During the Lenten season in Poland, festivities are solemn and centered on a church weekly service called Gorzkie żale (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. The devotion of the Gorzkie Żale spread around the territory of Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania very quickly. Soon, it became the central and most traditional Lenten celebration in Polish churches. During three centuries of its history, some changes in the melody line were introduced. There were also some attempts to translate the text into other languages, especially English. But after 300 years the Gorzkie Żale remained a typically Polish traditional Lenten devotion piously celebrated in Poland and in most Polish communities abroad.

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 on Williamson Avenue in Youngstown where the 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.

Beforehand, or after the brief service, head downstairs and donate some time at PM Pierogi with St. Stan’s pierogi team. And of course if you are observing meatless Fridays, enjoying 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 330-758-8333 for Krakus Polish Deli.


Consul General RP Visit

This Thursday, March 16th the new Consul General of the Republic of Poland, Maciej Golubiewski  will make his first trip to Cleveland Ohio to meet with the local Polish community and to meet on Friday the 17th with the Mayor of Cleveland, Frank Jackson and officials of Cleveland State University which has a student exchange program with Polish Universities.

The meeting with leaders in the Polish community will take place at the John Paul II Cultural Center at 7:00 PM on Thursday (address 6501 Lansing Ave.). Everyone is invited to this reception. And of course the next day with the mayor and CSU Officials.

The objectives of the Polish Consul's visit are three fold;  
1) to acquaint himself with the local Polish Community for better ties,
2)  to reinforce the student exchange program at CSU  and
3) to explore and possibly open up cultural, business and government relations with Northeast Ohio primarily the City of Cleveland.

For more information on this two day visit, contact  Eugene Bak at 440-263-5552.

All invited.


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