Call Tim at 419-410-6167 or Rozanne at 419-944-5312 or email email@example.com
POLISH AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH
Polish American Heritage Month is an annual designation observed in October. Across the globe, there are about 9.5 million Polish Americans. They represent about 3% of the American population. The first wave of millions of Poles migrated America between 1800 and 1860. The second and third generations of Poles were born in America in the late 1900’s, and grew up as Americans with a touch of Polish heritage. The Polish have always held onto a fierce passion for their culture, their independence, and their new country.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Use #PolishAmericanHeritageMonth to post on social media. Consider having a real celebration with friends or family this year, especially if you even have a touch of Pole in your heritage. Here are some things you can do, Polish or not, to celebrate this month and learn some more about this culture.
- Attend a Polish mass.
- Learn some Polish dances (the polka is fun and very popular!)
- Do some research about Polish literature and culture. Educating yourself on history always helps broaden your mind.
- Find out if you have any Polish ancestors.
- Cook! Try making some pierogi’s or kielbasa. You won’t be disappointed. (Also, October 8th is National Pierogi Day, so there’s an added incentive.)
Michael Blichasz, the President of the Polish American Cultural Center in Philadelphia, organized the first Polish American Heritage Month in 1981. It was celebrated in August. House Joint Resolution 577 passed in 1984, making August Polish American Heritage Month. In 1986 the observation was moved to October.
This year’s Wigilia Celebration will be held on Sunday, December 16, 2018. The celebration will begin at 5:30 pm at Olivet Lutheran Church , 5840 Monroe Street in the Christian Life Center. A video explaining Wigilia will be shown and participants can share in their memories of Polish Christmas eve at this time. Afterwards, a meatless meal will be served with singing of Kolendy (Christmas carols). Come and join us for this most sacred Polish celebration and renew the true meaning of Christmas without the stress of the season. See old friends and meet new friends. Call Tim Paluszak at 419-410-6167 or Rozanne at 419-944-5312 to reserve your place a our Wigilia celebration. All are welcome!
Scholarship awards were presented to the 2018 winners by Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur. Pictured ( l.to r. ) are Jackie Konwinski, Brooke Scally (BGSU), Stan Machosky, PACT/TPA scholarship coordinator, Meredith Oblizajek (UT), Rep. Marcy Kaptur, Payton Kamer (Whitmer H.S.), Tom Sorosiak, and Alex Drabik (UT).
Brooke Scally will be entering Bowling Green State University this fall majoring in Early Childhood Education.
Brooke was on Central Catholic High School’s Woman’s Tennis Team, the honor roll for 4 years, and a 4 year member of the Glee Club (with the lead role in 2 musicals).
She was also a student government representative.
Meredith Oblizajek will be a sophomore at The University of Toledo this fall majoring in Early Childhood Education.
Meredith is a National Honor Society member and a recipient of numerous Education Department and college scholarship awards.
Meredith wants to help children of foreign language and heritage to learn and grow through language and literacy as a Second Grade Teacher.
Alex Drabek graduated from Start High School in May and will be attending the University of Toledo this fall.
Alex was on the Start Track & Field Team and a Group Leader for the YMCA.
Alex is an Eagle Scout and was recently elected into the Order of the Arrow Fraternity by his Scout Troop.
Payton Kamer will be a Whitmer High School Senior this fall.
She is on the Varsity Track team (4X100 Relay, Shot Put), current Treasurer of the National Honor Society
and a 2018 Whitmer Engineering Program Ambassador. Payton is also a recipient of numerous math and science awards.
Constitution Day is an official public holiday in Poland.
On May 3, 1791, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth’s constitution was adopted. It was the first constitution in modern Europe and second in the world, following the American one. It was a significant achievement of the Polish Enlightenment thinkers.
May 3 was established as a holiday only days after the constitution was passed by the Grand Sejm (Polish Parliament). It was later suspended for many years due to the country’s partitioning, but was reinstituted after Poland regained its freedom in 1918. After World War II, in 1946, the communist authorities banned the holiday’s public celebration. The holiday was officially cancelled in 1951. Since 1990 the May 3 holiday has again been celebrated as an official statutory holiday in Poland.
Constitution Day is part of a holiday season known as Majówka, which also includes the May 1/Labor Day holiday. It is celebrated with military parades, spring concerts and family picnics. Many people also gather at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Grób Nieznanego Żołnierza) at the Piłsudski Square in Warsaw. The monument is dedicated to unknown soldiers who gave their lives for Poland.
Annual Scholarship Competition ends May 31, 2018
The Polish-American Community of Toledo (PACT) and the Toledo Poznan Alliance (TPA) have announced that their Annual Scholarship Competition to award $4,000 to area Polish-American students is currently underway.
Over the past seven years over $20,000 in scholarship money has been awarded to students of Polish-American heritage in the Toledo area.
The competition is divided into two categories — High School and College. Applicants must fill out an application form and submit an essay. The high school category is for students in grades 8 – 12. Their essay topic is “What is the meaning of your Polish American heritage?” The college category is for undergraduate students and the topic of their essay is “What individual or event associated with Polish culture has impacted you, your community, or country the most, and why?”
Those interested in applying have until May 31, 2018 to complete a Scholarship Application Form and submit it along with their essay.
If a public high school student is awarded a scholarship, funds will be placed in escrow until the student attends college.
Former scholarship winners are not eligible to receive another scholarship in the same category. For instance, a high school winner cannot receive another scholarship competing in the high school category. However, the student could re-apply and could win while attending college.
Click on the Scholarship link on the right to download and print this year’s application.
5255 N. Detroit Avenue, Toledo, Ohio
Saturday, April 28, 2018
5:30 – 9:30 PM
Dinner at 6:00 PM
Ticket Price: $35 – Includes dinner and dessert
Call Vikki Jean: 419-351-2698
Rick Kaz: 419-377-7610
Tickets on Sale Now!
Jason Pryba, 1st Place winner of $1,000.
February was the last month of PACT’s first Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament. Winners in 1st through 7th place recieved cash awards. Jason Pryba was the grand prize winner of $1,000. Next year’s tournament will start after the May Polish-American Festival. PACT will notify everyone of the starting date for the 2018-2019 tournament on our facebook page and through emails.
Another Christmas season means another Christmas Eve vigil (Wigilia). This year, PACT and TPGS (Toledo Polish Genealogy Society) once again teamed up to mark the most important day of the Christmas season for Polish people. Wigilia traditions this year included lighting of the first candle, sharing of oplatek, and a meatless meal of traditional Polish dishes. Guest speaker Lidia Ebersole gave us a look into Wigilia in Poland. She is a native of Poland and has spent 26 years celebrating Christmas in her homeland. Now as a citizen of the US, she shared her in depth knowledge and experience of the traditions her family follows during this most sacred time. She also shared many of her personal pictures of Christmas in Poland. Stan Machosky and Jackie Konwinski were the emcees of the evening and Gayle Sparagowski worked tirelessly in the kitchen to deliver a delicious meal. Kolendy (Christmas Carols) were lead by Rob Szczublewski, John Drozdowski and Lidia Ebersole. Thank you to all who helped with the preparations for this year’s Wigilia and to John Drozdowski for taking photos.
#GivingTuesdayNWO is November 28, 2017
#GivingTuesdayNWO is a global day dedicated to giving. Following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesdayNWO is a day when individuals, charities, families, businesses and community centers come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give. #GivingTuesdayNWO will be held on November 28, 2017.
PACT has registered with the Toledo Community Foundation’s #GivingTuesdayNWO matching grant program. This Foundation program will match on a one-to-one basis (up to $500.00) any money donated to PACT on November 28, 2017.
How You Can Help
Make a donation online on Tuesday, November 28 at this secure website by clicking on the donate button at the top of the page. You can use PayPal or your credit card.
If online donation isn’t possible, you may write your check to PACT, dated November 28, 2017 with #GivingTuesdayNWO on the memo line, and mail it to PACT P.O. Box 1033, Sylvania, OH 43560.
Please include the following: Name, Address, Phone # and Email address.
October is Polish Heritage Month; a great time to learn more about your Polish Heritage.
Knowledge is power! Read these books to learn more about your local Polish heritage and customs. Learn interesting facts about the people who settled in the Toledo and surrounding area.
Honoring Our Polish Ancestors, donated by Toledo Polish Genealogical Society
Toledo‘s Polonia, Rev. Richard Philiposki with the Toledo Polish Genealogical Society
Treasured Polish Christmas Customs and Traditions
My Homemade Polish Recipes, Anna Zaremba
Adam Grant, Figure Master, A collection of painting by Toledo’s Adam Grochowski Grant
Polish Pride Recipe Book, donated by Toledo Polish Genealogical Society
Life’s Journey by Eugene Bak
American Origionals. Northwest Ohio’s Polish Community at Home, Work and Play by UT Press
Cornerstones “The Polish in Toledo” video by WTVG Public Broadcasting in Toledo
The music line up for the festival is:
Friday, May 18th: Dynabrass from 6:30 to 10:30 PM
Saturday, May 19th: Duane Malinowski from 1:00 to 5:00 PM
Echoes of Poland from 5:00 to 6:00 PM
Randy Krajewski and Badinov from 6:30 to 10:30 PM
Sunday, May 20th: Polka Mass at 11:00AM with Kielbasa Kings
Kielbasa Kings from 1:00 to 5:00PM
Visit our festival website often for all information about the festival. http://www.toledopolishfestival.org/ New information will continually be updated! Like us on facebook: fb/Toledo Polish American Festival.
The Polish American Community of Toledo and Toledo Poznan Alliance are proud to announce the 2017 Scholarship winners. Each winner will receive $1,000.00 toward their college tuition.
