Page 10, THE CATHOLIC ADVANCE, Thursday, August 13, 1987
On the picture: Barbara and Zbigniew WOJCIK on their wedding day, Two other pictures show their children: Paulina WOJCIK and Marcin WOJCIK
Dr. WOJCIK: Family in exile
by Larry Menestrina
We have all read stories about families who have been physically separated from one another due to the oppressive policies of governments that restrict personal freedoms and create political exiles. Our own Catholic community here in Wichita has such a family that needs our help, prayers and moral support in an effort to bring them all together here in America.
I would like to introduce the Wojcik family to you and briefly describe their situation. Dr. Zbigniew Wojcik is a scientist in the field of artificial intelligence and a political exile from Poland. His wife Barbara and their two children Marcin (12) and Pauline (7) live in Warsaw, Poland. In 1985 Dr. Wojcik received an invitation to work at the Wichita State University an Associate Professor of Computer Science. He received special permission from the Polish government for him and his family to obtain passports and temporary visas to the United States. After arriving in Wichita in March 1986, he received information from his wife that he had been dismissed from his research work at the Industrial Institute of Electronics in Warsaw and that his family’s visas to America had been withdrawn. His wife Barbara appealed many times to the Polish authorities but received only denials and government’s official notification that there was no appeal to the decision. Further action by the Polish government revoked Dr. Wojcik’s passport and created a situation of impending imprisonment should he decide to return to Poland.
While in Poland Dr. Wojcik was an active member of Solidarity, taking part in the democratic movement of workers to improve their social status and gain personal freedoms. In spite of the hardships his family has endured his family persevered in their Catholic faith and Dr. Wojcik remains an inspiration to his fellow parishioners at St. Paul’s Newman Center of the Wichita State University where he regularly attends Mass.
Dr. Wojcik is now a political exile, a man without a country and without his family. He has pursued many avenues to ask for help in bringing his family to America. Letters have been written, inquires made, but still the Polish government’s only response has been that he must wait. But for how long! We are requesting your help and support in reuniting Dr. Wojcik’s family in America.
Will you help by participating in any or all of the following activities? 1) The most important help we can provide is our spiritual support. Dr. Wojcik and his family need our prayers to support this effort. St. Paul’s Newman Center will host special liturgy service every third Saturday of the month at 10 a.m. in their small chapel. This will include praying the rosary followed by a mass for the unification of the Wojcik family in America. We invite our Catholic brothers and sisters to share with us in this special act of prayer and liturgy. Below are listed the dates for an entire year of special liturgies for the Wojcik family:
September 19, October 17, November 21, December 19, January 16, February 20, Match 19, April 16, May 14 and June 18.
2) On August 26 St. Paul’s Newman Center will have a special liturgy celebration in recognition of the Polish feast day of Our Lady of Czestochowa at 7:00 p.m. We invite all to attend this special Mass.
3) In addition to our prayers we need to pursue efforts through our own political system. We would like for as many of you as possible to write your legislators and express your concern about the fate of the Wojcik family. If enough of us express concern then our legislators will respond. Below are listed the addresses of people to whom we can write.
Senator Robert Dole
The Fourth Financial Center
100 N. Broadway
Wichita, KS 67202
Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum
111 North Market St.
Wichita, KS 67201
Rep Dan Glickman
401 N. Market, Rm #224
Wichita. KS 67201
Governor Mike Hayden
2nd Floor State Capitol
Topeka, KS 66612
I would like to extend a sincere thanks and appreciation to Father William Carr, Father David Linnebur and Bishop Eugene Gerber for all their past and continuing efforts in writing letters and contacting church officials concerning the Wojcik family.
If you desire further information or have suggestions please contact Larry J. Menestrina. c/o St. Paul’s Parish /Newman Center, 1810 N. Roosevelt, Wichita,