Fr. Paweł Karol Milerski
Initiator of the international project Fides et cultura 2020
Paweł Karol Milerski was born on 25 January 1986 in Warsow. After matura exam in 2005 he started his formation in the Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary in Cologne, placed in Bonn. In 2012 he graduated the Catholic Theology at the University of Bonn. In 2012 he graduated with honour the faculty of Catholic theology at The Rhenish Friedrich Wilhelm University of Bonn. His thesis “Sacramentality of priestly ordination by Joseph Ratzinger in the perspective of its Eucharistic ecclesiology” was written under the guidance of prof. Karl Heinz Menke. During his formation in seminary and in the years after he participated in numerous missionary internships, pilgrimages and scientific trips, visiting the following countries: Albania, Brasilia, Israel, Spain, Mexico, Russia, Italy, Switzerland and Great Britain.
On 3 June 2016 Pawel Milerski was ordained as a catholic priest by his eminence cardinal Rainer Maria Woelkie, the archbishop of Cologne. Next he was assigned to the parishes of an international and intercultural character in Wuppertal and Cologne. This is where he gained his first pastoral experience. At the same time he received pedagogical qualifications to teach religion in state schools in North Rhine Westphalia and he taught religion in high school in Wuppertal as part of his internship. He organised international pilgrimages for the youth and took pastoral care of the refugees.
Between 2015 and 2020 fr. Pawel Milerski participated in a philosophical project “Following the traces of st. Thomas Aquinas in Cologne. Ways of spiritual world of medieval ages”. The project was organized by dr. Hans-Gregor Nissing and its aim wat to familiarize with the thoughts of the Aquinas. Together with dr. Nissing he works on other projects, among others philosophical meetings for future priests and helps translating texts of Karol Wojtyła or pope John Paul II into German.
In February 2020 he was nominated Vice-rector and Prefect of Studies in Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary in Cologne. In December 2020 he finished postgraduation studies about the unique character of Judaism and Christianity in the context of interreligious dialog in the department of the Theology of the God’s people at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome. He wrote his final theses with honour on The issue of faith and culture in the texts of the pope Benedict XVI under the guidance of prof. Achim Buckenmaier.
In march 2021 he wrote a scientific paper within the exam for the parish priest in the subject of “Christmas Eve with refugees as a pastoral experience of multiculturalism”, describing and analysing one of his own pastoral projects.
In September 2021 he became a member of a new circle of students of Joseph Ratzinger / Benedict XVI. Currently he’s working on his PhD thesis at the Cologne University of Catholic Theology working on the research on the question of interculturality introduced to theology by Benedict XVI as a form of implementation of the missionary vocation of the church.
Fr. Paweł Milerski can speak Polish as his native language, German, English, Spanish and Italian.
His hobbies are history, football, literature, theatre and music.
He’s a passionate footballer, hiker and canoeist.
Co-founder of the Fides et cultura 2020 project
Eva-Maria Thierjung was born on 27 October 1991 in Aachen. She was raised in a bicultural family in Cologne – her mother moved from Poland to Germany in 1990 to marry her father, who comes from Leverkusen. Raised bilingual with her roots reaching both into Polish and German culture. Since her early childhood she has experienced the richness of multiculturalism and the issues caused by the linguistic misunderstandings and differences in mentality of the nations that are such close neighbours as Poland and Germany.
Based on those experiences she wanted to work for the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in order to support international dialog. This is why she chose legal studies which she graduated with honour. During her academical years she also gained knowledge at the University of Warsaw and served her internship in Warsaw and Bratislava in Slovakia. The aim of her foreign excursions was not only getting to know the foreign legal system, but also examining the law in its cultural context as a showing if historical and social structures as well as religious believes. Withing broadening those interests she took part in a course in natural law and classes on the Russian legal culture. She wrote a thesis on “The basics of the Russian legal fetishism” which was a closing of the series of lectures with an honour. She had an opportunity to deepen the topic of the relation between a chosen country and a normative reflection of collective experiences in a legal order as a part of an additional programme “The law of the eastern and central Europe’s law” at the University of Cologne.
