Thank You for a Great Celebration!

Celebrating 1,050 years of Christianity never felt so great.  On June 22, about 400 people gathered at the historic Orchard Lake Schoosl campus to commemorate a remarkable moment in history that has no equal: the pledge of Duke Mieszko I pledge in 966 to rule his Polish people with Christian leadership.  For generations afterward, Poland was a bulwark of Christianity in Europe, eventually developing into a multi-cultural safe haven for families, and an economic and military powerhouse in Europe.  The Duke’s decision to be baptized was reportedly influenced by his wife Dobrawa of Bohemia, and the event planted the seeds for Poland’s future, the tenets of which can still be seen in today’s world.

To learn more about the history behind the event, go here to read more!

The Orchard Lake Schools, founded in 1885, is America’s oldest Polish educational and cultural institution, so there was no better place to host the national celebration of this unique event for Poles and Polish-Americans.  In addition, thanks to the generosity of donor Walter Bala and no small amount of divine providence, OLS had erected a permanent shrine inside the familiar Chapel of Our Lady of Orchard Lake, which was dedicated on that same day as the Archdiocesan Shrine of St. John Paul II.  Msgr. Thomas C. Machalski, Chancellor-Rector of the Orchard Lake Schools coordinated and hosted the event, sponsored by the Orchard Lake Schools, the National Polish Apostolate, the Polish-American Priests’ Association, and the Catholic League.

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The event began with a musical performance at 4:00 pm by Dr. Jaroslaw Golembiowski from Chicago, IL, who delivered a recital of the religious influences of Frederic Chopin on the chapel’s brand new baby grand piano (which was recently donated by the Spiroff family in the spring).  Following a moving performance, guests prepared for the celebration of Mass.

Click here to read Bishop Wenski’s Homily in English, 

or, here to read Bishop Mroziewski’s Homily in Polish!

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Led by Polish girl- and boy-scouts, and escorted by the Knights of Columbus, the long procession made its way to the altar.  Archbishop of Miami, Florida Thomas Wenski was themain celebrant of the Mass, which was concelebrated by a many local and visiting priests and bishops.  Catholic clergy journeyed far to be a part of the celebration, and visiting guests included His Eminence Cardinal Adam Maida (Ret.), Archbishop of Detroit Allen Vigneron, Bishop David Walkowiak (Grand Rapids, MI), Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus Francis Reiss (Detroit, MI), Auxiliary Bishop Witold Mroziewski (Brooklyn, NY), Auxiliary Bishop Andrzej Wypych (Chicago, IL), and about 30 Monsignors and priests as well.

Check out the photo album here!

Following the landmark celebration, guests made their way to the St. Mary’s Athletic Complex Banquet Center for a gala dinner hosted by Msgr. Tom.  Guests enjoyed a plated dinner and mingled about a lavish room decorated with a painting of St. Maximilian Kolbe, and Bogurodzica: The Spirit and The Letter, the Calligraphic Research Opus of Dr. Z. W. Wolkowski, from Sorbonne University.

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On behalf of Msgr. Machalski, we extend deep thanks to those who participated in our celebration.