On this day in 1791…

Maj 3 TP 2015Join the Polish Mission and our Polish Diplomatic Offices across the country as we celebrate Polish Constitution Day.  Join us in remembering the triumphant history of our great nation of Poland, when in 1791, our ancestors adopted the first European constitution following the example of the new United States of America.  As we remember that proud moment in our past, we are reminded of the bonds between our two countries, strengthened in times of war, and celebrated in times of peace.

The Polish Mission Celebrates Polish Constitution Day!

Presenting Awards to Polish Language Students; Unveiling New Exhibition.

Sunday, May 3, 2015, 11:00 am EST

Orchard Lake, MI The Polish Mission of the Orchard Lake Schools (founded 1885 – Detroit, MI) continues nation-wide cultural programs aimed at highlighting Poland and Polish culture. The Polish Mission is America’s leading non-profit Polish cultural institution.

The Polish Mission, with the generous support of the Polish Consulate in Chicago, welcomes everyone to the historic Orchard Lake Schools campus for the annual celebration of Polish Constitution Day (Trzeci Maj) on May 3rd, 2015.  This event is part of a month-long celebration of the Polish Constitution of 1791, and is presented in partnership with the Polish American Congress (PAC).   The event is free of charge, but free will donations are encouraged and gratefully accepted.

Festivities start at 11:00 am on May 3rd, at 3535 Commerce Rd., Orchard Lake, MI 48324, at the “Old Gym” (Building #5).

This year, thanks to the Institute of National Remembrance of the Republic of Poland (IPN), The Polish Mission will present the landmark exhibition Cum tacent, clamant.  The exhibition was prepared by Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation.  Cum tacent, clamant (When they are silent they shout), is presented in accordance with the world’s celebration of the end of WWII in Europe.  For Poles, the end of that war meant the start of only another brutal occupation by the Soviet Union—this exhibit tells an emotional part of that story.

Alongside the PAC, participating metro Detroit Polish groups include the Polish Scouting Organization of Michigan (Związek Harcerstwa Polskiego w Michigan), the Fr. Joseph Dąbrowski Polish Language School (Szkoła Języka Polskiego p. i. kś. Józefa Dąbrowskiego), the General Casimir Pulaski Polish Language School (Szkoła Języka Polskiego p.i. Generała Pułaskiego), the Adam Mickiewicz Polish Language School (Szkoła Języka Polskiego p.i. Adama Mickiewicza), and the St. John Paul II Polish Language School (Szkoła Języka Polskiego p.i. św. Jana Pawła II-go).

Thanks to the support of the Polish Consulate in Chicago, The Polish Mission will present awards to the winners of this year’s language competition.

Following the ceremonies and performances, Sunday Mass will be celebrated in Polish, at the Shrine Chapel of our Lady of Orchard Lake, at 1:00 pm

The Polish Constitution of 1791 is credited as being the world’s second national constitution, and the first in Europe following that of the United States.

The following is from the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Los Angeles:

Poland’s Constitution has a long and distinguished history. Poland first guaranteed the rights of religious minorities in 1264, when Polish Jews were placed under royal protection, assuring their right to settle and live without fear of persecution. This remarkable tradition was codified in the 1573 Warsaw Confederation and became the first document in European history to legally mandate religious tolerance. When Poland’s Constitution was passed on 3 May 1791, it was only the second written constitution in the world.  Just like the American Constitution that was adopted four years earlier, the Polish Constitution represented an important milestone in the development of modern governance in the western world. At the end of the eighteenth century, America and Poland became the only two democratic countries in the world of absolute monarchies.