On Sunday, October 16, 2011, the priests and faithful of our parishes attended the Polish Heritage Mass at Our Lady of Czestochowa on 25th Street in Brooklyn. The pastor is Rev. Canon Witold Mroziewski. This year’s intention was a thanksgiving Mass for the Beatification of Pope John Paul II. Fr. Mark Sobczak, Fr. Joseph Szpilski and Fr. John Urbaniak represented our parish. There were also individual parishioners, including Mr. Dariusz Knapik, Grand Marshal of the Pulaski Day Parade 2011, with his wife.
Also, superbly represented from Greenpoint was a delegation in full uniform from Gdynia Maritime League Division 15. At 3:00 PM the church was filled with the faithful of all the Polish parishes in the Diocese of Brooklyn, as well as English-speaking parishes in which Polish masses are celebrated and where members of Polish-American Priest Apostolate are guest priests. There was no lack of traditional Polish folk costumes as well as organizations participating, The following were represented: the Polish Supplementary School, the Boy Scouts, the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, the firefighters and other groups. The guest of honor was the Consul of the Polish Republic in New York, Mr. Gregory Swoboda, and his wife. Also present was the President of the Polish American Congress Downstate New York Division, Frank Milewski, and his wife. Bishop Ordinary of the Diocese of Brooklyn, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, was also a participant in the liturgy.
Archbishop Andrew Dzięga of metropolitan Szczecin-Kamień, who was specially invited to participate in the ceremony and presided at the Liturgy of the Mass, gave a moving, multifaceted sermon. He reflected on the election of John Paul II to the Holy See on October 16, 1978 and on Pope John Paul II’s concern for the Polish nation, as well as on his love for the Blessed Mother, the Queen of Poland. He encouraged everyone to realize that God has a right to appear in every element of our public and private life. He also thanked the Polish community for upholding the faith and Polish traditions. Bishop DiMarzio thanked the Poles for their presence in the lives of Brooklyn and encouraged the Church to continue to engage in God’s work. The ceremony concluded with the hymns "God Bless America" and "God Save Poland." With elevated spirits the faithful exited the church and headed for a reception prepared by the local parishioners and priests.