|During the Lenten season in Poland, festivities are solemn and centered on a church weekly service called Gorzkie Zale (Lenten Lamentations). This ancient custom was started in the 1700s and is conducted with words and chants that retrace the passion and crucifixion of Christ. This unique conversation with Christ about his suffering is done to haunting melodies that will burn into your memory and stay with you throughout Lent and beyond. A sample of the words and melodies can be reviewed here. This tradition continues at St. Stanislaus Kostka where the brief 30-minute service is sung by the renowned Polish Choir every Wednesday evening at 6 PM. Although in Polish, guidebooks provide a page-by page English translation of what is being said. I encourage you to attend at least once during these next several weeks. Afterward, head downstairs and learn to pinch at PM Pierogi with St. Stan’s pierogi team. And of course if you are observing meatless Fridays, enjoying St Stan’s tasty pierogi will certainly make it less of a sacrifice. But preorder because it gets busy this time of year. Call 330-747-3024 for St. Stanislaus and 330-755-1316 for St. Joseph the Provider.|
Speaking of St. Joe, vary your routine this take and attend 11 AM mass this Sunday, March 20th St. Joseph the Provider Church in Campbell, Ohio. It is the Polish Arts Club of Youngstown’s Memorial Mass to commemorate its deceased members. After Mass, the church will be hosting Święconka, the annual Polish Easter Traditions workshop and celebration hosted by Krakowiaki Polish Folk Circle. One of the highlights of this FREE Event will be a Polish Smorgasbord in the parish hall from 12:00 - 4:00 pm. All the homemade foods will be served À la carte, so your cost is only determined by your appetite! A Bake Sale will include Pączki, those delicious chubby donuts filled with jellies or custards will be available. Krakowiaki parents will also be selling a variety of baked goods to purchase, including, pączki,babka, kolache and krusciki and many other items will be available. Lawrence Kozlowski will lead craft demonstrations and workshops throughout the day on pisanki, palmowe tkania and wycinanki. New this year, the children will have their own folk art workshop session from 3:30-5 PM! There also is a coloring contest for children and a chance to have a picture taken with a favorite Easter item! For more information, call 330-318-7963.
If you are looking to bring more prayer into your Lenten reflections, join us on our pilgrimage to the National Shrine to our Lady of Częstochowa. We are making this trip to pray for the Polish community of Youngstown and our effort to create a shrine to the Black Madonna at St. Columba Cathedral downtown. We believe this brief, overnight trip will be a great way to focus on Our Lady during this important time of the year and the project’s development. We are blessed that a Lenten retreat will be taking place while we are there and they are allowing us to partake in the activities. In addition, our Polish choir members have been invited to perform at the Sunday mass and prayer service. What an honor! You don’t need to carry a tune to participate however. Learn more about it on our website.
Another faith-related event to place on your calendar is the Beatification of Pope John Paul II on May 1st. We will be celebrating here the evening before to coincide with the prayer vigil at Rome's ancient Circus Maximus racetrack. Join us at beautiful St. Casimir’s Church in historic Brier Hill for a celebration mass and vigil on Saturday, April 30th 2011 at 4 P.M. to be led by Rev. John Keehner. Following mass, with sponsorship from Kinnick Funeral Homes, there will be a reception (perhaps even featuring Karol Wojtyła’s favorite dessert Kremówka papieska and screening of the newly released Newt & Callista Gingrich film Nine Days that Changed the World. This documentary tells the story of Pope John Paul II’s historic nine-day pilgrimage to Poland in June 1979. This trip created a revolution of conscience that transformed Poland and fundamentally reshaped the spiritual and political landscape of the 20th century. It is a story of human liberation revealing the extraordinary power of John Paul II’s worldwide message of freedom through faith. The event is free but a free-will offering will be taken to defray expenses To RSVP for this FREE event, call (330) 744-5233 or email email@example.com.
