“He was sweeping as beautiful as nobody. As if he wanted to show that he is still worth something, to make amends for all previous years”.
On May 25, 2019, one of our dreams came true: at the entrance gate to the community house, a monument was erected to commemorate Włodek Mostowik, one of our residents who died three years earlier.
Mr. Włodek probably did not live most of his life in a way worthy following by anybody. He never got married. After death of his mother and departure of his father he became addicted to alcohol. Over time his house became a booze den that burned down after someone started a fire in it. Additionally, on the way to work he had a train accident in which he lost his leg. At a real turn in his life, he ended up in the “Betlejem” Community. He himself and his life began to change. He left behind a lot warm memories and the belief that the inner transformation of a person is possible at any time and under any conditions.
Although in his hometown of Długoszyn (one of Jaworzno’s neighborhoods) he was considered as “harmless drunkard”, but in our neighborhood everyone had sincere sympathy and respect for him. When he came to us, he made it as his life goal a seemingly simple task – daily sweeping of the street in front of the community house. He approached this job very responsibly, regardless of the weather, always in a good mood he would go out to Długa St. and he swept it carefully. He warmly greeted everyone passing by. The neighbor who used to walk there every day with her granddaughter called him “Mr. Broomstick.” In time Włodek and his broom have become distinctive and necessary elements of our landscape. We called him “the Google Maps man” because whenever Google was updating its map, Włodek would be in the right place. Always caught the picture. You can “meet” him on the sidewalk at 16 Długa St. till today. He’s dead and he’s still sweeping. Material prepared by tvn24 magazine.
Why did we choose this form of commemorating him? It’s a bit contrary evangelical sign. In fact, it can be called an “anti-monument” – though made of a noble material (bronze), it is funded through donations and scrap collection, built not because of, but in spite of everything, commemorating not a great hero but one common man neglected by the reality of life. Frozen in his characteristic gesture of lifting the hat as a greeting, Włodek, by “greeting” passers-by, should be an inspiration and a symbol of hope for each of us; a reminder that everyday life is sanctified by honesty and loyalty in the smallest things. It is a monument not to be forgotten because it symbolically represents all of us.
“It is a great idea to show that greatness lies in small things. Such as sweeping streets. Showing that each of us, regardless of the size of the achievements, in a sense, deserves a monument. His monument in this place is to be a sign to all who will see it that in everyone’s life it is possible to find something for which a monument can be erected. ” (Zbigniew Nosowski) Aleteia “The Monument That Can’t Be Taken Down”.
During the ceremony of unveiling the monument to Włodek, we organized a conference entitled “Not a Problem, But a Gift – the Poor In the Church and the World.” Thank you to everyone who supported us during this time and offered a donation. We especially thank the author of the sculpture – Konrad Koch.
Read more about the project on Aleteia (read more).