We present the new parish council: Jozef Solawa

Jozef came to Norway from Krakow in Poland ten years ago, in 2004. He is a builder by trade and wanted to try the job-market in the new more open Europe. He attended a course in Norwegian in Krakow, passed the exam on a Friday, and on Saturday he was on his way to Norway. Jozef is not one to let the grass grow under his feet!

Things were not easy in Norway in the beginning, not least because he had left his dear wife and two small children behind in Poland. He missed them sorely. After two months they came to visit. They traveled by bus from Krakow, a journey of 52 hours with two children aged five and eight. A heroic deed!  Living alone without the family, having to cope with Norwegian red tape around identification papers and taxation made hin wonder if he would not be better off in Poland after all, but slowly things improved, and after a few years the whole family moved to Norway. Now they are happily living in their own house in Skjetnemarka and Jozef has a good job with Skanska. The children are well integrated in Norwegian schools and speak both Polish and Norwegian fluently. In addition, several of Jozef's brothers-in-law have settled in Trondheim, so the family is no longer alone in this foreign country.  

As good catholics they did of course want to find a church to belong to when they came to Trondheim. Nidaros Cathedral was clearly a church, but they soon discovered that the service there was not the catholic mass. Then they found their way to St. Olav. Ten years ago, only one or two masses were celebrated per year, and sometimes the small group of Poles who had turned up were left waiting for a priest who never arrived. This has improved in recent years and he greatly appreciates the weekly Sunday mass in Polish. 

Jozef has, true to his name, taken on much practical work for the church. This is his third period in the parish council. He has helped to redecorate the chapel behind the church and was instrumental in bringing and installing the Christ alter from Poland. He has built the splendid crib which we admire every Christmas, he is permanent grill-master at the parish summer parties and he participates in all working-bees for the church. His family is also active, as altar servers and teachers for the Polish section of the parish. He wants to be in the parish council to represent the large group of Poles which our parish is fortunate enough to include, and because he feels that he can do something meaningful for the church.  

For Jozef, the most important matter just now is the building of New St. Olav Cathedral. Both because the old church is in a terrible condition and because it is necessary to have a church with room for more people.  He will do everything he can to give help and support in this work and he looks forward to the day when the new church will be completed. That day will be a day of celebration for us all!