This year’s winners are:
Alexander Zuchowski. Alex will be a sophomore at the University of Cincinnati this fall. Alex is the 2017 recipient of an Engineering and Applied Sciences Freshman Scholastic Award and the 2017 President’s award for Educational Excellence. He is a member of the National Honor Society and the Marching and Concert Band at the University. Alex dances in the famous Echoes of Poland dance group.
Chase Mackiewicz. Chase will be a sophomore at Perrysburg High School this year. He is on the honor roll and a recipient of a Toledo Youth Orchestra Scholarship. He also participates on the Perrysburg H.S. Track Team. He is the 5th generation Mackiewicz to play in the fabulous Toledo based Polish American Concert band (trumpet).
Marie Nitkiewicz. Marie attends Bowling Green State University, studying to be a high school history teacher. She is a multiple Americanism and Government Test Winner (2014 and 2015), a member of Future Teachers of America (2014 and 2015) and active in the Education Learning Community (2016-2017).
Nathan Oblizajek. Nathan will be a sophomore at Ohio Northern University in the Pharmacy Doctorate Program. He is a National Honor Society Member (2014-2016), a Bishop’s Cross Recipient (2016) and has received an outstanding Science Student Award (2016). He regularly volunteers for Habitat for Humanity.
The Polish American Community of Toledo (PACT) has formally announced that it will sponsor a three-day festival called “A Real Polish-American Festival” on May 18, 19. and 20, 2018. at the Club 16 facility located on King Road just south of Hill Avenue in Holland, Ohio.
“The upcoming festival will be quite different from the more recent Polish festivals that have been held”, said Jack Sparagowski, President of PACT. “It will be held in a beautiful 20-acre park-like setting and the major focus of the event will be to exhibit true Polish-American culture through music, food, entertainment and the arts”.
“A Real Polish-American Festival” is being sponsored by PACT, a non-profit organization. Proceeds will be used to fund scholarships for Polish-American students and to help fund the building campaign for a new Polish Community Center.
Anyone interested in more information about the event, call Jack at 419-388-0397.
For information about volunteering, call Stan at 419-280-0035.
For information regarding entertainment and activities, call Tim at
410-6167. Children’s activities, call Rozanne at 419-944-5312 or Sherry at 419-260-1970.
If you would like information about food and beverage vendors, call Stosh at 419-304-3546.
A “REAL” Polish-American Festival
DATES – May 18, 19, and 20th, 2018
TIMES – Friday 4 PM to 11 PM – Saturday 10 AM to 11 PM – Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM
LOCATION – Club 16 Grounds – 316 King Road (just south of Hill Avenue)
ESTIMATED ATTENDANCE – 10.000 +
FACT – Over 360,000 people in the Northwest Ohio area can claim some relationship to having a Polish heritage.
MAIN FOOD – 4 main food vendors serving a variety of Polish foods such as kielbasa, pierogi, galabki, and other delicious items.
ADDITIONAL FOOD ITEMS – Assorted foods including desserts, shaved ice, gourmet delicacies and fried goodies such as corn dogs, mac and cheese and pizza for the kids.
ARTS & CRAFTS – European and Polish American artisans and exhibitors displaying their crafts in our unique shoppers’ paradise. Arts and crafts will include, but not be limited to, glass blowing, jewelry making, stone carving, leather crafting and more.
ENTERTAINMENT – Visitors will see full-time entertainment including well-known national and local polka bands, dance groups, cultural seminars, workshops, a horseshoe tournament, and plenty of activities and games for both children and adults.
THEME – The main theme and purpose of “A REAL Polish-American Festival” is to promote the Polish-American culture through food, music, dance, the arts and education.
FESTIVAL HOST – The festival is being sponsored by the Polish American Community of Toledo (PACT), which is a non-profit organization. Proceeds from the festival will provide scholarships to Polish-American students and financial assistance to other local groups who promote Polish cultural events. A portion of the proceeds will also be used to help build a Polish Community Center here in the Toledo area.
The next Texas Hold “Em Poker Tournament sponsored by PACT will be held on Friday October 20, 2017. It will be held at St. Clements Parish, 3030 Tremainsville Road in Toledo. All are welcome to participate. Proceeds will help fund the Polish American Festival which will be held on May 18th, 19th and 20th of 2018. The tournament will end in February of 2018 with the grand prize winner taking home $1,000.
Inspired by the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution of 1787, the people of Poland formed and adopted the first democratic constitution in Europe on May 3, 1791. This became the second democratic constitution in the world.
Get your taste buds ready for another great Kielbasa Cook Off sponsored by the Polish American Community of Toledo. This year the cook off will be held on Saturday, May 6th at St. Clement Community Center, 2990 Tremainsville Rd. Proceeds from the cook-off will benefit the PACT/Toledo Poznan Alliance Scholarship Competition, which has awarded more than $17,000 to students over the past five years. Proceeds will also help the capital campaign to develop a Polish community center in the Toledo area.
There is still room for more contestants. If you are interested in competing in this event, call Jack Sparagowski at 419-356-1811 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline to enter is April 15th.
Check our website and facebook page for more information and updates in the near future.
The winners of the first Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament are Tony Angelotti, Ron Bates, Jason Pryba, and Mike Janiszewski. Stay tuned for more information on the next tournament to be held at Little Flower O’Grady Community Center, 5522 Dorr Street in Toledo.
Matt Zaleski / 2016 Board President January 18, 2017
Office: 419-691-5058 / Mobile: 419-345-5206
PACT to Host Kielbasa Cook-Off Saturday, May 6, 2017
Call for Contestants
(Toledo, OH) — The Polish-American Community of Toledo (PACT) has announced that the organization is looking for contestants and sponsors for the Sixth Kielbasa Cook-Off, to be held on Saturday, May 6, 2017 at the St. Clement’s Community Center, 2990 Tremainsville Rd., Toledo. The hours for the event will be announced at a later date.
The Kielbasa Cook-off, which was last held in April 2016, features homemade kielbasa from old family recipes. The event, opened to the public, allows people to sample the special kielbasa recipes and vote for their favorite. Amateur kielbasa makers from all over the area compete for the title of Toledo’s Kielbasa “King” or “Queen”. In 2016, nearly 750 people attended as twelve contestants battled for bragging rights. The team of “Polska Pryba” led by Jeremy Pryba received the most votes and the title Kielbasa King.
Besides earning the distinction of having the best homemade kielbasa in the area, contestants can also receive cash awards and / or trophies for their efforts. The competition is open to anyone that makes their own kielbasa. Commercial entries will not be part of the amateur cook-off.
”People in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan are so proud of their ethnic heritage. Most families have those special homemade recipes that have been passed down from generation-to-generation. PACT is looking for best homemade kielbasa recipe. This is a friendly competition. We want to taste that secret family recipe for kielbasa,” said Stan Machosky, Past President, PACT.
In addition to contestants, PACT is also looking for sponsorships for the Kielbasa Cook-Off.
“We’ve had requests from the Polish community, elected officials, and local media to make the Kielbasa Cook-Off bigger. There’s been some interest in expanding the Kielbasa Cook-Off with a separate commercial competition, as well as making it a two-day event. The market is dictating that they want this event expanded. To do that, PACT would need more community support and several corporate sponsors,” said Matt Zaleski, 2016 PACT President.
Money raised goes to fund the annual PACT / Toledo Poznan Alliance (TPA) Scholarship Competition and the capital campaign for development of Polish Community Center in the Toledo area. Over the past five years, PACT and TPA have awarded over $17,000 in scholarship money to area Polish-American high school and college students.
PACT would like to hear from interested contestants or sponsors no later than March 1, 2017. Amateur kielbasa makers who are interested in participating can contact PACT Board Member, Jack Sparagowski at 419-356-1811, or email PACT at email@example.com.
January 5, 2017
Dear PACT Member,
PACT By Laws require that an annual membership meeting be held in January each year and that members in good standing be notified of the time, place and agenda.
TIME / PLACE: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 @ 7:00 PM at Rosary Care Center on the campus of Lourdes University, Sylvania, OH
AGENDA: Election of Members to the PACT Board of Directors for 1 (one) year term of office.
If you would like to be considered for a PACT Board of Directors position please convey your interest
to Stan Machosky by January 15, 2017 by calling 419 882-6625 or sending an email message to Stan_Machosky@ yahoo.com.
Any member wishing to become actively involved in the PACT Mission and purpose may be
considered for Board of Director membership:
- To help promote, support, and patronize locally owned Polish American businesses and business owners.
- To promote, join and support local and national groups and organizations that sponsor or otherwise promote events that perpetuate Polish culture and/or tradition.
- To further the image of our proud Polish heritage and our local Polonia.
- To hold and promote fundraisers and other programs that will help fund scholarships for local students.
- To build a Polish-American Cultural Center to provide a venue for local Polish American groups to hold their activities that perpetuate Polish Culture and/or tradition.
Board membership requires regular attendance at Board meetings at least twice per month as well as involvement in planning; organizing and executing events and activities that help fulfill our mission.
If you would simply like to attend the annual meeting, please RSVP to Stan Machosky by January 15, 2017.
PACT Board of Directors
The Polish name for Christmas Eve supper is “Wigilia” from Latin “Vigilare” – to await
95% of Polish families have preserved the Wigilia tradition and regard it as the high point of the Christmas season. We hope you can join us and make it a part of your Christmas tradition.
PACT and TPGS (Toledo Polish Genealogical Society) is proud to announce that we will celebrate Christmas with the traditional Polish Wigilia Celebration. This year’s Wigilia is scheduled for Sunday, December 18, 2016. It will be held at Olivet Lutheran Church’s Christian Life Center, 5840 Monroe Street in Sylvania. Wigilia begins at 5:30 PM.
