John Paul II Foundation

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of regaining independence by Poland

Our parish community united with the Poles in our homeland and abroad to celebrate the 100th anniversary of regaining independence by Poland.  On November 10th, as part of the curriculum, students and teachers of the John Paul II Polish Saturday School gathered at the solemn school celebration. Together, we sang the Polish national anthem. The winners of the School’s Polish Patriotic Poetry Contest presented their poems.  The winners included: from the young students’ group – Damian Wilgocki with the A. Paszkiewicz’s poem “Independence”, from the older students’ group – Daniela Retsias, with the J. Pietrzak’s poem “A country”.  Then, participants of the literary-artistic contest “Wishes for Poland” received diplomas and small patriotic gifts. The history teacher, Ms. G. Bialkovski was the initiator of the contest, which took place at the end of last school year.

As a part of the anniversary celebrations, there was a lecture “The role of the Church in regaining independence by Poland” presented in the parish hall of the St. Monica Church in Neuperlach. The lecture was given by dr Maciej Sadowski CSsR, the rector of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer.

On Sunday, November 11th in the St. Joseph Church a holy Mass was celebrated by dr Maciej Sadowski CSsR. In the Eucharist participated the Consul General A. Osiak along with his wife.  The Mass was enriched by a 4-piece brass band and the parish choir. The main nave of the Church was decorated with the national colors. The presence of the national coat-of-arms, banners, and faithful people in folk costumes gave the Eucharist a special patriotic character.  Fr. M. Sadowski in his homily stressed the importance of mutual trust between the Poles needed to build the future of our Motherland – a community based on values: God, Honor, Fatherland.  According to the priest, we should think “what can I do for Poland?” instead of “what can I get from Poland?”  The homily ended with the joint singing of the Polish national anthem “Dąbrowski’s Mazurka”

After the Mass faithful people went to the parish hall to see the beautiful word-music program entitled: “For Independence.” The program was prepared under the direction of Mr. J. Obuchowski, merited organist of the parish.

Ms. A. Haluza-Joerg and Mr. M, Sienkiewicz hosted the program.  After the official opening by dr Stanisław Pławecki all gathered people sang the national anthem led by the parish choir.  Then, the participants could listen to a variety of solo and join performances.  There was a choir singing under the direction of Mr. J. Obuchowski, music pieces performance by a 4-piece brass band from the Bundespolizei Orchestra in Munich, then poem recitation by students from the John Paul II Polish Saturday School – the winners of the above-mentioned contest. Then there were dances performed by the group “Krakowiak” directed by Mr. B. Menhard, which were very popular.  The youngest members of the group presented a dance from Śląsk (Silesia) “A girl went to pick up an herb”, then young people danced Krakowiak and the oldest members of the team presented Polonaise.  Daniela Retsias, a student of the 7th class of the John Paul II Polish Saturday School played the prelude in e minor by Frederic Chopin. A group of students from the Bl. Michael Kozal Polish Saturday School presented a patriotic scene with a theme of hope.  The program ended with the performance of the vocal – instrumental band Semper Fidelis under the direction of Mr. J. Lange.  Participants of the event also could enjoy the exhibition of the pieces prepared by the students of the John Paul II Polish Saturday School for the literary-artistic contest “Wishes for Poland” which was organized by Ms. G. Bialkovski.  At the end, dr S. Pławecki expressed gratitude to all artists, hosts, and words of thanks to the artistic director of the event Mr. J. Obuchowski and the main organizer of the anniversary celebrations – the Parish Council.

Also, wards of appreciation expressed the Consul General A. Osiak who recalled names of many great Poles, who have contributed to the recovery of independence by Poland. He also spoke about many people who we do not know by name and who shed their blood for Poland, so it could be free today. The last speaker of the event, Mr. W. Grądalski, the president of the Parish Council, invited all to enjoy refreshments. In a solemn mood, sitting by beautifully decorated tables, attendees of the event celebrated until late evening hours.