCI, founded in 1992, provides theological training and English instruction for young people from former and current communist countries, with the purpose of building up the Church in Eastern Europe after the fall of communism.

The public is invited to attend the symposium. Registration is 25 euros. Learn more or register online at


Franciscan University of Steubenville  OH, 43952 US
Tom Sofio - Associate Director of Public Relations, 


Franciscan University, John Paul II, family, life issues


Catholic Schools & Religious Education

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