THE WIGILIA CELEBRATION INCLUDES:
LIGHTING OF THE FIRST CANDLE
SHARING OF OPLATEK
MEATLESS MEAL OF TRADITIONAL POLISH FOODS
EXPLANATION OF WIGILIA TRADITIONS
SINGING TRADITIONAL POLISH CHRISTMAS CAROLS (KOLEDY)
READING THE PASSAGE OF THE BIRTH OF CHRIST
Price: $15.00 PACT members, $20.00 non-members,
$10 children 12 and under, children under five: free
Reserve your seat today by calling Tim Paluszak at 419-410-6167
or email us with your reservation at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you like kielbasa, you will want to make sure you attend this special kielbasa dinner featuring the top three winners from the 2016 Kielbasa Cook-Off. The dinner will include the award winning kielbasa from Jeremy Pryba (Polska Pryba), Mike Hofner and Ron Smith (Dziadzia and Busia’s OldFashioned Kielbasa), and Adam Michalski (Michalski’s Special Recipe ). Jeremy and Adam will also be serving their family’s pierogi in addition to their kielbasa. We will also be serving kapusta (sweet and sour cabbage), mashed potatoes and gravy. mizeria (cucumber in dill sauce), placek (coffee cake), and those sweet tasting delectibles – paczki!
Saturday, November 12, 2016
Christian Life Center, Olivet Lutheran Church
5840 Monroe Street in Sylvania
2 to 6 PM
$18 adults (non-members)
$15 PACT members
$5.00 children under 10
You can reserve tickets in advance for $15 by sending us an email at email@example.com. Just leave your name, phone # or email address and how many in your party. Your tickets will be at the door.
The Polish Cultural Center Advisory Board along with
The Polish Roman Catholic Union of America,
Polish-American Community of Toledo,
Toledo Polish Genealogical Society,
&Toledo Poznan Alliance
Invite you to a fund raising dinner featuring
the preliminary renderings of our
Polish Cultural Center
6p.m. Polish Happy Hour
Program to follow
Polish American Cultural Center of Cleveland, OH
Friday, September 23, 2016
The Premier Banquet Hall
4480 Heatherdowns Blvd.
Toledo OH 43614
$100 per person/$175 per couple
RSVP no later than Friday, September 9, 2016
For Additional Information Contact:
Polish Cultural Center Advisory Board
P.O. Box 1033
Sylvania OH 43560
This year’s Kielbasa Klassic was held at Whiteford Valley Golf Course. It was a beautiful day on the course, especially for the winners. This year’s first place team is Eric Buczkowski, Ryan Buczkowski, Cary Garnett and Tom W. Second place team is Jack Sparagowski, Angie Sparagowski, Billy Peneff and John Sparagowski. Darrell Staup, Stan Machosky, A.J. Machosky and Tony Machosky came in third. Corey Lepiarz won closest to the pin on hole #5. Cary Garnett had longest putt on hole #18, and on hole #11, Angie Sparagowski made the longest drive. Congratulations to all and thank you for participating in this year’s Kielbasa Klassic.
St. Anthony Catholic Church – Rummage Sale
Wednesday & Thursday, October 5 & 6, 2016
9am – 7pm
St. Anthony Kenna Hall,
4635 St. Anthony Road, Temperance (between Secor & Whiteford Road)
Thursday is $2.00 Bag Day!
For more information, please call the Parish Office 734-854-1143 or go to our website:
Sign Up is now open for the 2016 Kielbasa Klassic 4-Man Golf Scramble!
Sunday, August 7th
at Whiteford Valley (blue Course)
7980 Beck Road, Ottawa Lake MI
10:00AM start time
$75 per man/ $300 per team
Includes golf, cart, food, beer, pop, team skins, door prizes, challenge holes, and the famous “Kielbasa Klassic” t-shirt.
**Proceeds used to fund PACT scholarships and Child Help, an organization dedicated to helping abused children**
Deadline to enter is July 30, 2016.
There are 2 ways to register for the Kielbasa Klassic:
Register at the Kielbasa Klassic website by clicking here.
Register by Mail.
Download the registration form here.
Right-click the button above and select Save Target/Link As… to save the registration form to your computer.
Download and complete the registration form and mail with check to (make check payable to “PACT”) :
Toledo Ohio 43613
Please direct any questions to Tim Paluszak at 419-410-6167.
Sixty Years Ago–Poznaǹ June 1956 and its Significance in Polish and World History
excerpted from a longer study by David Gwidon Chełmiǹski, Ph. D.
Not even a year after the formation of the “Warsaw Pact” mutual defense alliance in 1955, Poland suddenly made it into the world news headlines with the first significant uprising of the workers voicing dissatisfaction with the centrally-controlled Marxist economic system which had been imposed upon them in the decade since the Second World War, and remarkably, Poznaǹ, was at the center of what was happening.
After the Minister of Machine Industry withdrew several promises given at the Polish capital of Warszawa to a delegation of workers from a metal Industries factory at Poznaǹ, a strike started spontaneously at the multi-factory complex at six in the morning of Thursday June 28th, 1956. Around eighty percent of the workers were protesting the increased workload and loss of bonus pay and demanding compensation after the government had suddenly raised their required work quota. Students and workers from other plants joined their procession. Between 9 and 11 a.m., 100,000 people had gathered at the Adam Mickiewicz Square in front of the old German Kaiser’s Imperial Palace, demanding lower food prices, wage increases, revocation of some recent changes in the law which had eroded work conditions and a visit by Poland’s Prime Minister Józef Cyrankiewicz.
The crowds stormed a prison at ulica Młyǹska, releasing hundreds of prisoners, distributed firearms from the prison’s arms depot among themselves, and attacked the Communist Party’s local headquarters and the office of the Ministry of Public Security. By six p.m., the protesters had seized many government buildings, including a radio-jamming station and police stations in outlying districts, and the military school at the Poznaǹ University of Technology and the prison camp in Mrowino, destroying police records at the district courthouse and procurature as well as at a police station.
The city was pacified by Saturday June 30th, 1956. An estimated fifty-seven to over one hundred civilians had been killed, and about six hundred people were wounded. By nine p.m. a wave of detentions had begun—the detainees were taken to the airport and subjected to brutal interrogations. Seven hundred forty-six individuals were detained for over five weeks, until Wednesday August 8th, 1956, while prosecutions carried on for many years.
Clearly encouraged by the Polish example of voicing their dissatisfaction with the Communist regime and getting some significant changes, Hungary began its own uprising on Tuesday October 23rd, 1956.
Polska Pryba Crowned 2016 Kielbasa King
(Toledo, OH) — The team of Polska Pryba, led by Jeremy Pryba, was voted the People’s Choice and earned the title “Kielbasa King” for the Polish-America Community of Toledo (PACT) Fifth Kielbasa Cook-Off held Saturday at the St. Clements Community Center in West Toledo.
Polska Pryba competed in the Fourth Kielbasa Cook-Off in October 2014 and finished in second place and tied for the Celebrity Judges Award.
For the past 15 years, Mr. Pryba and his family have used the same recipe handed down to them. And just as their grandparents did, they make their kielbasa with Polish pride and love.
“Making kielbasa has brought the Pryba family closer together. Recently, even our younger children learned how to make it and to appreciate what has become a family tradition,” said Mr. Pryba.
Polska Pryba has participated in several PACT Kielbasa Cook-offs and has already won several awards.
“We hope to be able to take our kielbasa and market it commercially some day, along with some other Polish dishes like pierogi,” said Mr. Pryba.
For more information on Polska Pryba Kielbasa or to order some for the holidays contact Jeremy Pryba by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Polska Pryba earned a trophy and $350 for the first place finish. The team voted to donate the money back to PACT for use in the PACT / Toledo Poznan Alliance Scholarship Competition.
Dzia Dzia and Busia’s Old Fashioned Kielbasa recipe came directly from Mr. Hofner’s grandparents – hence the name! They have been making their kielbasa with the rest of their family for over 20 years and have participated in the PACT’s Kielbasa Cook-Off several times having won several awards.
The third place finisher was the team of Michalski’s Recipe led by Adam Michalski. They picked up a check for $150.
Mr. Michalski says his family has been making kielbasa for five years, and it just keeps getting better and better! They have taken two recipes that have been in the family for years — combined them — and made it to their liking.
Mr. Michalski says his family has been making kielbasa for five years, and it just keeps getting better and better! They have taken two recipes that have been in the family for years — combined them — and made it to their liking.
“Making kielbasa is a true love for the family and we believe it helps to bring them all together,” said Mr. Michalski. “The more family members that help, the better!”
The team of Ed’s Kielbasa led by Ed Mikonowicz captured the Celebrity Judges Award. Mr. Mikonowicz started making kielbasa 15 years ago. He remembers begging his grandma for her recipe. Many of his uncles would add their two cents and say that, “this batch needs this and/or this batch needs that.” The recipe was truly a family project. Ed started off working on the kitchen table with 70 pounds of pork and having to cut it up into small pieces. Today, he has the help of his son and he is able to make quick batches of 75 pounds in a matter of hours. His kielbasa has been served at small weddings, graduation parties, and many Christmas and Easter celebrations. Ed believes his kielbasa is one of the best in Northwest Ohio. It just took him a while to get the courage to enter the Kielbasa Cook-Off.
The judges were former Toledo Mayors Mike Bell and Donna Owens, Toledo City Councilman Tom Waniewski, 1370 WSPD morning air personality Fred LeFebvre, and WTOL and Fox 36 news anchor and reporter Joe Stoll.
Ten teams competed in Saturday’s competition for title of “Kielbasa King or Queen”. The Kielbasa Cook-Off is a family fun event where area teams / families compete in a friendly competition to see who makes the best homemade kielbasa from old family recipes.
