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.

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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.



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.


St. Florian Church Sweet treats at the New Palace Bakery in Hamtramck. New Palace Bakery in Hamtramck. Inside of Polish Art Center in Hamtramck. Inside of Polish Art Center in Hamtramck. Shrodek's Gocery store, Hamtramck.

This year PACT  is organizing a trip to Hamtramck, Michigan; once a stronghold of Polish immigrants and Polish culture.  Hamtramck was originally settled by German farmers, but Polish immigrants flooded into the area when the Dodge Brothers plant opened in 1914. Poles still make up a large proportion of the population. It is sometimes confused with Poletown, a traditional Polish neighborhood, which lies mostly in the city of Detroit and includes a small part of Hamtramck. As of the 2000 census, over 22% of Hamtramck’s population is of Polish origin; in 1970, it was 90% Polish.  ST. Florian Church was the center of Polish culture and Polish events.  It is named in honor of Florjan (Florian) patron of Poland and Upper Austria;  his feast day is May 4.   Today, you can still find authentic Polish grocery stores, bakeries, restaurants and an art center.  Our tour will include a tour of St. Florian Church, the Polish Art Center, lunch at a Polish restaurant and time to shop at the Polish bakery and grocery store.  If you have questions about  this trip, please email us at www.info@polishcommunity.org.  Deadline to sign up for this trip is May 1st, so reserve your seat on the bus early.  The price of the trip is $40 per person for non members and $35  per person for PACT members.  This price will include the bus trip to and from Hamtramck, a tour guide at St. Florian Polish Church, and lunch at the Polonia Restaurant.  Lunch consists of soup, salad, pierogi, kielbasa and potato pancakes.  We will also visit the Polish Art Center for a talk on  Polish pottery and a shopping at the New Palace bakery and Srodek’s grocery store.  There will free time to shop and browse.

Please send your check to PACT, P.O. Box 1033, Sylvania, Ohio, 43560 by the first of May.  Also include the name and phone number of all that are going.

Don’t let the bus leave without you.  Join us for a day in Hamtramck!


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”.

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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 info@polishcommunity.org.


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.

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The Meaning of Oplatki (Christmas Wafers)
The celebration of Christmas by American families is enriched spiritually when time honored “old country” traditional customs are adopted. These practices serve to downplay the secular emphasis that has made of this holy time more of a “sell-ebration”. These customs reemphasize what this great celebration is all about – the proclamation of the “good news” for all humankind of our redemption.
An especially popular custom is the sharing of the “Oplatek” or Christmas wafer, also known as “Anielski Chleb” or Angel Bread.
For the people of Poland and other Western Slavonic nations the “Oplatek” has always had a mystical quality.

Wilgilia Tradition

When the first star, known as the Gwiazdka, appears in the eastern sky, the Christmas tree is lit and that is when the feast to commemorate the birth of the Christ Child begins.

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.


easterbasket

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


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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.


Congratulations to this year’s PACT/TPA scholarship winners!  They are:

College category:pietraz 2014 Blaczyzykwinner_nedit

Jessica Pietrasz

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.

 


Sign Up is now open for the 2014 Kielbasa Klassic 4-Man Golf Scramble!

Click Here to Register for the 2014 Kielbasa Klassic Here

Sunday, August 3rd
at Giant Oak Golf Course
located in Temperance, MI.
10:00AM start time

$75 per man/ $300 per team

Includes golf, cart, food, beer, pop, team skins, door prizes, challenge holse, and the famous “Kielbasa Klassic” t-shirt.

**Proceeds used to fund PACT scholarships**

Deadline to enter is July 29, 2014.

Click Here to Register for the 2014 Kielbasa Klassic Here


From Catholictraditions.org:

The origin of this miraculous image in Czestochowa, Poland is unknown for absolute certainty, but according to tradition the painting was a portrait of Our Lady done by St. John sometime after the Crucifixion of Our Lord and remained in the Holy Land until discovered by St. Helena of the Cross in the fourth century. The painting was taken to Constaninople, where St. Helena’s son, the Emperor Constantine, erected a church for its enthronement. This image was revered by the people of the city.

