I do not remember when or where I first heard about the John Paul II Institute, but I am convinced that it was an act of Divine Providence. I studied in Poland, the United States, and Austria before I finally arrived at the Institute in Washington D.C. To be accepted to a Ph.D. program at a world-renowned institution, especially as an immigrant from Poland who was married with four children and a fifth one on the way, was both exciting and terrifying. However, our time at the John Paul II Institute proved to be a great blessing for my family and me. During my studies there, I received an excellent education, matured in faith, and made wonderful friends—among both students and the faculty. Above all, I also received a direction for the rest of my life, a path on which, as a child of God in Jesus Christ, I realize my vocation to love.
My life as a scholar has been an integral element of this vocation. Currently, I am Associate Professor of Theology at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, where I started to teach part-time in 2012 and full-time since my graduation in 2014. I contribute to the intellectual formation of future priests by teaching core courses in dogmatic theology and offering multiple elective courses on various subjects concerning dogmatic, moral, and pastoral issues relevant to the Church’s mission in the contemporary world. These courses include several on the personalistic thought of St. John Paul II. both in its philosophical and theological dimensions.
My greatest scholarly undertaking outside my seminary work is the research and translation project to publish a critical edition of the complete works of John Paul II/Karol Wojtyła. This long-term project is supervised by the Institute and supported by the Knights of Columbus. The first volume of the works entitled “Person and Act” and Related Essays was published in 2021 by the CUA Press. Many other volumes are forthcoming. The project actually started while I studied at the John Paul II Institute during my conversation with Fr. Antonio López, the provost. When I told him that I planned to translate Wojtyła’s Person and Act, he said, “Why not all his works?” This project has demanded from me years of research (including several extended research trips to the Wojtyla archives in Krakow, Lublin, and Rome), manuscript comparison, translation, and editing. I have no regrets, however, but only thanks. All this work brought me closer not only to Karol Wojtyła’s thought but also to the mission of the Josephinum. In a profound sense, life itself validated the truth about persons and the world that I learned at the John Paul II Institute.
My academic life provides ample opportunities to share the fruits of my work with others. In addition to several articles, lectures, and translations, my book on the person and the significance of value in the thought of Karol Wojtyła appeared in 2021. I am currently working on another book that presents Wojtyła’s contribution and interpretation of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae vitae.
Here are some selected publications if you are interested in my work.
Grzegorz Ignatik, Person and Value: Karol Wojtyła’s Personalistic and Normative Theory of Man, Morality, and Love. Lanham, Boulder, New York, London: Lexington Books, 2021.
—–, “Reason, Value, and the Holy: An Introduction to Karol Wojtyła’s ‘The Lived-Experience of Value in the Act of Faith.’” Communio 47.4 (Winter 2020).
—–, “Action as Speech: The Sacramental Dimension of Human Action as Based on St. John Paul II’s Concept of the Speech of the Body.” The Josephinum Journal of Theology 27.1 (Winter/Spring 2020).
Karol Wojtyła, The English Critical Edition of the Works of Karol Wojtyła/John Paul II. Volume 1: “Person and Act and Related Essays.” Trans. Grzegorz Ignatik. Ed. Antonio López, Carl A. Anderson, David S. Crawford, Nicholas J. Healy, Grzegorz Ignatik, and David L. Schindler. Washington DC: The Catholic of America Press, 2021.
Karol Wojtyła, Love and Responsibility. Trans. Grzegorz Ignatik. Boston: Pauline Books & Media, 2013.
Karol Wojtyła, “The Lived-Experience of Value in the Act of Faith.” Trans. Grzegorz Ignatik. Communio 47.4 (Winter 2020).
Jarosław Kupczak, Before Amoris Laetitia: The Sources of the Controversy. Trans. Grzegorz Ignatik. Washington DC: The Catholic of America Press, 2021.