Polish American Congress & Polonia Celebrates Poland’s May 3, 1791 Constitution Report by Michael Blichasz, President
Day celebrations. On Wednesday, May 3, 2006, at 11:00 A.M., a Polish Constitution Commemoration Day Program took place in St. Laurentius Parish hall in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia, to mark the 215th anniversary of Poland’s Constitution of May 3, 1791. This year the program was hosted by Fr. Francis Gwiazda, Pastor of St. Laurentius Parish, and parishioners.
Greetings were presented from Pennsylvania and Philadelphia elected officials. The program saluted the Polish Constitution and Polish
Heritage, and as an added feature, a musical presentation of “We The People” was performed by the St. Laurentius School students under the direction of Duane Rutkowski.
On Sunday, May 7th, more than a thousand people gathered at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown, PA, to commemorate the community-wide celebration of the 215th anniversary of Poland’s May 3, 1791 Constitution, internationally recognized as the second oldest democratic constitution in world history. The commemoration began with a Mass at 12:30 P.M. celebrated by Fr. Jaroslaw Zen, Provincial of the Pauline Fathers and Brothers in Australia, along with concelebrant Fr. Krzysztof Wieliczko, Provincial, Pauline Fathers and Brothers in the United States.
This public celebration, sponsored by the Polish American Congress, Eastern Pennsylvania District, was another opportunity to unite people of Polish heritage in the Southeastern Pennsylvania area, and was one of many events that took place across America and throughout the world to commemorate this historic event in Poland’s history.
After Mass and a luncheon, the Youth Program began at 2:30 P.M. in the Shrine Visitors Center where hundreds enjoyed performances by several area youth groups. Participants included the Adam Mickiewicz Polish Language School, Our Lady of Czestochowa Polish Language School, St. Adalbert Polish Language School and the P.K.M. Polish Folk Dancers.
During the Youth Program, awards were presented to three Polish language students for their outstanding contribution to Polonia. The awards recipients were: Melissa Mele from the Adam Mickiewicz Polish Language School; Ewa Protasiuk from Our Lady of Czestochowa Polish Language School; and Nicole Respond from St. Adalbert Polish Language School. To all the boys and girls, the parents, grandparents and all who attended the event at the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Congratulations and Dziekujemy Bardzo! It was another memorable event in the history book of the Philadelphia-area Polish American community.
Michael Blichasz, President Polish American Congress, Eastern Pennsylvania District
You can view a gallery of photos from these events here: Photos - Polish Constitution Day, Wednesday, May 3, 2006 - St.
Laurentius, Fishtown section of Philadephia, PA Photos - Polish Constitution Day, Sunday, May 7, 2006 - National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Doylestown, PA.