“People in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan are so proud of their ethnic heritage. Most families have those special homemade recipes that have been passed down from generation-to-generation. PACT is looking for best homemade kielbasa recipe. We want to taste that secret family recipe for kielbasa,” said Stan Machosky, Past President, PACT.
Approximately 1,000 people showed up for today’s event. PACT estimates that it will net about $8,000 for the five-hour event.
Money raised by the Kielbasa Cook-Off goes to fund the annual scholarship competition and the Capital Campaign for development of Polish Cultural Center in the Toledo area. Over the past five years, PACT, along with the Toledo Poznan Alliance (TPA), awarded over $13,000 in scholarship money to area Polish-American high school and college students.
For more information on the Kielbasa Cook-Off, the PACT Scholarship competition, or other PACT events, visit www.polishcommunity.org or e-mail, email@example.com.
Here is the list of the 2016 Kielbasa Cook Off Contestants (in alphabetical order) with a short bio of each one. After reading all of the bios, you will come to appreciate the dedication and love that these contestants have for making kielbasa and their strong desire to keep their family recipe alive.
Mike Hofner and Ron Smith: “DziaDzia and Busias Old Fashioned Kielbasa”
Dzia Dzia and Busia’s Old Fashioned Kielbasa recipe came directly from Mike’s grandparents – hence the name! They have been making their kielbasa with the rest of their family for over 20 years and have participated in the Kilebasa Cook Off several times having won awards in the past.
The Hofner family loves making kielbasa and to keep them inspired whenever they are making it they hang a picture of Chef Gordon Ramsey on the wall to keep a watchful eye on them. There is rumor that Ramsey might be partially Polish.
If you enjoy Dsia Dzia and Bushia’s Old Fashioned Kielbasa and would like to purchase some for your family, you may do so by calling Mike at (419)825-7240.
Dave Krueger: “Krueger’s Classic Kielbasa”
Dave Krueger began making homemade kielbasa many years before PACT held the first Kielbasa cooking contest and has particiapated in almost every competition that they have held to date. Dave’s desire to make kielbasa stemmed from his family’s long kielbasa tradition, especially at Easter and Christmas. David’s paternal grandmother Julie (Zabilski) Krueger emigrated from Krakow, Poland. However, David is self-taught in that there was no one in the family to pass on their kielbasa traditions to him. He credits several friendly Stanley employees for showing him some tricks of the trade.
David sometimes takes order for kielbasa around the holidays. He can be reached at (419)356-6783.
Phil Majewski: “Kazio”
Phil has been perfecting his grandfather’s recipe for over 50 years and thinks he first tasted it in his mother’s womb. He is very proud of this recipe which came directly from Poland and was smuggled over on the ship his grandfather came on.
The Majewski family all get involved in helping to make the kiebasa and occasionally friends will come over wanting to know how exactly to make it. Phil may not share his recipe but he does offer friends a cold beer and a shot of Polish vodka.
If you like Steve Majewski’s kielbasa, you can purchase it for the holidays by calling Phil at (419)304-1022 or emailing him aty firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve Mazur: ” Lady Nellie’s Hand Cut Kielbasa”
Stephan’s inspiration to make kielbasa came almost 60 years ago when he observed it being made at Zychowicz’s Market on the corner of Dexter and Elm Street in Toledo. Just before Easter, the back door would be propped open and the waft of marjoram and garlic would be in the air. Old man Zychowicz puffed on his cigar while stuffing the casings. He would gleefully look at Stephan and say, in broken English, “kielbasa boy, lots of it!” He says that picture is still vivid in his mind.
Stephan’s recipe is his own influenced by his busias, dzia dzias, mom, dad, his wife, and Lady Nellie (Dutkowski) Gembreska. Lady Nellie (mother-in-law) recently passe away. He served her the last of his Christmas kielbasa on her 95th birthday January 16, 2016. Today, Stephan and his wife make it fresh for you in her honor; hence the name “Lady Nellie’s Hand Cut Kielbasa”. They hope you enjoy it.
Adam Michalski: “Michalski’s Recipe”
Adam and his family have been making kielbasa for only the last 5 years, but it just keeps getting better and better! They have taken two recipes that have been in the family for years – combined them- and made it to their liking. Friends tell them they have the perfect recipe.
Making kielbasa is a true love for the family and they believe it helps to bring them all together. The more family members that help. the better! For the Michalski family, making kielbasa is a labor of love and they want to share that love with each of you.
Ed Mikonowicz: “Ed’s Kielbasa”
Ed started making kielbasa 15 years ago. He remembers begging his grandma for her recipe. Many of his uncles would add their two cents and say that, “This batch needs this and/or this batch needs that.” The recipe was truly a family project. Ed started off working on the kitchen table with 70 pounds of pork and having to cut it up into smaill pieces. Today, he has the help of his son and he is able to make quick batches of 75 pounds in a matter of hours. His kielbasa has been served at small weddings, graduation parties and many Christmas and Easter celebrations.
Ed believes his kielbasa is one of the best in Northwest Ohio. It just took him a while to get the courage to enter the Kielbasa Cook-Off. He and his family hope you enjoy their recipe.
Tony Murawski: “Murawski Meats”
Tony and his family have been making kielbasa for many years. The recipe you are tasting today has been handed down in his family from generation to generation and they haven’t changed a thing! That’s because it’s that good. Their family loves it and they all hope you will as well.
Here’s an interesting fact……..Tony says that throughout the years, no fewer that 1 million cans of beer have been consumed during the making of this recipe. Now that is one heckuva record!!
Paul and Jeff Podbielniak: ” Podbielniak’s Family Kielbasa”
Cousins, Paul and Jeff Podbielniak, really like to cook and making kielbasa is one of their favorite things to do. Making kielbasa has been very special to both of them because they very much want to keep their family tradition of making kielbasa alive. Unfortunately, not many in their family still make it.
The recipe they use came from Jeff’s mom (Tina Podbielniak) about 15 years ago when she actually taste-tested the seasoned raw meat until it finally had the right flavor profile. Only then did they begin to make the kielbasa that you will have the opportunity to taste at the cook off.
When asked what he would want people to know about their family’s kielbasa, Paul said, “Please warn them that it is very addicting”.
Jeremy Pyrba: “Polska Pryba”
For the past 15 years, Jeremy and his family have been using the same recipe handed down to them. And just as their grandparents did, they make their kielbasa with Polish pride and love.
Making kielbasa has brought the Pryba family closer together. Recently, even the younger children are learning how to make it and to appreciate what has become a family tradition. Polska Pryba has participated in several of the earlier Kielbasa Cook-offs and has already won several awards.
If you enjoy the Pryba kielbasa, you can order it for the holidays by sending an email to email@example.com or ask for more information at their table during the cook-off.
Norm Szymkowiak: “Busia’s Old Fashioned Kielbasa”
Why would someone name their team Busia’s Old Fashioned Kielbasa? Maybe because their recipe actually came directly form their Busia. And in Norm’s case, that’s exaxtly where the recipe came from – and he hasn’t changed a thing!
Norm, his wife, and their 2 daughters have been making kielbasa a family experience for years. In fact, Norm says he can still remember making kielbasa in the kitchen with his mom when he was just a young boy. So kielbasa making experience isn’t something Norm lacks – he has plenty of it!
Norm doesn’t just make kielbasa though, he also makes pierogi, ogorki (Polsih dill picklers), golabki (stuffed cabbage rolls), and a lot of other Polish goodies. If you enjoy Norm’s kielbasa, you can purchase it from him any time during the year by calling (419)388-9199 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year, the Kielbasa Cook Off will be held on Saturday, April 23, 2016. It will be held at St. Clements Parish, 3030 Tremainsville Road in Toledo Ohio. We are excited about this year’s cook off and want to get the word out early so potential contestants can register in plenty of time. If you have questions, or would like to be a contestant in this year’s cook off, email us at email@example.com or call Jack Sparagowski at 419-356-1811.
Contestant’s Information Sheet
1. The Kielbasa Cook-Off is being held to determine who makes the “Best” home-made kielbasa in the Toledo area.
2. The Cook-Off will be held at the St. Clements Parish, 3030 Tremainsville Road, Toledo, Ohio.
3. The date for the Cook-Off is Saturday, April 23, 2016, and will run from 1 to 6 PM.
4. Contestants should plan to be at the hall no later than noon and should be prepared to start serving by 1 PM. Contestants are expected to stay until the event closes at 7 PM.
5. The public will be invited to attend and will taste test the contestants’ kielbasa. Ballots will be provided to each person who will be asked to vote for the kielbasa they liked best.
6. The winner, as selected by the collected ballots, will receive $350 in cash, a trophy and recognition as having Toledo’s best home-made kielbasa. The runner-up will receive $200 in cash and 3rd place winner will receive $150.
7. Promotion for the event will be conducted in local newspapers, radio and television.
8. Contestants should bring a minimum of 60 lbs. of fully cooked and ready to eat kielbasa. The kielbasa should be sliced into pieces that are 1 inch in length.
9. Contestants should have a fully functional roaster or pans that are set on wire racks with sternos. In either case, the kielbasa must be maintained at the minimum serving temperature of 160 degrees.
10. No commercial contestants will be permitted. The contestants do not pay any registration or entry fees. However, a check for $50 paid to PACT will be collected before the Cook-Off and returned after the cook-off is finished. In the event that the contestant does not show up, the check will be forfeited to PACT.
11. Beer, pop, coffee cake, sweet & sour cabbage and other foods and condiments will be provided by PACT, the event sponsor.
12. A meeting will take place 2 weeks prior to the Cook-Off where contestants can ask questions and all information will be supplied at that time. All contestants will be notified about the meeting.
