On Sunday October 17, 2010 our parish were blessed with ceremonial reception of the relics of Blessed Father Jerzy Popieluszko. The ceremony started with hundreds of people gathered at the Jerzy Popieuszko Square in Greenpoint. Participating in the commemorative ceremony conducted near Greenpoint’s McCarren Park were Michael Pajak, president of the New York Chapter of the John Paul II Foundation and members of the organization, Frank Milewski, president of the Downstate N.Y. Division of the Polish American Congress, members of the Sea League of America, Liga Morska, dressed in uniforms and with Polish and American flags and emblems, provided the honor guard, members of Polish Supplementary School of Maria Konopnicka, Polish scouts and children.
Michael Pajak opened this commemoration gathering meeting called on the occasion of the 26th anniversary of death of Fr. Jerzy with short history of life of Fr. Popieuszko and thanked people for attending the event. Then Rev. Marek Sobczak, pastor of the local parish St. Stanislaus Kostka, expresses a prayer of thanksgiving for the beatification of Poland’s SOLIDARITY priest, Father Jerzy Popieluszko.
Father Popieluszko was brutally murdered by Communist authorities on October 19, 1984. The Communists ordered his execution for his inspiration of the people of Poland to maintain their courage and hope in face of relentless Marxist violence and terror in Poland’s fight for its freedom and independence.
It is widely acknowledged that Poland’s 1989 victory attaining this goal and the subsequent collapse of the Communist system should be significantly attributed to the influence of this fearless priest and the moral encouragement of Pope John Paul II.
With a commemorative mass scheduled after conclusion of the outdoor observance, the participants marched through the streets of this well-known Polish community to St. Stanislaus Kostka Church. As they did when they still lived in Poland, many in the throng marched to the church singing traditional Polish religious hymns.
Bishop Wojciech Polak from Poland’s Gniezno Diocese was guest celebrant at the St. Stanislaus memorial mass. The Mass was concelebrated by Rev. Tadeusz Isakowicz-Zalewski, Revs. Marek Sobczak, Jan Urbaniak, Jan Szylar. Church was packed with people who came to pray and to witness the introduction of the First Class Relics of the Blessed Jerzy Popieuszko in to the parochial church.
The relics were placed in the 5,000 pound granite stone monument dedicated to Fr. Jerzy. Mr. Stanisaw Lutostanski was the artist who prepared plans and did the carving of the stone reliquary and Mr. Adam Czekanski prepared the bronze cross-reliquary insert. Mr. Michael and Regina Pajak are donors of the reliquary to the church.
During the Mass Bishop Wojciech Polak proclaimed the homily dedicated to the heroic life of Father Jerzy Popieluszko, inviting people to live in love of God and to fight for the freedom from sin and evil. After the homily he blessed the stone, incensed the relics of Blessed Jerzy and venerated them. All the priests followed him and kissed the relics.
During the very solemn Mass we could hear the music by the St. Jakobus Youth Choir from Mastholte, Germany. They sang Gaude Mater Poloniea, Panis angelicus, Ciagly niepokoj na swiecie, and few other pieces after the Mass. The parish choir sung parts of the Mass and two songs dedicated to Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko – Nie daj sie zwyciezyc zlu, zlo dobrej zwyciezaj…
After the Mass people venerated the relics of Blessed Father Jerzy Popieuszko. The reliquary will stay in front of the church, so people have an easy access to pay homage the this great Blessed priest.
For more photos please go to our gallery…