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Blyth honours St Stanislaus


In what was the first public Mass held in the mid north town of Blyth for many years, members of the Sevenhill parish gathered to honour the feast of young Polish Jesuit St Stanislaus Kostka last month.

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The Mass was celebrated at Padnaindi Park, close to where the St Stanislaus Kostka Church was located from 1911 until its closure in 1982.

Among the congregation were young people who have participated in the Sevenhill parish’s sacramental program.

St Stanislaus

In his homily, Fr Kieran Gill SJ shared the story of the teenage Kostka (1550-1568) who prayed while seriously ill, receiving a vision of Our Lady and the Christ Child, and being comforted when he received Holy Communion. It was this experience of healing that prompted Kostka to enter the Society of Jesus, despite the serious opposition of members of his family.

As a Jesuit novice, Kostka became ill and died aged 18. His legacy of walking in faith continues to inspire Polish Catholics and Jesuit communities throughout the world.

Stained glass windows originally installed in the St Stanislaus Kostka Church at Blyth are today located in the St Stanislaus Kostka Church at Polish Hill River in the Clare Valley.

In reflecting on Kostka’s legacy, Fr Kieran said: “When we are sick and frail, our prayer can involve gently entrusting ourselves to the Lord’s embrace, and asking His help to rest with Him. Kostka trusted in the Lord’s care when he suffered illness and injustice, and when he made the long walk from Vienna to Rome to enter the Society of Jesus. Kostka’s determination to walk in faith inspires us in the physical and spiritual journeys we experience today.”

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