If you weren’t at Wigilia celebration on Sunday, you will have to wait till Wigilia 2016 to experience a Polish Christmas eve. The candle was lit at the sight of the first star, a meatless dinner was shared by all and kolendy was sung. Thank you to all who attended this year’s Christmas Eve dinner and special thanks to Rev. Daniel Zak for reading the Christmas story, Stan Machosky for being MC, Gayle Sparagowski for preparing our wonderful meal, Ken Stein for being our mailman and passing out Oplatek to everyone and Jane Evans for donating the beautiful Nativity statues that were raffled off. The winner of the raffle were John and Sheryl Bibish.
See you again next year!
Follow the Footsteps of St. John Paul II.
Sept. 6 – 16, 2016
Krakow, Wadowice, Auschwitz, Czestochowa, Zakupani, and Wieliczka!
**9 nights in Krakow’s City Center near Medieval Market Square
**Evening spent strolling Krakow Old Town (a UNESCO Heritage site):
St. Mary Church, Sukiennice Cloth Hall, Florianska Gate, famed Jewish Kazimierz district, Old Town’s defensive walls and the Barbican, Wawel Castle Cathedral, buriel site of St. Stanislaus, Patron Saint of Poland
**St. John Paul II Tour (Known as the “Catholic Tour”. Following in the Footsteps of St. John Paul II, Visiting Wadowice, His birthplace and where he was baptized.
**Jasna Gora Monastery, the most famous Shrine in Poland and location of the Black Madonn a of Czestochowa.
**Experience Auschwitz and Birkenau Concentration Camp and Museum (commemorating the lives of those who died during the Holocaust of World War II. Visit the cell which housed St. Maximilian Kolbe.
**Tour the legendary Wieliczka Salt Mine. View Alterpieces, monument and religious icons carved by the faith-filled miners.
**Zakopani and the Tatra Mountains, a favorite respite of St. John Paul II.
Pilgrimage Excursion Price–$3,578
Please call Chris Dougherty for additional information. 419-345-2512
Show your pride in your Polish Heritage! The month of October is a good time to learn something new about Poland, the country of your ancestors. Here are a few suggestions for things you can do:
1. Start your family tree and invite all the members of your family to get involved.
2. Review a map of Poland and learn more about the town or city of your ancestors.
3. Read a book on Polish history and share that information with family and friends.
4. Attend a Polish American event and invite others to attend with you.
5. Display a Polish and American flag, a red and white bow, or a Heritage Month poster in your home or place of business.
6. Learn more about Polish customs and share that information with others.
7. Join a Polish American organization and get involved in some way.
There are many Polish American groups in Toledo that you can join. PACT is sponsoring a pierogi class this month and also celebrates Wigilia in December. These are two very important parts of Polish heritage that you may want to learn. In any event, enjoy Polish Heritage month with your Polish family and friends!
Dust off your aprons and get ready to make some pierogi. PACT is taking reservations for the next pierogi class that will be held on Saturday, October 17th in the kitchen of Olivet Lutheran Church’s Christian Life Center. The fee is $30 per guest/ $25 for returning guests who already have the equipment from the last class. The fee includes pierogi recipes, hands on instructions, all ingredients to make your own dough, a cookie cutter and dough press, fillings for the pierogi, and your own pierogi to take home. Call Sherry to reserve your spot in the kitchen. 419-476-1171 (home) or 419-260-1970 (cell). All are welcome. You do not have to be a PACT member to attend. Don’t forget your apron and rolling pin! Smacznego! Call early as space is limited.
This year’s golf scramble, held at Giant Oaks Golf Course, had the most competitors in the golf scramble’s history. One hundred and eight golfers (27 4-man teams) competed for the winning spot. This year’s winners were: George Polcyn, Steve Spencer, Tim McQuire and Chris Monroe. They each received a cash prize of $300 and $200 in gift certificates to Stanley’s Market. PACT member, Ed Lepiarz had a hole in one on the 15th hole, a par 3.
2015 winners: Tim McQuire, Steve Spencer,Chris Monroe,
and standing in for George Polcyn is Betty Osenbaugh, PACT board member.
Ed Lepiarz had a hole-in-one on the 15th hole.
The Polish American Community of Toledo and the Toledo Poznan Alliance are pleased to announce the 2015 scholarship winners:
Zachary Pylypuik, age 15, will be a sophomore at St. Francis de Sales High School this coming fall. In addition to playing travel hockey, Zack volunteers as a lector at Holy Trinity in Assumption, Ohio and is an announcer for St. Francis KSN Radio.
Ethan Collins, age 17, a senior this coming year at Central Catholic High School. Ethan participates in cross country, track and soccer. He volunteers at Hospice of Northwest Ohio and at “Fishes and Loaves”, an organization which feeds the homeless. Ethan is returning this August from US Army Boot Camp to begin his senior year.
Jessica Pietrasz, age 19, of Rossford, Ohio will be a sophomore at Youngstown State University this fall. She is active in YSU’s Woman’s Cross Country and Woman’s Track and Field. She was a 2014 PACT/TPA scholarship recipient.
Casey Sobota, age 22, of Waterville, Ohio will be graduating from Ohio State University in 2016 with a major in Strategic Communications. She is a member of the Public Relation Student Society of America and a regular contributor to “Her Campus” Online magazine. Casey was a 2014 recipient of a PACT/TPA scholarship.
Congratulations to this year’s scholarship winners! Each winner will be awarded $1,000 toward their education.
Type a name of any of the winners in the search bar to read their essay.
Sign Up is now open for the 2015 Kielbasa Klassic 4-Man Golf Scramble!
Sunday, August 7th
Whiteford Valley (Blue Course)
7980 Beck Road, Ottawa Lake MI, 10 am start time
$75 per man/ $300 per team
Includes golf, cart, food, beer, pop, team skins, door prizes, challenge holes, and the famous “Kielbasa Klassic” t-shirt.
**Proceeds used to fund PACT scholarships and Child Help, an organization dedicated to helping abused children**
Deadline to enter is July 28, 2015
Witamy! It’s time to wear something red and white, put on your polka dancing shoes and bring an empty stomach to Fifth Third Field, as the Toledo Mud Hens will be hosting Polish Heritage Night at Fifth Third Field on Friday, August 7, presented by Stanley’s Market!
Join us for our Polish Heritage Night pre-game polka party from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Home Run Terrace, with live music and an all-you-can-eat buffet by Stanley’s Market, smacznego! The buffet will feature:
- Stanley’s Market world famous kielbasa
- Sweet and sour cabbage
- Potato pierogi
- Stuffed cabbage
- Rye bread/horseradish
- Pepsi products, lemonade and water
Combo tickets are $32 for adults and $24 for children, which include a game ticket and the pregame party and buffet. If you already have a game ticket, add the pre-game polka party and buffet: $20 for adults and $12 for children.
On August 7, the Toledo Mud Hens take on Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at 7 p.m. For Polish Heritage Night tickets, contact Hannah Tyson at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 419-725-4367.
Here in the United States, schools are quick to teach students about famous Americans and western Europeans. Countries like Poland are often forgotten about, even though they had individuals who made significant impacts on the world.
Today, every third grader knows that the earth revolves around the sun—you can thank Nicolaus Copernicus for that. Born in Torun, Poland in 1473, Copernicus was the first person to provide a detailed explanation of why the solar system is heliocentric (meaning the planets revolve around the sun). Prior to that, people had believed that everything revolved around the earth, an idea that had long been guarded by the Roman Catholic church.
You have to admit that Copernicus’s discovery was pretty amazing, considering that the telescope hadn’t been invented yet. He couldn’t really see what he was theorizing about and had to rely solely on abstract thought and reasoning. In any event, this monumental realization set the stage for all future space discoveries.
Author: Crazy Polish Guy
Located along the southwest side of Grant Park, Agora is one of Chicago’s most recent and important sculptural installations. Comprised of 106 nine-foot tall headless torsos made of cast iron, the artwork derives it name from the Greek word for meeting place. The figures are posed walking in groups in various directions or standing still. Internationally renowned artist Magdalena Abakanowicz donated the sculptural group along with the Polish Ministry of Culture, a Polish cultural foundation, and other private donors. Born into an aristocratic family just outside of Warsaw, Abakanowicz (b. 1930) was deeply affected by World War II and the forty-five years of Soviet domination that followed. In her journals, she writes that she has lived “…in times which were extraordinary by their various forms of collective hate and collective adulation. Marches and parades worshipped leaders, great and good, who soon turned out to be mass murderers. I was obsessed by the image of the crowd… I suspected that under the human skull, instincts and emotions overpower the intellect without us being aware of it.” The sculptor began creating large headless figures in the 1970s. Initially working in burlap and resin, she went on to use bronze, steel, and iron. Although Abakanowicz hasfrequently exhibited in museums and public spaces throughout the world— Agora is her largest permanent installation.
(from City of Chicago: the official website of Chicago)
When : Always the Monday after Easter
Dyngus Day is very popular in Poland, and in Polish communities across America. After the long Lenten holiday, Dyngus Day is a day of fun. And a little romantic fun. It is always celebrated on the Monday after Easter.
Dyngus Day Tradition:
There are all sort of ways for boys to meet girls. But, this one takes the cake.
Guys, on this day you get to wet the ladies down. Sprinkling or drenching with water is your goal. Chase after the ladies with squirt guns, buckets, or other containers of water. The more bold and gallant boys, may choose to use cologne. Hitting (gently, please) the ladies on the legs with switches or pussy willows is also common.
Yes ladies, you can strike back. Ladies , you get your revenge on Tuesday, when tradition has it that you throw dishes or crockery back at the boys. It has become increasingly popular for the ladies to get their revenge on Monday, tossing water back at the boys.
