Apostolic Groups – Youth Apostolate Movement

The beginning of the Youth Apostolate Movement was connected Cardinal Karol Wojtyla’s concerns about youth. After the Second Vatican Council, during which he emphasized the special role of the laity in the Church, he envisioned a particularly significant role for young people to play. He was passionate about the commitment and development of young people in the Church. Therefore, after he returned from the Council he re-organised the Church of Krakow to create new activities and roles in the Church for young people.  In meetings between priests and the laity, people came up with new ideas and suggestions on how to increase the involvement of young people in the community of the Church.

The communist era made this difficult, but there was a slight thaw in relations between the church and the state at the time. Therefore, it was the perfect moment to start thinking about new forms of evangelization, especially for young people by young people. It was at this time that his proposal to activate the youth came gained attention in Krakow and on a national scale by members of the Youth Ministry - Fr. Anthony Soltysik and Mrs. Boleslawa Paradowska of the Congregation of the Servants of Jesus.  He used to tell them to look after the “young standing at the front door of church”. Having experienced kayaking and mountaineering trips with young people, he suggested that priests that they should engage in these sorts of activities with baptized and confirmed young people. This is how the Youth Apostolate Movement was born - called the Apostolic Groups in the Diocese of Krakow.

The beginning of the Movement dates from the time of the first retreat of the apostolic formation in Węglówka  / Rabka (1973), which was visited by Cardinal Wojtyla. At the time, they probably did not envision the entire youth movement, but wanted to develop parish groups and holiday retreats involving both the clergy and laity. Since then, the movement has developed in several Polish dioceses, officially approved by the bishops as a public association of the faithful. Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz - a witness to the life of St. John Paul II (the close co-worker of JPII) emphasizes that the Apostolic Groups "have always been close to the heart of the Pope."

In 1992 John Paul II was given by Krakow Fr. moderator. Pawel Kubani – a cross with a gold pin on - a symbol of our Movement, and agreed with the statement that he is its founder. Since the beginning of this community, Cardinal Wojtyla encouraged the cult of St. Jadwiga - Lady of the Wawel as the patron and that the evangelization of others to whom she devoted herself wholeheartedly.

Some dioceses of the wider community have their own patrons and are autonomous in operation but still based on the same characters, anthem, and other rules.  In the diocese of Przemysl the moderator is a priest. Jan Mazurek in the Diocese of Rzeszow ks. Przemysław Jamro. Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz described the RAM as a "papal movement."

We want to continue the idea and the message which St. John Paul II left us, because we want the Movement to grow not only in Poland but worldwide, as a living monument to the hearts of the Holy Pope.