Lay, married, and Opus Dei: "This is an adventure for me".

Jolanta, an accounting professional, married and mother of a family, describes in this interview her life and what her vocation to Opus Dei brings to her personal evangelizing mission.

Barbara Stefańska-September 22, 2023-Reading time: 4 minutes
Jolanta opus dei

Photo: Jolanta Korzeb ©Barbara Stefanska

Jolanta Korzeb lives in Poland, on the outskirts of Warsaw. She is a laywoman, a supernumerary of Opus Dei, a happy wife and mother of 9 children. She runs an accounting office.

In this interview for Omnes, Jolanta talks about what her formation in Opus Dei brings her, how she joins the evangelizing mission of the Church and how her family participates in the life of the parish.

What does being Opus Dei mean to you and how does it affect your life?

-Being of the Opus Dei is an adventure for me. It's like I'm sailing on a ship into the unknown; I don't know what the next ports are going to be, but God is with me on the submarine, whether the weather is good or stormy. In every situation, when I make different decisions, I know that I am not alone. As St. Josemaría emphasized, we are always God's children. This helps me to have inner peace.

Thanks to my training in the Opus DeiI know that it is possible to sanctify all of life's circumstances. I also have the feeling that the time of motherhood is not time wasted because, whatever I do, I use the gifts I have been given. In between maternity leave I have always worked outside the home. Now the children are of school age.

What is also very important to me is the constancy and regularity of formation in Opus Dei and that it is adapted to adults who have more serious moral dilemmas.

What is your relationship with the Prelate and the priests of the Prelature?

-I have had the opportunity and the good fortune to know both the current prelate, Fr. FernandoI try to write at least once a year a short letter to the Father (Prelate) to share my joys and concerns. I try to write at least once a year a short letter to Father (Prelate) to share my joys and concerns.

It is in difficult times that we have the best relationship with each other. When we lived for several years in Argentina for my husband's work and one of our sons was seriously ill, the regional vicar of that country visited us and gave us a photo of St. Josemaría with a small piece of his cassock. We know that St Josemaria is with us. 

The second special moment was when I had cancer. At that time I wrote a letter to the Prelate. He sent me a picture of St. Elizabeth helping Our Lady with her blessing - 'With my most affectionate blessing'. He wrote to me that he was praying for us and that he hoped that Our Lord God would allow me to recover soon, as I was needed by my children, many people and other families.

What is your relationship with the parish in which you live?

-We live in a small parish on the outskirts of Warsaw, in the Radosc district. Our children, from the oldest to the youngest, serve or have served for several years as altar boys at mass, and we try to support them in this.

Our children are preparing for Confirmation in the parish. The children are also in the Scouts of Europe group, which is active in the parish, and have related tasks.

During Lent, a Way of the Cross is made every year through the streets of the parish. My husband and children help to organize it. We also work with the young parish vicar, Father Kamil.

We support the work that already exists in the parish, we do not add new work. We participate in the parish sports club, where our children play soccer. We also help in the renovation of the parish house.

How does it participate in the evangelizing mission of the Church?

-I consider my whole life to be evangelization, and I try to radiate joy and enthusiasm despite the difficulties and workload. I have a wonderful family. The neighbors look at us and are a little surprised, but they like it very much. Many have started going to church. So it is above all about evangelizing by example: others see a married couple happy to live close to God and children who also want to follow this path.

My husband, because of his professional work, is in contact with young couples. We go out with them for afternoon tea, for walks; our garden is full of life. The families we invite are usually not connected with the Opus Dei. This is very enriching.

Our children also like to invite their friends over. Recently, son Tom, a second grader, invited a friend over. The dad, when picking up the child, asked us to be godparents because his son is not baptized and they want him to receive the sacrament.

Could you add some more information about yourself?

-I began to benefit from Opus Dei formation as a student. I marveled at the fact that I could sanctify my life by doing the right things, at that time it was my studies. The vocation to Opus Dei has helped me in changing circumstances-marriage, children, financial problems, illness in the family-to discover the meaning of each situation. I am fortunate that my husband is a supernumerary; he belonged to Opus Dei before me. We help each other, for example, we exchange childcare so we can pray or read a spiritual book.

When I had cancer, I was practically isolated from my life for a year. Then, a group of mothers from the school my children attend organized. They signed up for "duty" and brought meals to our family. It was very evangelical and very loving. Most were Opus Dei, but not exclusively.

The authorBarbara Stefańska

Journalist and secretary of the editorial staff of the weekly "Idziemy"

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