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235 SkiingPope03.jpg
George Weigel, "What's in a 'milieu'?"
Środowisko was the term used by the late pope to identify the large group of lay men and women whom he had come to know when he was a young university chaplain in the late 1940s and early 1950s — men and women who became some of Karol Wojtyla’s closest friends and remained his friends for the rest of his life. By thanking those he called “my Srodowisko,” John Paul was bearing witness to a truth that marked him as a very distinctive bishop and pope — one who was formed into his ministry by friendships with lay people, even as he was forming them into mature Catholic professionals, spouses, and parents.

"About the "Środowisko" of Pope John Paul II"

Letter of John Paul II to a friend

After many experiences and a lot of thinking, I am convinced that the objective starting point of love is the realization that I am needed by another. The person who objectively needs me most is also, for me, objectively, the person I need most. This is a fragment of life's deep logic.

Quiet Waters Środowisko

Środowisko means "environment" or "milieu". The ecclesial reality of Środowisko is different from a foundation or movement. The genius of John Paul II was to model how a pastor can move within a network of friends to build up and strengthen the bonds that consequently form a community of communities.

This model seemed to fit what the Quiet Waters network of friends also lives, a network of persons made up of different spiritualities and members of different groups, yet united in friendship and experience.

After meeting members of John Paul II's Środowisko in 2007-2008, Quiet Waters adopted the name Środowisko for the next summer event, which is something of a retreat, something like a camp, with aspects of a workshop; seeing in Środowisko the ideal it was pursuing.

The name has since stuck.

Seeking the right name

It is not a given that the name of the "Środowisko event" remain thus... we have spoken of different possibilities:

-Środowisko: a school of love
-Catholic Culture Experience
-Catholic Environment Event

Polish characters

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