JOHNNY. THE STORY OF FATHER JAN KACZKOWSKI
AGORA PUBLISHING HOUSE
AVAILABLE FROM 7 SEPTEMBER 2022
A riveting and moving tale of the meeting of two guys from completely different worlds that saves the life of one of them. The true story of the friendship of father Jan Kaczkowski, an unconventional, charismatic priest, and Patryk Galewski, a repeat offender – now a chef – is heart-warming and inspiring.
Patryk did not have an easy start in life. He became a criminal when he was twelve. It seemed that his life would always be a suspended sentence, interspersed with successive stints in jail. However, when the court order sends him to work at the Puck hospice, he meets Jan Kaczkowski, who will change his life forever.
If someone asked me about the symbol of my life choices, I would have to say: a firework. That is because my criminal career began with breaking into a store with firecrackers and fireworks. It was because of the fireworks that I became a criminal until, one day, I met a crippled priest, almost blind, whose most famous life quote was the one about living life like a firework. That’s something, right?
Fr. Kaczkowski, who was somewhat of a character and was regarded with a certain disdain by the church authorities, had the ability to win the hearts of angry young men. He engaged boys from vocational school, seemingly hardened rebels, to help the sick. He often acted unconventionally, doing things no one would ever expect of a priest, winning hearts and popularity in the process. The novel by Maciej Kraszewski is a story of an explosive friendship that was impossible but actually happened. It is a genuinely moving story about really tough times, faith that works wonders and a friendship that can change a life. The story of Patryk and Fr. Jan was used in the eponymous film with Dawid Ogrodnik and Piotr Trojan starring as the leads, which will hit the screens in Autumn this year.
I want to tell the truth. My story. Today, I am a man. I am the same person, but I am not the same. You will probably be surprised that my tale is told in such a light and humorous way. Finally, there is someone who heard this unlikely story and decided to tell it. – Patryk Galewski
Patryk told me about his life. I had lots of discussions with the parents, siblings and people who knew Jan Kaczkowski well. I knew him myself, we talked for long hours on many occasions. I have probably watched all the materials there are on YouTube. How to tell this story? Jan would want a lot of humour, distance and sarcasm. He would want to include all his most important quotes – all the things he spoke on TV and wrote in his books. His message, his mission continues in this book. – Maciej Kraszewski