Garden of Dialogue


The parish garden (0.8 ha) is located next to the 17th-century Baroque parish complex, revitalized in 2016-2019. Now the church-adjacent lot has been redeveloped into the Garden of Dialogue. Not only has the Garden been designed to serve residents and guests from all over Poland as a place of recreation, prayer, and meeting with others. The Garden is also an educational facility in the historical and environmental sense.

"Way of the Cross of the Polish Nation", comprised of 15 sandstone chapels, and the "Cross of Poland" are one of the prominent elements of the ensembles designed to commemorate Poles' martyrdom during World War II. In 1939 this parish lot was used by the Germans as a prisoner-of-war camp for "September-Campaign Soldiers" and civilians, i.e. the inhabitants of RawaMazowiecka and the surrounding area. For several months, about 15,000 people were kept in the open air, experienced humiliation and suffered from hunger and disease; many of them died. Most importantly, the general public's memory of this suffering faded; thus, the Way of the Cross of Nation is to revive memories and ensure sustained remembrance. This monument also commemorates the then parish priest of Rawa, Fr. WacławZienkowski and a group of parishioners who risked their lives to help the imprisoned. The Gestapo arrested them and sent them to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp,  where Fr. Zienkowski was murdered on 5 August 1940. Rawa Via Dolorosa exhibition also relates to World War II suffering.
The so-called "The Circle of Peace" is another essential element of the "Garden of Dialogue"; a stone rosary modelled on the one displayed at the tomb of Fr. Jerzy Popiełuszko in Warsaw. Popiełuszko was the 1980s hero of "Solidarity" and a priest who was the victim of the totalitarian system. Fr. Popiełuszko was a proponent of the "Overcome evil with good!" life principle. Each of the 59 stones in the Circle of Peace symbolizes a specific country; the seven larger stones are connected by metal crosses and represent the continents. The Circle's stones, joined by a forged chain, symbolize the whole world united in a spiritual dialogue to build peace, mutual understanding, and respect. The "Let us pray for peace" plaques in different languages are set in front of each of the stones.This is a continuation of the call displayed in front of the Garden entrance. This appeal relates to United Europe's spiritual message - Europe "rests on spiritual pillars", as Saint John Paul II emphasized. The Garden is also the home of the Grotto of Lourdes and the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima.

There are also other important elements of the garden, such as the exhibition and storage building and a barbecue, a playground, a pond, a stage and multimedia benches. The latter is the place to learn about history and listen to prayers and thought-provoking music. In addition, the place offers recreation, meetings, and encounters with other people.

By St. Joseph's intercession, we send God our hymn of gratitude, offering thanks to all good people of goodwill, our parishioners for their prayers and all help in making this endeavour a reality.