It is 1981. An expedition of Polish students arrives in southern Peru to penetrate the Colca River Canyon. The expedition is a success. The Polish students explored the entire length of the Colca River by kayak and pontoons.
They discover that this is the world’s deepest canyon, where some parts of the river flow between walls of rock more than 13,600 feet high. Thus, it is more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon in Colorado. It is about 75 miles long. Magnificent and dangerous water faults, large and small waterfalls, vertical canyon walls, represent indescribable beauty as well as huge danger. Thanks to God’s divine intervention and the beatification of John Paul II, the expedition of the students succeeds and is recorded in the book of geographical achievements. Mr. Jerzy Majcherczyk, who was the organizer of the expedition and a participant, is determined to give the name John Paul II to one of the most beautiful waterfalls. To date, this is the only known geographical location officially registered with the name of our Blessed Pope. On a huge boulder, Mr. Majcherczyk installed a special commemorative plaque “cornerstone” blessed in the Vatican by John Paul II.
On the 30th anniversary of the expedition and discovery, a second expedition to the Colca Canyon and John Paul II Waterfall was dispatched. However, this time to install another commemorative plaque on the same boulder in remembrance of the great person as was our pope.
Seizing an opportunity, our parish decided to join this project to honor a few occasions. The first is the 115th anniversary of the establishment of our St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish; its church stands on Blessed Pope John Paul II Square. Also, this is the year of the beatification of Pope John Paul II, a good reason to give thanks. And, of course, John Paul II, still as Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, prayed in our church in 1969, walked on the pavement of our church, spoke from the marble pulpit, prayed near our altar.
Thus on the plaque we wrote “In honor of John Paul II, Great Pope, Shepherd and Pole. St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish, Blessed John Paul II Square, Brooklyn, NY, USA, May 28, 2011. Also on the plaque is the logo of our anniversary, where there is a depiction of our church along with the name of the church, years 1896-2011 and the numbers 115.
May the plaque, which is placed in such a historically significant location discovered by Polish travelers, always be a testament to the world, that the parish family of St. Stanislaus Kostka in Brooklyn are very grateful to God for the gift of John Paul II.