The text written by priest Kałuża comes from the “Parish letter” from the year 1989.
I won’t exaggerate when I say that the speed of events was as fast as in a good American western movie. Given the controversies related to the Polish-German holy mass on St. Anne’s Hill and perhaps unnecessary emotions on both sides - as in my personal opinion, though my grandparents and a few uncles fought for this hill against Germans as Silesian Insurgents, this Holy Mass was not in any way an insult to this place, and on the contrary, it rather elevated its status - on a governmental level, a different place had to be sought. And just as an aside remark, this whole hysteria may remind one of the unjustified emotions referring to the Carmelite convent in Oświęcim. That’s how Krzyżowa came into the picture. And now rapid developments take place. Thursday the 2nd of November - All Souls’ Day. At about noon, there is a phone call from the Metropolitan Curia in Wrocław: - As ordered by the Cardinal, today at 2.00 p.m. – please expect an important governmental delegation at the church in Krzyżowa. I started to smell a sensation. A phone call from the Provincial Office with very similar instructions made it even clearer to me. From 2.00 p.m onwards, together with the directors of the Office and the Head of the commune, we were waiting for the delegation which had flown from Warsaw and was supposed to arrive in Krzyżowa by car, together with the province governor. The waiting gets drawn out. At 4.15 p.m. I needed to leave the waiting and go to Boleścin to conduct the mass devoted to All Soul’s Day. Already here I encountered a column of police cars with flashing lights and several limousines rushing to Świdnica. I give way to them. So they go. They go there and I go here. I lead the procession and pray for the Dead, I celebrate the Holy Mass. After my return, I find out that they were in Krzyżowa and Grodziszcze, saw everything - the parsonage, the room, and asked how many guests can stay there, now they leave. After a few moments, the province governor informs me about the same on the telephone.
I see! Instead of St. Anne's Hill - Krzyżowa! But is it possible? And if so, I see God’s will in this. And after all, it will be St. Anna! Not there, but here, not this famous one on the Hill soaked with the blood of insurgents, but here in the foothills, in a small village, which is also the heritage of the Grandmother of Jesus. At St. Anne’s parish!
3.XI. - a visit to the Metropolitan Archbishop, Cardinal Henryk Gulbinowicz. Nothing is known yet. Right now this is just a site inspection. 4.XI – a phone call from the Curia: ”At around 3.00 p.m you can expect a visit of the delegation of the government of the Federal Republic of Germany”. Yes, I can expect it, if I have time. I still have two Saturday-Sunday Masses to celebrate! Just in case I ask the Dean Priest for help. And it was very useful, the waiting gets longer and longer again, but there is a message broadcast by Polish Radio: the Polish-German Reconciliation Mass will be celebrated on Sunday 12 November in Krzyżowa. It will be attended by the Polish Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Finally, the German delegation has arrived. It will be chaired by an adviser of the Chancellor - Mr. H. Teltschik. Again, a site inspection takes place in the church and in the courtyard before the ruined palace. Then Grodziszcze - also the Church, the churchyard and the parsonage. Long talks, some bargaining, everybody has their own reasons and arguments. Discussions about safety, requirements set by the quests and the province governor, etc. and the decision: An open-air mass in the courtyard in Krzyżowa. Some refreshments at the parsonage in Grodziszcze for about 30 persons. So, that was a fact, which alarmed all of us! That night and the following few days, and starting from Sunday 4 November, a real marathon and a race against the clock begins. The invasion of journalists, reporters, photojournalists, live sessions of endless questions and telephones. Everyone wants to know something! And the plans. How to do it in the best and cheapest way? What concept should be assumed? I know! AT THE SITE OF JESUS’GRANDMOTHER! Therefore, we borrow the altar from “Solidarity” at the Świdnica ZWAP and we modernise it. It must be roofed to protect it from rain and this is done by the Wrocław KIK, the future owner of the palace, together with the Wrocław-based company “Cobex”. In the altar, there is a painting of St. Anne, the one from our parish church. The governor of Wałbrzych will make sure that all the necessary regional services will be helpful, the same is offered by the Head of the Commune, the Mayor of the city and all the departments. Also the army gets involved in helping. Sound amplification for the square is ensured by ZWAP Solidarity. The liturgical order is consulted with the Curia in Opole, where the main presider will come from. The programme and the texts for the Reconciliation Mass will be prepared. Priests from the dean's parish, liturgical service and the Choir of the Mother of God, the Queen of Poland and our Schola are also invited to help. Preparations continue.
On the square, general clean up and delivery of materials, sand is delivered to harden the square. The materials are secured by the province governor. The work is in full swing. Cleaning is done by the PGR (State-owned Agricultural Farm), farmers clean up their farmyards. Also the cemetery on the hill and the chapel as well as the so called Berghause are cleaned up. Despite the coldness at night, it was very hot - the idea was to make up for all the omissions from the last 45 years or at least to “retouch” the general picture.
From the middle of the week, also the Polish and German safety and security services and the representatives of the German embassy intervened directly. New arrangements and requirements started to appear, the talks were not always easy, e.g. roofing for the entire international delegation was demanded. This could not be accepted as the whole view of the altar would be covered. A message came that there is a German company coming to build the altar and the roof. Our altar was just about to be finished, so we proposed that the company could provide the roofing for the side tribune for the German officials. On Thursday evening, the representatives of Germans asked me if it was true that there would be an image of St. Anne in the altar. Yes. Don’t do it – they said to me. Mr Chancellor will really appreciate it. I understood the implied meaning. I try to comprehend it, but what now?
I gave my consent painfully. Poor St. Anne! It must be changed. To whom? How about St. Hedwig - she came from Germany but she established herself as the mother of the people of Lower Silesia and the patron of Silesia. Let her be the bridge and the symbol of reconciliation for both nations. But where will we get her from? The altar is ready, the army is doing the finishing works, and where will we place her? What is she going to be like? There was just one night left, we still needed her and everything else had to be adapted to her. Thanks to the courtesy of Bishop Józef Pazdur, she was found in the archdiocesan museum and next day she was already right in her place. Beautiful, ancient, smiling and joyful - rejoicing at what she will see, the kiss of peace and reconciliation between two nations which she herself brought together in her heart long time ago.
On that same Thursday, there was one more surprise! Because of the collapse of the Berlin Wall of hatred and the Cold war, the chancellor had to interrupt the visit which had just started. But can we be sure that he will be back? There is an assurance that he will, even if he were to attend only the Sunday Mass. But hours of anxiety last. Hard as it is, the preparations also keep going, we are really close to the end, but we just need to take care of the flowers, the pavements and the dignified chairs for the government officials which the province governor got from the museum in Kłodzko, and finally, She, the bridge that connects both nations, the symbol of reconciliation - St. Hedwig of Silesia! And the chancellor did manage to return!