After graduation Eva Thierjung finished her legal apprenticeship at the Regional Court in Cologne. Next she gave up further education towards diplomatic and started writing her PhD paper in the topic of Comparison between Poland and Germany in the energetic law under the supervision of prof. dr Sabine Schlacke at the University of Münster, where she worked as an academic at the Institute of the Environmental Protection and Planning Law (IUP). After prof. dr. Schacke received an assignment ant the University of Greifswald Eva Thierjung is also employed there. She is involved into the research on the legal issues of energetic transformation in Germany within an interdisciplinary project supported by the Federal Ministry od Education and Science called “Ariadne”.
From 2015 until the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic she was actively participating in Polish Catholic Mission, first in Leverkursen-Alkenrath, later in a youth community “Paradiso” in Cologne. She was organizing and moderating meetings together with a priest as well as some smaller events like e.g. Christmas meetings, film evenings connected with religious topics.
Her interests are history, literature, film and sport. She loves jogging, especially longer distances (half-marathon) and practising at the gym.
Co-founder of the Fides et cultura 2020 project
Maria was born in Poznan, where she also grew up and attended a piarist junior school and high school nr 9 at a humanistic profile. In 2009 she participated in an international ecumenical meeting of Taize movement, which inspired her to learn foreign languages, especially German.
2013 Maria started studying applied linguistics at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan. The chosen faculty focused on intensive courses of German and English, linguistics itself, translation and additionally facultative film classes. She graduated bachelor studies with a thesis on translation of proper names on the example of Vienna Coffeehouses. She obtained her master degree in 2018. The courses included translation and interpretation. She wrote her final thesis on the usage of the feminatives in Polish and German. In 2016 she attended a course to become a city guide.
After graduation Maria was employed by a car maker as a translator in the health and safety department. After a year she decided to try herself in a new field – IT and customer service. The war in Ukraine in 2022 was a beginning of a new chapter for her – in march she volunteered to help Ukrainian refugees at a reception point to leave her job and start working full time for Caritas in Poznan.
Her free time, which she’s always short of, Maria spends with her family and friends, reading books and watching movies. It’s hard for her to stay longer at one place, so she often travels within Poland and foreign countries, whenever possible she climbs the summits of Polish mountains. She took part in many pilgrimages, among others in World Youth Day in Madrid, Cracow and Panama. She deepens and develops her faith within the formation of the Neocatechumenal Way since she was 12.
Interests: languages, literature, films, travelling, hiking and healthy lifestyle, social work
Fr. Jan Schönthaler
Co-founder of the Fides et cultura 2020 project
Born on 9th October 1989 in Radom. After his bilingual matura exam (in Polish and Spanish) in 2009 he started his formation in the Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary in Cologne, placed in Bonn. In 2016 he graduated Catholic Theology at The Rhenish Friedrich Wilhelm University of Bonn with his master thesis under the title The Walter cardinal Kasper’s Concept of mercy in the aspect of family. During his academic years he played a role of tutor for other students in the seminary and served his missionary internship in Brazil, Italy, Spain and Germany.
In the years 2016-2020 Fr. Jan participated in mission in the Republic of South Africa, where in 2017 he was organising a series of classes in seminary in Capetown, in Germany, Netherlands and Switzerland. In May 2021 Jan Schönthaler received diacon ordination, to be ordained as a catholic priest by his eminence cardinal Rainer Maria Woelkie, the archbishop of Cologne in June 2022.
Accept for deepening the knowledge of Bible and theology as a seminarian and later as a priest he finds special interest in literature (from classics to fantasy), history (especially the middle ages), paintings (he can loose track of time in a pinacotheca) usually looking in all the arts elements of such anthropology, which finds space for transcendence. As long as possible he prefers originals to translations, which include Polish, German, Spanish, English, Italian and Latin – with some difficulties. If time allows he would like to learn Turkish, which he started learning in Istanbul and stopped at A2 level as well as biblical Hebrew.