JULY 19, 2021: It is called the Pol’and’Rock Festival. One the largest free music festivals in the world and it is held every summer in Poland. In 2019, it drew more than 700,000 people and this year it is expected to also continue drawing thousands during the festival from (this Wednesday) July 21 to Aug 1 now that the Covid outbreak is under control in Poland and travel restrictions have been lifted.
What has this got to do with us Catholics in this part of the world?
For the last 20 years, more than 500 Catholic evangelisers have been holding a Christ-centred youth festival called Przystanek Jezus (which means Station Jesus in Polish). You will see priests and nuns in their habits and lay missionaries reaching out and sharing about God’s love to those who attend the Pol’and’Rock Festival.
Przystanek Jezus is where young Catholics from Europe come to Poland and reach out to those who attend the rock festival, which used to be called Woodstock Festival Poland after the famous Woodstock. The Pol’and’Rock Festival like the famous Woodstock festival held in 1969 in New York City that drew thousands with bands playing for three days and where sex, drugs and alcohol were the mainstay. (The video is in Polish but the visuals will show you what the mission work is all about.)
So each year, the 500 or so missionaries talk to the tens of thousands who feel unloved, lost, lonely and are searching for the meaning of life, by showing them who Jesus is and what He did on the cross. One of the 500 is a Malaysian named John Jonathan Paul.
Paul is from Seremban and attended Visitation Church when he was growing up. Later when he started work in Petaling Jaya, he attended Assumption Church and helped set up the Assumption Youth Network with the late Fr Phillips Muthu.
Paul has been in the mission field for decades with Institute for World Evangelization – ICPE Missions,which is an International Association of Christ’s faithful of Pontifical Right and is now cooperating with the St Timothy Community of Brothers, a covenant community in Poland under the Archdiocese of Łodz. He regularly teaches at the School of Evangelisation (Ogólnopolska Szkoła Ewangelizatorów in Polish), which is under patronage of Office of the Team of the Polish Episcopal Conference for the New EvangelizationiIn the Archdiocese of Łodz.
Paul has reached out to Journey With Us – Asia, asking for support from his fellow Malaysians for this year’s Przystanek Jezus which starts.
This is what he says:
”We need your help and support. 1) We need lots of prayers 2)We need to raise funds for this event. Przystanek Jezus: a transfer point to those who feel unloved.
“They will come by the thousands to the Pol’and’Rock Festival to forget about their problem, kill the feeling of loneliness and blend into the crowd. Przystanek Jezus will be a transfer point for them: to encounter our missionaries and evangelizers to experience Christ true love for them.
“If you would like to support our Work of evangelization please do let me know and I will send you our bank account. Do support us and be part of the Work of Evangelization at this Rock Festival. Your kind Support and Prayers will Bless the life of these young people. Thanking all of you in advance.”
Please feel free to contact John Jonathan Paul at email@example.com