PolishYoungstown is excited to introduce two new members of its Team of dedicated workers.Jackie Johnson, a perpetually smiling Babcia from Boardman, is now our Recording Secretary. With so many projects and activities, her first set of meeting minutes are already providing a great resources and reminder of what needs to get done. Carol Papalas, Niles resident and fan from our first PHH, is our new Volunteer Coordinator. As our events have grown in number and scale, it is important that we tap into your enthusiasm to help make them happen.
In that spirit, Polish Youngstown has again committed to do Polish Day again this year! This great event will take place from 12-8:00 PM on Sunday, August 30th 2011! However, we cannot do it without your help. Be a part of Polish Day, whether for a few hours or the entire day! Volunteers are needed for set-up, attendance, bakery and raffle sales, bartending, clean up and take-down, among other duties. Please contact Carol at 330-652-7106 to secure your preferred spot early! More on this to come!
We've made some strides on showing films on Polish topics and even one or two by Polish directors. Thankfully the Cleveland International Film Festival does a more consistent job for us! This year’s film, sponsored by The Polish-American Cultural Center, is Venice by Jan Jakub Kolski. In Polish with subtitles, this film is compared to Ingmar Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander. The film sees the world through the eyes of Marek who is coming-of-age in pre-war Poland 1939. The creative boy dreams of visiting Venice and persuades the family to take advantage of the flooded basement with gondolas and all. But fantasy can’t protect him from a country at war or the pains of growing up. The film will play three times: Tuesday, March 29th 9:15 AM, Wednesday, March 30th at 4:20 PM and Thursday, March 31st at 6:35 PM To learn more or get tickets go here or call 877-304-FILM. Interested in going to Wednesday’s screening as a group? Contact us.
Feeling like a little cultural but don’t want to travel...Youngstown State University’s Dana School of Music surprised us this month by including some Polish selections as part of their Music At Noon series. The recital by the Early Music Ensemble will be Wednesday, March 30th at the Butler Museum of American Art. The featured pieces are from the Polish Renaissance and include 16th century pieces by Mikołaj z Krakowa, Seweryn Koń. What a nice respite from the normal microwaved meal and crossword!
We are not the only ones with a lot going on! The Kosciuszko Foundation has expanded its reach to the homeland. This week President Alex Storozynski announced that it will operate in Poland as Fundacja Kościuszkowska Polska. Details of this expansion were revealed at a press conference today from a room at the Polish Senate in Warsaw. Following that, an exhibit about the history of the Kosciuszko Foundation will be on display in the Polish Senate for two weeks. The exhibit will also tour Poland. The exhibition is under the patronage of Senator Andrzej Person, Chairman of the Committee for Emigration Affairs and Contacts with Poles Abroad.
While they are expanding homeward, perhaps you are working to find out about your families immigration. The longer our families are in the States, the harder it is to track the family’s history in Poland. That’s why you hear us reference genealogy so often. One popular and useful genealogy website to assist with this effort is. On March 21st they will launch their newly redesigned and restructured website. Take a sneak peak at it here.
For those of you who already know all about this topic, the Polish American Historical Association is calling for submissions to its 2012 Conference. PAHA's Annual Meeting will be held in Chicago January 5-8 as part of the American Historical Association's Annual Conference. Past topics have included topics such as Twentieth Century Polonia, Polish American Women and Polish Tradition to the American Identity. More information is available here.
We want to give a shout out to the Weirton Area Museum and Cultural Center for keeping the immigration stories of their ancestors alive! This group is small and their town has hard times like ours. The difference is that these folks know how to work together to make things happen and they value their ethnic heritage. On April 2nd they are sponsoring their Annual Festival of Nations at the Weirton Millsop Community Center. Admission is free. If you go, look for our friend Yvonne Tuchalski hosting the Polish table! Do you remember the Folk Festivals at Stambaugh Auditorium? Do you think we should bring them back? Let us know
Do Zobaczenia! Szczęśliwy Dzień St. Patricks!
From Your PolishYoungstown Team