Note: Dyngus Day is also called Wet Easter Monday. Hmmmmm, I wonder why!?
Origin of Dyngus Day:
When exploring the roots of Dyngus Day, Historians point to the baptism of Polish Prince Mieszko I in 966 A.D. Baptism with water signifies cleansing, fertility, and purification.
Somewhere along the way, the tradition of tossing water on the girls and hitting them with pussy willows evolved
from Holiday Insights
Palm Sunday niedziela palmowa is called also The Sunday of the Lord’s Passion niedziela meki Panskiej, Willow Sunday niedziela wierzbowa, Branch Sunday niedziela rozdzkowa orApril Sunday niedziela kwietna since it takes place usually in April (not this year of course).
Here are a few of the Polish Palm Sunday traditions:
There was a custom to bring to church a figure of Jesus Christ riding on a donkey while the spectators threw flowers and pussy willow branches. Carrying the figure of Jesus was a honorary function – In Krakow, the town councilors did this. This was usually accompanied by a procession from one church to another or from outside of the church to inside symbolizing the ceremony of Jesus entering Jerusalem. The Church banned this habit at the end of the 18th century because it was becoming too theatrical and full of pranks and it was accompanied by not very religious songs. Continue reading…
WORLD WAR II LOCAL HERO TO BE INDUCTED INTO OHIO MILITARY HALL OF FAME FOR VALOR
World War II hero Sergeant Alexander A. Drabik will be inducted posthumously into the Ohio Military Hall of Fame for Valor on April 24, 2015 in the State House Atrium, Columbus, OH.
Drabik was nominated by the Holland Springfield Spencer Township Historical Society (HSSHS), as he attended Dorr Street Elementary School and was a long-time Springfield Township resident. Honoring all who served their county is part of the Society’s on-going Veterans Project.
Drabik was the first soldier to cross the Remagen Bridge in Germany on March 7, 1945, which gave the Allies access to cross the Rhine River, then Germany’s largest defense barrier. He led 10 riflemen across the bridge, surprising the Germans that they forgot to blow up the bridge. He received the Distinguished Service Cross for his heroism.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, said the capture of the bridge shortened the war by six months possibly saved as many as 50,000 Allied lives. When Eisenhower became President of the United States, he invited Drabik and the 10 riflemen to the White House and told them he was forming the Society of the Remagen Bridgehead.
Before he was sent overseas, Drabik led a rescue a group of 120 men who were lost in the California brush during maneuvers.
Drabik received a tribute in the Congressional Record in 1993 and was a commander of the now-defunct Turanski-Van Glahn VFW Post 7372. There is an Ohio Historical Marker located on Wolfinger Road where he was born installed in 2011.
Space for the pierogi class on Saturday, March 28th is full. We are sorry to all who wanted to take this class but were not able to so we are going to schedule another class in October just in time for Christmas. PACT will announce the October date when it is finalized. Thank you to all who wanted to take the March class. We hope you will be able to attend the next one in October.
The Epiphany or Feast of the Three Kings – Trzech Kroli
i szczęśliwego nowego roku
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Polish American Community of Toledo!
Wigilia: Celebrate a traditional meatless meal and learn about the customs associated with the “Vigil” of Christmas: breaking bread (oplatek), food, prayer and Christmas carols (koledy).
The Polish American Community of Toledo presents the 5th Annual Wigilia Celebration: Waiting for the Birth of Christ.
Sunday, December 14th at 5:30 PM
Olivet Lutheran Church-Christian Life Center
5840 Monroe Street, Sylvania
Price: $15 for PACT members, $20 for non-members, $10 for children 12 and under
THE WIGILIA CELEBRATION INCLUDES:
Lighting of the first candle
sharing of oplatek
meatless meal of traditional Polish foods
Exlanation of Wigilia Traditions
Traditional Polish Christmas Carols (Koledy)
Reading the Passage of t he Birth of Christ
Reserve you seat at the table today by calling Tim Paluszak at 419-410-6167
This year PACT added a shopka to its parade float.Scroll down to learn more about this Polish tradition.
This year PACT will have a shopka in the Toledo Holiday Parade.
by Stas Kmiec
Mention the word szopka (creche) or jaselka (nativity play) to someone born in Poland long ago, and you will see a spark of joy light up in their eyes. They recall the live nativity scenes, puppet shows, pageant plays and shimmering fairy tale castle-like scenes of their youth.
The Christmas creche is common to all of the Christian faith, but the szopka is unique to Poland. The szopka, once a humble peasant pleasure, has become a recognized Polish institution. A truly Polish Christmas celebration is not complete without some form of this scene.
The custom originated with St. Francis of Assisi, who set the first Nativity tableau in 1223. It was brought to Poland by Franciscan monks around the 13th century. The earliest sign of a manager scene in Poland was in St. Andrew’s church in Kraków. The first crìches were quite simple and portable, but eventually monks took on the roles of the figurines, with the exception of the infant and animals, and developed a living nativity.
Dialogue crept in and eventually the jaselka play developed. The monks were replaced by peasants, students, artisans and even the nobility. Figures from history, local tradition and legend, such as Pan Twardowski were added for national color. Allegorical figures such as the devil and smierc (death) carrying a scythe soon appeared, along with Biblical figures, such as, the Holy Family and King Herod.
The still managers became filled with multi-figure compositions. In addition to the Biblical figures and animals, Polish peasants in their regional finery and whole armies accompanying the three kings were displayed.
By the eighteenth century these figures were moveable. Stringed marionettes or stick puppets replaced the static figures. The performances presented two types of integrated plots: a Biblical one telling the Nativity story and a lay one of traditional, folk and satirical nature.
Still taking place in church, it was soon realized that the excitement of such an entertainment had gotten out of hand. In 1736 these plays were banned from the churches by Bishop Teodor Czartoryski, permitting only immobile scenes of a strictly Biblical Christmas. Both the live and puppet shows now were passed down to the people, who included them in the ritual of caroling (kolednicy). Following the ban the performances evolved into a true expression of folk art.
The live Jaselka became a traveling show beginning on St. Stephen’s day (December 26). The Bethlehem locale, was now set in Poland. Original characters and much of the traditional dialogue were preserved, but in the hands of artists and students it became a mirror of community life, with political satire and local anecdotes added in. Key moments were preserved, such as the well- known scene between King Herod and the devil. The devil triumphantly exclaims in retribution for Herod’s Massacre of the Innocents, “Królu Herodzie za twe zbytki, chodz do piekla, bos ty brzydki” (King Herod for your wicked ways come with me to hell because you are deplorable). This scene was extremely popular with the audience.
In literature and theater, the plays were made famous by such authors as Lucjan Rydel (Betlejem Polskie) and Leon Schiller (Szopka Krakowska and Pastoralka), and continue to appear in the repertoire of professional theater companies in Poland to this day.
Throughout the 18th century, native artisans were making crìches that were distinctively Polish in architectural design, folk costume and motif. Each region developed its own unique design, but it was in Kraków that it developed into a high art.
By the 19th century several elements defined the szopka’s shape, finding inspiration in the existing structures of Kraków. The stable’s roof was covered by a second story and was flanked by two towers. The two towers eventually resembled the Kosciól Mariacki (St. Mary’s Church) and the central Renaissance dome was reminiscent of Wawel Castle’s Zygmunt Chapel. By the end of the 19th century the stable was moved to the second floor and bottom floor was filled with figuures of folklore and history.
The outbreak of World War I brought an end to the szopka, when Austrian occupation forces prohibited home-to-home caroling accompanied by a szopka. Due to the change in political climate after Poland had regained its independence in 1918, it seemed this form of folk art would disappear entirely. A Jaselka was staged at a Kraków theater in 1923 and this sparked a revival of sorts. Szopki were made and sold as souvenirs. The city’s municipal authorities decided to save this decaying tradition by announcing the first competition in December of 1937. Eighty-six cribs were entered. With the exception of the wartime period of 1939-1944 the competitions have become an annual holiday tradition with a magnitude of entrants. Kraków hosts the competition in the central Rynek (marketplace) Square. The puppet shows survive to this day as popular entertainment and are included in this event, as well.
“Polish American Heritage Month”
A National Celebration of Polish History, Culture and Pride in Cooperation with the Polish
American Congress and Polonia across America
Since 1608, when the first Polish settlers arrived at Jamestown, VA, Polish people have been an important part of America’s history and culture. In 2014, Polish Americans will mark the 33rd Anniversary of the founding of Polish American Heritage Month, an event, which began in Philadelphia, PA, and became a national celebration of Polish history, culture and pride. During 2014, Poles will mark the 406th Anniversary of the First Polish Settlers who were among the first skilled workers in America. We, therefore, will also Salute All American Workers and urge people to purchase the products and services offered by American workers. Polish Americans will also mark the 235th Anniversary of the death of General Casimir Pulaski, Father of the American Cavalry. For additionalnformation about these historic events and Polish and Polish American history, visit the Museum’s Internet site at: PolishAmericanCenter.com. Information about ways to celebrate Polish American Heritage Month can be obtained by visiting the Polish American Heritage Month Committee’s site atPolishAmericanHeritageMonth.com. On this site you will find a list of “Things To Do During Polish American Heritage Month”, the 2014 coloring contest artwork for schools,and Heritage Month posters that can be downloaded and printed. Copies of the coloring contest artwork can also be obtained by calling the Heritage Month Committee, Monday through Friday between 9 A.M. and 5 P.M. at 215-922-1700.
