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New shrine in Loretto

Nowa świątynia w Loretto

After the Jubilee Year of 2000 there was a significant increase in the number of pilgrims coming to the shrine of Our Lady of Loretto. The development of the Loretto cult contributed to the fact that the Ordinary Archbishop Sławoj Leszek Głódz issued a decree on the basis of which his successor Archbishop Henryk Hoser SAC crowned the miraculous statue of Our Lady of Loretto on 7 September 2008. During the coronation ceremony, Cardinal Józef Glemp, the Primate of Poland, noted that the cult of Loretto had been growing for years and stressed the need to build a church in Loretto.

FOUNDERS

After a few years, thanks to God’s providence, the founders who offered to finance this extraordinary undertaking have appeared. In 2013, during the Year of Faith when there was a peregrination of a copy of the miraculous statue of Our Lady of Loretto in the Warsaw-Praga diocese, the construction of the Loretto shrine has begun.

START OF CONSTRUCTION

The Loretto sisters obtained an official building permit on 23 May 2013 (this was the day when the feast of Jesus Christ, the Supreme and Eternal Priest, was celebrated for the first time in Poland). Holy Mass for the good construction of the temple was celebrated on 5 July 2013. The Eucharist – with the participation of priests from the surrounding parishes, founders and the construction team was presided over by Father Lucjan Święszkowski, inflate on the 122nd anniversary of the priestly ordination of Blessed Father Kłopotowski. Afterwards, the construction work was inaugurated with a symbolic dig. On 8 September, during the annual indulgenced feast in honour of Our Lady of Loretto, Archbishop Henryk Hoser SAC, Ordinary of Warsaw-Praga, consecrated the square and the cross for the construction of the new church.

LAYING OF THE FOUNDATION STONE

On 7 April 2014, the construction of the church began in earnest when heavy construction equipment was installed and the first excavations for the foundations began. In the following months, the footings were poured and the walls of the church and the tower began to be erected. Construction proceeded very smoothly and quickly. Later that year, on 7 September, the cornerstone was blessed and laid. This was done by Archbishop Henryk Hoser SAC during the Indulgenced Mass in honour of Our Lady of Loretto.

BLESSING OF THE TEMPLE

The solemn blessing of the new temple took place on 9 September 2018. The act of blessing consisted of the liturgical consecration of the worshippers and the walls of the church. There was also a special prayer of blessing, as well as the fumigation of the altar and the temple. The Mass and the act of blessing were presided over by Bishop Romuald Kaminski (the Ordinary of Warsaw-Praga from 2017). In the stone altar, the Bishop placed the relics of Blessed Father Kłopotowski and unveiled commemorative plaques dedicated to the founders of the church.

REGULAR ORDER OF MASSES

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the religious vows of the Loretto nuns (15 August 2019) a Mass was celebrated in the Loretto church. This celebration marked the beginning of the systematical Masses and devotions celebrated in the shrine.

A detailed schedule of Masses and services can be found on the shrine’s website: www.loretto.pl.

CONSECRATION

On 31 July 2021 – at the end of the jubilee year of the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the the Loretto Sisters – the church in Loretto was consecrated. Bishop Romuald Kamiński dedicated to God another house of prayer that was built in honour of Our Lady of Loretto.

The church consecration ceremony at 10.00 a.m. brought together both the devotees of Our Lady of Loretto and Her faithful son, Blessed Fr. Kłopotowski, as well as the benefactors, founders, donors and those who contributed to the creation of this beautiful shrine. Priests associated with the congregation and Loretto also came in large numbers.

WHAT DOES THE CHURCH LOOK LIKE?

The appearance of the Loretto church is inspired by the architecture of Italian churches – such as the churches of St. Francis, St. Clare in Assisi and the Benedictine monastery on Monte Cassino. The church is designed as a three-nave basilica with a transept and presbytery. In the northern part, a choir with space for an organ is located above the porch and partly above the naves. Next to the front of the church on the eastern side is the free-standing bell tower which is connected to the church by a built-in connector at choir level. On the easter side of the church there is also a cloister. A passageway in the base of the bell tower leads into this inner courtyard. The space of the cloister is bounded on the eastern side by the vicarage and bookshop building.

The church building is a single-storey building, so it can be used by people with disabilities without hindrance. The anticipated number of people seated in the church is a maximum of 500, while the choir on the mezzanine floor can accommodate 48 people.

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