|When groups of ethnic Polish Catholics in Cleveland began protesting the orders by their local bishop that closed their churches, they were given little chance of reversing the decision. Admittedly, we gave them coverage, support and prayers, but I didn’t think it would go anywhere. After two years of sidewalk vigils, letter-writing campaigns and legal action at the Vatican, the parishioners just may have won a historic victory against the diocese. A Vatican court, the Congregation of the Clergy, on March 14 ordered as many as 13 of the shuttered churches reopened. The decrees stated that Cleveland Bishop Richard Lennonfailed to follow church law in the closures of churches and thus the parishes must be restored and the sanctuaries reopened. Joseph Feckanin, leader of the Polish part of the group Endangered Catholics, is jubilant, but says the struggle isn’t over yet. “We are very grateful for the Vatican’s ruling, but we can’t rest yet.” Feckanin led a prayer vigil outside the chain link fence surrounding St. Casimir every Sunday.|
In fact, Lennon writes in a letter to be distributed at masses this weekend that the issue of re-opening the churches "is not nearly as clear-cut as it may appear." There is no easy or perfect solution and he hasn't made any decisions, he says. Send your messages of support here and learn more about the history of this struggle here
Preparing your Easter celebration
It's time to start thinking about your holiday celebration. We have added an interesting video documentary about one family's Polish Easter traditions and how these traditions have changed since the family came to the U.S. Check it out in our Video of the Month.
If that inspires you, travel over to Mercer on Sunday and participate in the Ukrainian Egg Show and Celebration at Billy’s Black & Gold from 12-4. This is the original free how-to event. Finished eggs and ethnic food will also be available for sale.
If you are like me, you can never have too many basket clothes or table linens for the occasion. New this year is these lovely, custom embroidered kitchen towels from PNA lodge 3274 in Cleveland. They are just too beautiful for your dishes and would make a great gift! Created by PYTown friend and photographer Tim Stoll, they are selling them as a fundraiser for $15 each. Contact Lodge President Monika Sochecki to order yours.
Last Chance Kielbasa
You have until Saturday place your meat and specialties order with S& D Deli, They are accepting orders for its special Easter items, such as kielbasa biala surowa (fresh, white sausage), the rye-inspired zurek (white borscht), and, unique, fruit- and meat-filled pierogi only until then. Advanced orders will be delivered to Youngstown on Wednesday April 4th for convenient pick up. If interested just download a form from our homepage (click on the Easter egg).
Baptism by Flour
The first thing our new Polska Kuchnia chairman Tad Siembida did this week was arrange to order some of those big, logo aprons originally created just for hosts so that you could have one too! Orders are being taken now and they will be available after Easter.
The next thing he did was arrange the next sessions: pierogi on Sunday, April 22 and chuscziki on Saturday May 5. These hands-on classes will be taught by our family Pierogi Princess Margaret Witmer and Simply Slavic Baking Contest Winner, our Polish language teacher, Marta Mazur. Remember, space is limited so reserve your spot today! Find out more here
See Poland thru the Eyes of Some Medieval Studs…
Poland is still Europe's best vacation value and what could be more educational than experiencing it with some the famous winged-Hussar knights…or at least the U.S. reenactors. They will see some amazing collections of arms and armor, castles, palaces and historic sites and you can have a great time with others who share your interests! A special feature of this year’s trip will be Vilnius, Lithuania. For more information contact them here
…Or just on your computer screen
If your budget doesn’t allow for a trip this summer, don’t despair! Google Maps has just added Poland to their Street View Features in preparation the country hosting the 2012 European Football Championship later this year. You have to check it out. Clicking on Old Town Warsaw, my daughter D’Ella and I were instantly transported back to the café table where we took our favorite picture on the PYTown Poland 2010 Tour. Check it out here
News from Poland
A Real Golden Egg
A rule change on industrial factory farming in the European Union has caused egg shortages and prices to reach record levels. The EU has banned the use of hen battery cages. It will be tough just going into the Easter holiday and baking season but, even worse, the shortage is expected to last months. Egg prices have "surged considerably" in recent weeks. In relation to average prices last year, eggs are almost 44 percent more expensive now. An EU audit found that Polish producers to be "significant non-compliance" with this rule. Compliant nations are pressuring for significant enforcement. Learn more about this story here and other news from Poland at our Polish Media Watch
March 25 Egg Show at Billy's Black & Gold, Mercer... March 30 Help Our Wounded benefit concert, Cleveland… April 4 Gorzkie Zale services every Wednesday at 6 PM during Lent at St. Stanislaus… April 7 at 1 and 2 PM Blessing of baskets at St. Stanislaus …April 9 Dyngus Day celebrations Cleveland and Buffalo… May 12 Thaddeus Kosciuszko Park dedication, Columbus…
Aundréa and Your PolishYoungstown Team