PACT will be offering some great items this year for the silent auction at the Kielbasa Cook Off on Saturday, Oct. 4, at St. Clements Community Center. All items are Polish . Amber pieces, Polish pottery, books about local Polish history, Polish beer, liqueurs, vodka, Polish t-shirts, amber cut wine glasses, Christmas pieces and much more will be available. So come out to the cook off and enjoy some great kielbasa and check out our Polish items.
Saturday, October 4, 2014
1 – 6 PM
St. Clements Community Center
2990 Tremainsville Road
The Kielbasa Cook-Off
Do your part in choosing the next “Kielbasa King or Queen”!
Admission: $5, PACT members: $3, Children 7 – 10: $2, under 6: Free
Food tickets: 50 cents each
Food, Beer, Pop, and of course, Kielbasa
Pictured: City Councilman Tom Winiewski, PACT President Stan Machosky,
Toledo Mayor Michael Collins and PACT Vice-President, Matt Zaleski.
From the Toledo Blade, Monday, August 11, 2014:
The second annual Polka Party Picnic offered far more than the expected polka dancing and kielbasa meal at St. Hyacinth Catholic Church on Sunday afternoon.
At the event, the Polish -American Community of Toledo, or PACT, announced plans to launch a $1million capital campaign to raise funds to establish a Toledo area Polish-American Community Center.
“A major issue is that the churches formed by some of the first Poles who came to Toledo are slowly closing”, said Toledo Polish Genealogical Society and PACT member Marge Stefanski. “Many believe some of the Polish heritage in the community is being lost in the process.”
“We need to keep the heritage going by passing it on to the young crowd,” Stan Machosky, PACT Board President said. “We need a place to assemble to transfer this to the young.”
To read the entire article, go to http://www.toledoblade.com/Culture/2014/08/11/Poles-set-sights-on-1M-center.html
Thanks you to St. Hyacinth and St. Charles for giving PACT this venue to launch this campaign. It is with the interest of the entire Polish population of Toledo and North West Ohio that this endeavor is being started.
In 2009, a group of Poles gathered at Ski’s Restaurant to address some of the needs of the local Polish community. Like some of the other area ethnic groups in the Toledo area, the Poles were witness to a dying heritage, with their old Polish neighborhoods becoming blight-ridden and once popular churches closing. Certainly the future looked bleak.
To address these issues and more, the group formed a new Polish organization — The Polish-American Community of Toledo (PACT). Five years later a lot has changed for the Toledo Poles.
Along with spearheading a litany of events that call attention to the Polish heritage, PACT wants to build a much-needed Polish Community Center for the Toledo area.
“Leading up to this point, PACT has been able to successfully promote the Polish heritage with annual events like our Wagilia Celebration, Kielbasa Klassic Golf Tournament, annual scholarship competition, our Kielbasa Cook-off Competition, and more,” said Stan Machosky, President, PACT. “But now we feel the time has come to try and fulfill a significant part of PACT’s mission — To build a Polish-American Community Center.
When PACT, a Non- Profit 501-C-3 organization, was created in 2009 it had a mission of supporting and furthering the cause of local Polish-American groups and to enhance the lives of local Polish-Americans. PACT wanted its members to help promote, support, and patronize locally owned Polish-American businesses. PACT wants support for Polish-American business owners, and wanted its members to promote, join and support local and national groups and organizations that help promote events that perpetuate Polish culture and traditions. But a key piece of that mission was the building of a Polish-American Community Center that would ultimately house a cultural center, library, youth recreation center, and provide a venue for local Polish American groups to hold their activities.
On Sunday August 10, PACT announced an ambitious capital campaign to raise $1 million to build the Polish-American Community Center.
“When Poles first came to Toledo and settled in their neighborhoods, they built churches that served the function of a Polish community center. As Poles left those neighborhoods, the churches declined in attendance and eventually closed. However the need for a Polish-American Community Center still exists to help promote the Polish heritage,” said Mr. Machosky.
To meet its financial goal, PACT plans a grassroots campaign to reach out to local Polish-Americans, and to seek grants and donations from area corporations. In addition PACT plans an on-line fund raising effort with Indiegogo.
“We want a grassroots campaign to make all area Poles feel like they are part of this development. We also like the idea of an on-line effort which gives us access to Poles and other Polish organizations around the world who may wish to contribute to our effort,” said Mr. Machosky.
PACT says it is hoping to work with a prominent local Pole — Lucas County Treasurer Wade Kapszukiewicz — to see what’s available through the Lucas County Land Bank for redevelopment.
Those wishing to make donations can send checks made payable to Polish-American Community of Toledo, P.O. Box 1033, Sylvania, OH 43560. They can also visit the Indiegogo.
Winners of the 2014 Kielbasa Klassic Golf Scramble (out of 23 teams) were: Marten Whalen, Justin Gorby, Joey Heritt, and Hamilton Hodges.
American Originals: Northwest Ohio’s Polish Community at Home, Work, Worship, and Play is the latest book to be published by the University of Toledo Press.
The 258 page work presents a glimpse into the history of one of Toledo’s most important ethnic groups.
“The book is a mix of the broader themes that have shaped our community with the actual lives that Polish-Americans recall–sometimes remembered with pain, more often with joy, and always with the respect for the accomplishments of the families, friends and neighbors,” said Timothy Borden, editor of the book. “These are the histories of true American originals, who found a proper home for their ideals in the Polish-American community of northwest Ohio.”
The book includes several chapters by Borden, who holds a Ph.D. in history from Indiana University Bloomington. Others with chapters include David Chelminski, Dorothy Stohl, Jane Armstrong-Hudiburg, Sarah Miller, William Samiec, and Margaret Zotkiewicz-Dramczyk.
Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur also contributed a chapter on the history of her Polish family, including the story of her father, Steve, who was known in the community as “Kappy.” Kappy began his career as a trucker and produce dealer in the 1930’s, and in the 1950’s, he and his wife Anastasia, opened the Supreme Market in Rossford. The market sold Polish specialty items. Kaptur also recounts several trips she made to Poland to visit the homeland of her ancestors, and how moved she was by the Polish people and the tales of their struggles throughout history.
The book also looks at the artistic expressions of Toledo’s Polish community in its polka music. The chapter by Zotkiewicz-Dramczyk looks at some of the beloved polka bands that played in many venues around Toledo. It includes interviews with some of the bands’ leaders and discusses the evolution of Toledo’s polka music. A listing of polka recordings by Toledo bands is also included. In addition, Zotkiewicz-Dramczyk discusses the influential Toledo Polish music radio show hosted for years by Chet Zablocki, assisted by his wife Helen, and then after Helen’s death, by his second wife, Sharon.
Other chapters look at Polish wedding traditions, the role of local Catholic sisters in educating the new immigrants to Toledo, and the experience of those growing up in Toledo’s two Polish neighborhoods–Kuhschwantz and Lagrinka. “American Originals is an important contribution to Toledo’s history and is also a fascinating read for anyone who is a part of the Polish community, or just an admirer,” Barbara Floyd, director of the UT Press said.
The book is for sale from the UT Press website: www.utoledopress.com, at Barnes & Noble at The University of Toledo, or by contacting Barbara Floyd, at 419-530-2170.
For more information about the book, or to schedule interviews with the authors, contact Floyd.
Congratulations to this year’s PACT/TPA scholarship winners! They are:
Jessica Pietrasz, age 18, of Rossford, Ohio who will be attending Youngstown State University this fall. She is also the recipient of YSU’s Red & White Scholarship. She is active in cross country, volleyball, basketball, track and student council. Jessica will receive the Martin A. Blaszczyk scholarship. It is awarded to the “best” submission as determined by the judges. Martin A. Blaszczyk was the editor of the Lagrange Street News, a monthly newspaper that connected residents and former neighbors of its namesake Polish neighborhood with news, gossip, and community functions. He helped to keep the Polish heritage alive in Toledo.
Rachel Perzynski, age 19, of Toledo. Rachel will be attending DePaul University this fall. She is also a DePaul University Presidential Scholarship winner and has maintained a cumulative 4.0 GPA for 4 years. She is active in Speech and Debate, Migrant Ministry, SJJ Marching Band, dance, school plays and was secretary of the Enviro Club.
Casey Sobota, age 21, of Waterville, Ohio will be graduating from Ohio State University in 2016 with a major in Strategic Communications. Casey is also the recipient of a Scarlet and Grey Scholarship, Anthony Wayne Generals Dispatch Editor Scholarship and a Transformational Program Grant that allowed her to study abroad in Eastern Europe. She is a member of the Public Relation Student Society of American and a regular contributor to “Her Campus” online magazine.
High School category:
William DuPuis, age 14, of Toledo will be attending St. Francis de Sales High School this fall. William is the brother of Joseph DuPuis, a 2013 PACT/TPA Scholarship winner. William is also the recipient of a St. Francis de Sales Scholarship, a GESU music award and he played on the GESU football team 2011-2013.
As in past years, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur will award the scholarships to the winners in August. Thank you to all who applied for these four scholarships.
Sunday, August 10,2014
St. Hyacinth Church Campus
12 Noon Polka Mass
Music and Dancing till 6 PM
Music by Badinov (Randy Krajewski)
Kielbasa Sandwiches, Sweet and Sour Cabbage, Hot Dogs, Chips, Homemade Pierogi, Kruschiki, and more!
Beer, Wine Coolers, Pop and Water
Raffle Tickets: Call Jim at 419-2142-5568 and purchase a ticket for a chance to win:
First Place: $1,000
Second Place: $500
Third Place: $250
Fourth Place: $250
Fun for the whole family!
