Thank you for helping us remember St. John Paul II, the “Polish Pope”

“Fill Orchard Lake to capacity; sustain Orchard Lake; we need Orchard Lake” (during a private audience at the Vatican, October 26, 1978).


Cardinal Karol Wojtya wanted the mission of the Orchard Lake Schools preserved throughout time, stating so when he visited the campus in 1969, and again reiterated this thought, after being elected Pope, at a private audience in 1978.

This being the 10th year since his passing from this life, we felt especially passionate about creating an event to pay homage and remember  his everlasting love of Poland, and the Polish people.

Thanks to the dedication of our Polish Mission team and our generous supporters, we gathered this past Saturday, March 21st, for a very special and enjoyable remembrance of Pope St. John Paul II. His life and accomplishments are held near and dear to the hearts of the Polish people, and he is fondly remembered, not just in religious communities.

2001_smallWe began with 4 p.m. Mass at Our Lady of Orchard Lake Shrine Chapel here on campus. Celebrated by the Chancellor and Rector of OLS, Msgr. Thomas Machalski, the hour spent in prayer was a reminder of how much JPII loved his faith and passionately preached the Gospel message his whole life. A special thanks to Chris Borowicz, who graciously assisted at Mass as music minister! He also offered a special rendition of Tuba Mirum in honor of St. John Paul II.


After Mass ended, the guests walked over to the Galeria building, just across the street, to continue the commemoration.

At the Galeria, a small reception with hors d’oeuvres and drinks allowed attendees to mingle and chat with each other. Some probably discussed their memories of when Pope John Paul II was elected or the few times he visited the United States and even Detroit, in September 1987.

“Visiting the world of a Modern Day Saint” from the Chicago Tribune

2021We were privileged enough to be able to screen the Polish documentary, Missa Cracoviensis, as part of our celebration on the 21st.

Directed by Jerzy Jogalla, this film, released in late 1979 shows his transition from Archbishop of Krakow to the “Polish Pope” who broke down barriers between countries and peoples. Many of his Masses, celebrated with people of all nations and races, in countries and continents around the world, are shown in a tender tribute to the love he had for all people. A “silent” film, there is no dialogue: the videography, by Dominik Koziol, is complimented by music originally composed by Marek Wilczynski.


Left, Marek Wilczynski, Right, Dr. Jaroslaw Golembiowski

We were honored to be able to host the composer who wrote the score for the documentary, Marek Wilczynski, at the reception! Thank you Marek for taking the time to be with us!

Guests socializing in the Galeria were also treated to a special classical music concert by our friend, Dr. Jaroslaw Golembiowski, from Chicago! He performed classical piano selections, including his on compositions and a few pieces by Frédéric Chopin. Thank you Jarek for sharing your great talents with us!

We thank all of you, who honored us with your presence, as you took the time to participate in this celebration with us, and we are looking forward to continuing to share our love of this great man!


To stay updated with other current events and programming, please visit us on our social media channels: Facebook (The Polish Mission), Twitter (@polishmission) and Instagram (@polishmission).


About Dr. Jaroslaw Golembiowski: Hailing from Bielsko-Biala, Poland, Dr. Golembiowski a composer, pianist and educator. He holds two Master of Art degrees from the Karol Lipinski Academy of Music in Wroclaw, Poland.  In 2013 he received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw under the guidance of Prof. Pawel Lukaszewski. Since coming to the United States in 1986, his compositions have earned numerous accolades. For more information please visit, or contact him directly at