Today, October 16, 2011 we gave homage to the Blessed Father Jerzy Popieluszko on the 27th anniversary of his martyrdom. The celebrations began at the Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko Memorial, which was dedicated in 1990 in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, opposite the intersection of Bedford and Nassau Aves.
The ceremony of prayer and reflection began with an introduction by Mr. Michael Pajak, the President of the New York Foundation of John Paul II and the initiator of the construction of the monument to Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko. After the welcome, a prayer was said by Fr. Mark Sobczak, CM, the Pastor of the St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish in Brooklyn.
Then, a short program was performed by the children of the Henryk Sienkiewicz Polish Saturday School of South Brooklyn. They highlighted the significant aspects of the life of Fr. Jerzy and sang traditional songs of the Polish culture.
The children placed flowers at the monument, while the “zuchy” (brownies) and scouts stood as the honor guard. Frank Milewski, President of the Polish American Congress Downstate New York Division, encouraged the care of all Polish monuments, places and things.
Mr. Pajak thanked those who were in attendance, especially, the children and their parents, the scouts, and representatives of the Polish Marine League as well as the veteran organizations who participated by presenting their banners and being dressed in their formal service attire. A special word of thanks went to the individuals who regularly dedicate their time to open and close the park, especially Ms. Irene, who interestingly is of Irish-American descent!
The ceremony ended with the singing of the solemn prayer for the Polish nation: “Boże Coś Polskę.“ After the prayer ceremony the participants processed to St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, where a solemn Mass was requested by the Pope John Paul II Foundation in New York.
As a reminder, St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in Brooklyn houses the relics of Blessed Fr. Jerzy in a beautiful granite shrine, which is engraved with the eloquent words, "Overcome evil with good. Blessed Father Jerzy Popieluszko 1947-1984. He died for his faith, truth and a free Poland." The author of the stone reliquary is Mr. Stanislaw Lutostański and the designer and contractor of the bronze cross, which holds the relics, is Mr. Adam Czekański.
We believe that our parishioners and guests will be drawn to the foot of the reliquary of Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko, looking for his intercession, imploring him for the graces that they need. We hope that St. Stanislaus Kostka Church in Brooklyn will become not only a place of pilgrimage, but a place of conversions and miracles. Father Jerzy gives witness to God’s love therefore through his intercession our lives will be closer to God. He served people all his life, for that reason, he will definitely be with us any time we need his strength and help.
We at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church have the first relics of Blessed Father Jerzy Popieluszko. They are the same as those found at his last place of service and in the tomb where he rests in Warsaw. We encourage you to visit the church in order to kneel at the foot of the relics of Blessed Jerzy and pray in thanksgiving to God for the blessing that is Father Jerzy Popieluszko and implore any desired miracles. Actual prayerful requests for intercession of Fr. Jerzy and the associated graces and miracles that were received have been documented at the office of worship.
Blessed Father Jerzy Popieluszko, pray for us!