During  the siege by the Saracens, the invaders became frightened when the people carried the picture in a procession around the city; the infidels fled. Later, the image was  threatened with burning by an evil emperor, who had a wife, Irene, who saved it and hid it from harm. The image was in that city for 500 years, until it became part of some dowries, eventually being taken to Russia to a region that later became Poland.

After the portrait became the possession of the Polish prince, St. Ladislaus in the 15th century, it was installed in his castle. Tartar invaders besieged the castle and an enemy arrow pierced Our Lady’s image, inflicting a scar. Interestingly, repeated attempts to fix the image, artistically have all failed.

Tradition says that St. Ladislaus determined to save the image from repeated invasions, so he went to his birthplace, Opala, stopping for rest in Czestochowa; the image was brought nearby to Jasna Gora ["bright hill"] and placed in a small wooden church named for the Assumption. The following morning, after the picture was carefully placed in the wagon, the horses refused to move. St. Ladislaus understood this to be a sign from Heaven that the image should stay in Czestochowa; thus he replaced the painting in the Church of the Assumption, August 26, 1382, a day still observed as the Feast Day of the painting. The Saint wished to have the holiest of men guard the painting, so he assigned the church and the monastery to the Pauline Fathers, who have devoutly protected the image for the last six hundred years.

Having survived two attacks upon it, Our Lady’s image was next imperiled by the Hussites, followers of the heretic priest, John Hus from Prague. The Hussites did not accept papal authority as coming from Christ and taught that mortal sin deprived an office holder of his position, among other heresies. Hus had been influenced by John Wyclif and became infected with his errors. Hus was tried and condemned at Constance in 1415. The Hussites successfully stormed the Pauline monastery in 1430, plundering the sanctuary. Among the items stolen was the image. After putting it in their wagon, the Hussites went a little ways but then the horses refused to go any further. Recalling the former incident that was so similar, the heretics threw the portrait down to the ground, which shattered the image into three pieces. One of the plunderers drew his sword and slashed the image twice, causing two deep gashes; while attempting a third gash, he was overcome with a writhing agony and died.

The two slashes on the cheek of the Blessed Virgin, together with the one on the throat, not readily visible in our copy, have always reappeared after artistic attempts to fix them. The portrait again faced danger in 1655 by a Swedish horde of 12,000, which confronted the 300 men guarding the image. The band of 300 routed the 12,000 and the following year, the Holy Virgin was acclaimed Queen of Poland.

In September 14, 1920, when the Russian army assembled at the River Vistula, in preparation for invading Warsaw, the Polish people prayed to Our Lady. the next day was the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. The Russians quickly withdrew after the image appeared in the clouds over Warsaw. In Polish history, this is known as the Miracle of Vistula.

During the Nazi occupation of Poland in World War II, Hitler order all religious pilgrimages stopped. In a demonstration of love for Our Lady and their confidence in her protection, a half million Poles went to the sanctuary in defiance of Hitler’s orders. Following the liberation of Poland in 1945, a million and a half people expressed their gratitude to the Madonna by praying before this miraculous image.

Twenty-eight years after the Russian’s first attempt at capturing the city, they successfully took control of Warsaw and the entire nation in 1948. That year more than 800,000 brave Poles made a pilgrimage to the sanctuary at Czestochowa on the Feast of the Assumption, one of the three Feast days of the image; the pilgrims had to pass by the Communist soldiers who patrolled the streets.

Today, the Polish people continue to honor their beloved portrait of the Madonna and Child, especially on August 26, the day reserved by St. Ladislaus. Because of the dark pigment on Our Lady’s face and hands, the image is affectionately called the “Black Madonna,” most beautifully prefigured in the Bible, in the Canticle of Canticles, “I am black but beautiful.” The pigmentation is ascribed primarily to age and the need to keep it hidden for long periods of time in places where the only light was from candles, which colored the painting with smoke.

The miracles attributed to Our Lady of Czestochowa are many and most spectacular. The original accounts of them,  some of them cures, are archived by the Pauline Fathers at Jasna Gora.

Papal recognition of the miraculous image was made by Pope Clement XI in 1717. The crown given to the image was used in the first official coronation of the painting, which was stolen in 1909.

Pope Pius X replaced it with a gold one encrusted with jewels.czes2-1