Secure parking at St. Hyacinth Church
Shuttle parking at UT Scott Park Campus, Lot 22 of Parkside
PACT and Stanley’s Market are once again teaming up for the annual Kielbasa Klassic Golf Scramble. This year, it will be held on Sunday, August 3rd, 2014 at the Giant Oak Golf Course on Lewis Avenue in Temperance Michigan. The starting time is 10:00 AM. The price for the scramble will be the same as in years past: $75 per man or $300 per team. This price includes golf, cart, food, beer and pop, team skins, door prizes, challenge holes and the famous “Kielbasa Klassic” t-shirt! This year, there are 2 ways to register. Just click here to sign up on the PACT site. There you can choose to download the sign up sheet and fill it out and send it with your check to PACT, or go to Kielbasa Klassic’s website and sign up there online. The deadline to enter is July 28th, 2014. Proceeds from this event go to the scholarship fund. Please direct your questions to Tim Paluszak at 419-410-6167. Last year’s winners were: Dave Martin, John Danielski, Jim Carey and Tom Cunningham.
We couldn’t have asked for a nicer day for our bus trip to Hamtramck. Once we arrived, tour guide Greg Kawalski gave our group a tour of St. Florian Church. Then it was on to the bakery to pick up some sweet treats and then to the Polonia Restaurant for a Polish lunch. Eddie Paz serenaded the group with some Polish music on his accordian. After lunch, we visited the Polish Art Center for a talk on amber jewelry, shopka (paper creches) and Polish pottery. Many in the group checked out the Pope John Paul Park and Srodek’s grocery store. Thanks to all who joined PACT on this bus adventure.
The Fourth Annual Kielbasa Cook-Off hosted by The Polish-American Community of Toledo (PACT) raised an estimated $5,000 for PACT’s Capital Campaign to develop a Polish-American Community Center in the Toledo area. At the same time, PACT also announced the start of its on-line efforts — Indiegogo.com — to raise money for the project.
Seven teams competed this year. Shawn Zaborski and his team of Polish Village Kielbasa, won the Kielbasa Cook-Off for the third year in a row. They earned the title “Kielbasa King” a trophy, and a check for $300. Second place went to Jeremy Pryba and his team Polska Pryba Kielbasa. Mr. Pryba earned a check for $150 which he donated back to PACT and the capital campaign. The third place finisher was Mike Hofner and his team of Dziadzia and Busia’s Old Fashion Recipe. They earned $100 for their efforts. Over 500 people attended the event held Saturday, October 4 at the St. Clement’s Community Center.
Polish Village Kielbasa and Polska Pryba tied for first in the celebrity cook off. Tom Waniewski, Toledo city councilman, was the judge this year.
On Saturday, March 29, The Polish-American Polish American Community of Toledo (PACT) offered a Pierogi making class. A dozen people showed up to learn the process. It started with PACT showing all the steps and cooking a few, and a taste-test. Then participants were off to try it on their own — with a little PACT supervision and guidance. The event was held in the galley at The Maritime Academy of Toledo. PACT thanks The Maritime Academy of Toledo and their Chef, David Naperala (who is also Polish) for use of their facilities. Here are some pictures and the PACT recipe. Enjoy.
The Polish American Community of Toledo is happy to announce that along with the Toledo Poznan Alliance, we will be awarding four $1,000.00 scholarships to High School/College students based on academics, extra-curricular activities and an essay submitted about “What Having a Polish-American Heritage Means To Me”.
To apply for one of these scholarships, download the scholarship application located on the right. It can be sent to PACT, P.O. Box 1033, Sylvania, OH 43560. The deadline for receiving applications is May 31, 2014.
Anyone can apply for these scholarships, so if you have a family members, or know of someone who would benefit from this, please forward this information on to them.
Email us at email@example.com with your questions.
PHOTO: Last year’s scholarship winners, Kassidy Regent, Joseph DuPuis and Emily Howland (winner of the Martin A. Blaszczyk Memorial Scholarship) with Stan Machosky, President of PACT Board of Directors and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur.
Here is a list of events that PACT will offer for the 2014 year. More information about each event will be provided prior to the event.
Pierogi Making Circle (March 29, 2014): Workshop for individuals interested in making pierogi from scratch, led by local talent.
Trip to Hamtramck (May): A day trip to Hamtramck, Michigan to visit St. Florian Church, Polish Art Center, Polish bakery and grocery store and have lunch at one of Hamtramck’s Polish restaurants.
Polish Night at Comerica Park (June 13): Watch the Detroit Tigers against Minnesota at Comerica Park in Detroit. Transportation will be provided to take you to the park to enjoy Polish Night at the ballpark. Get a t-shirt and food voucher with your ticket.
2014 PACT Scholarship: (June 30) Toledo Poznan Alliance will once again team up with PACT to award three scholarships to High School/College students based on academics, extra-curricular activities and an essay submitted about “What Having a Polish-American Heritage Means To Me”.
Thank you to all of the members who renewed their membership and completed the events survey. The top three events that received the most votes were the trip to Hamtramck with a visit to St. Florian church, the Polish art center, lunch at one of the Polish restaurants, and a stop at the Polish grocery store and bakery, the pierogi making circle, and a Polish pre-lenten celebration. We are now putting together our 2014 calendar of events and will post it here once it is complete. PACT is always trying to offer new Polish experiences to its members along with some of our regular popular events such as the Kielbasa Cook Off, Wigilia Celebration and the Kielbasa Klassic Golf Tournament. We always appreciate your feedback and invite you to make suggestions and comments by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Meaning of Oplatki (Christmas Wafers)
Rosemary Chorzempa sure knows her Polish traditions. Luckily she was kind enough to share her knowledge with an audience of eager learners on Tuesday, April 19th, at Ski’s Restaurant in Sylvania. Those who came to hear Mrs. Chorzempa explain some of the Polish traditions of Easter now know how to make a lamb out of butter for Easter dinner. They also know what type of steps go into making decorative Easter eggs (pisanki). Not only do you need to use beeswax and a tool called a kistka, you have to dye your egg with the lightest colors first to the darkest colors. If you don’t, your egg will definitely not come out how you would like it to. While explaining the folk art of pisanki, Mrs. Chorzempa encouraged everyone to gather around her table to get a better look as she demonstrated how to decorate one. She made it look very easy since she has been doing pisanki for many years. She also brought in a woven palm like many of our grandmothers use to make with the palms from Palm Sunday. Unfortunately it is becoming a lost art since parishes now only pass out one frond of palm instead of the four that you need to weave them into works of art.
If anyone would like to attend a pisanki workshop in May given by Mrs. Chorzempa, or for more information on the workshop, please call Ski’s at 419-882-1199. She will be teaching a pisanki workshop on May 10th and 11th at Ski’s Restaurant.
Polish Easter Basket
Maslo (Butter) – This dairy product is often shaped into a lamb (Baranek Wielkanocny) or a cross. This reminds us of the good will of Christ that we should have towards all things.
Babka (Easter Bread) – A round or long loaf topped with a cross or a fish, symbolic of Jesus, who is the Bread of Life.
Chrzan (Horseradish) – Symbolic of the Passion of Christ still in our minds.
Jajka (Eggs) and Pisanki (decorated with symbols of Easter, of life, of prosperity) – Indicates new life and Christ’s Resurrection from the tomb.
Kielbasa (Sausage) – A sausage product, symbolic of God’s favor and generosity.
Szynka (Ham) – Symbolic of great joy and abundance. Some prefer lamb or veal. The lamb also reminds Christians that the Risen Christ is the “Lamb of God.”
Slonina (Smoked Bacon) – A symbol of the overabundance of God’s mercy and generosity.
Sol (Salt) – A necessary element in our physical life. Symbolic of prosperity and justice and to remind us that people are the flavor of the earth.
Ser (Cheese) – Symbolic of the moderation Christians should have at all times.
Candle – Represents Christ as the Light of the World.
Colorful Ribbons and Sprigs of Greenery – are attached to the basket as signs of joy and new life in the season of spring and in celebration of the Resurrection.
Linen Cover – drawn over the top of the basket which is ready for the priest’s visit to the home or the trip to church where it is joined with the baskets of others to await the blessing. The food is then set aside and enjoyed on Easter Sunday
The blessing of the Easter food, or the “Swieconka” is a tradition dear to the heart of every Pole. Being deeply religious, he is grateful to God for all His gifts of both nature and grace, and, as a token of this gratitude, has the food of his table sanctified with the hope that spring, the season of the Resurrection, will also be blessed by God’s goodness and mercy.
Traditions vary from village to village and family to family. They have changed and evolved with each passing generation. Traditionally the food is brought to the church in a basket, often decorated with a colourful ribbon and sometimes sprigs of greenery are attached, with a linen cover drawn over the top (hence “The Traditional Polish Easter Basket”) and blessed by the parish priest on Holy Saturday morning. The food can also be blessed in the home. After the blessing, the food is usually set aside until Easter morning when the head of the house shares the blessed egg, symbol of life, with his family and friends. Having exchanged wishes, all continue to enjoy a hearty meal.
The foods traditionally blessed for Easter can be reduced to three categories:
Easter bread and cakes of all kinds – particularly babka
Meat products, like ham, stuffed veal, suckling pig or lamb, sausage, bacon, etc.;
Dairy products, like butter, cheese (“hrudka” cheese cake), eggs – some shelled, some decorated (“pisanki”); etc.
The blessing of Easter food is one of our most beautiful and most meaningful customs with which our devoted ancestors have enriched us. This centuries old custom is indeed richly symbolic and has a deep liturgical and spiritual meaning. It is one in which the whole family can participate and help prepare. Let us preserve these customs so that they may endure for many generations to come.
All of us can enjoy this beautiful Polish custom by participating at the blessing of the Easter food “Swieconka” at the Polish church nearest you. This is an excellent way to teach the younger members of your family about this treasured Polish tradition. Remember, it is up to us to teach our customs to our children.