Pilgrimages Organized by
American Polish Assistance Association
Amongst the most popular cultural and religious activities of the A.P.A.A. is the Holy Thursday Pilgrimage to the churches of Poletown. Others include the Marian Day Pilgrimage in May, the Orchard Lake Pilgrimage, and the Pilgrimage to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa Doylestown, PA.
HOLY THURSDAY PILGRIMAGE TO THE CHURCHES OF POLETOWN
REGISTRATION FORM, Pictures
The Holy Thursday Pilgrimage may include any of the churches listed below but is also not limited only to this list. Please check the program of this this year's pilgrimage for details.
ST. ALBERTUS (POLISH AMERICAN HISTORIC SITE ASSOC.)
(FOUNDED IN 1871)
St. Albertus is the Mother Church of the Detroit Metropolitan Polonia. Its buildings are part of Michigan's History and are registered as such. Both the Feiician Motherhouse and the Orchard Lake Schools have their foundations here. Presently, the church and its additional buildings are the property of a non-profit organization that seeks to retain the complex for future generations. For further information, call 313 - 657- 4145, 313 - 527 - 9321 or 313 -872 - 4387. The entire American Polonia should support this worthy and noble cause. The members of the PAHSA are devoting time and energy to a monumental endeavor. They need your support.
SWEETEST HEART OF MARY PARISH
(FOUNDED IN 1886)
This Polish American parish is alive and vibrant under the leadership of its Pastor, Rev. Mark Borkowski. Both the inside and outside give testament to the strong aesthetics of the early Polish American community; and the history of the parish is one of the most interesting in the Archdiocese. For information, please call 313-831-1310.
ST. FLORIAN PARISH
The church structure dominates the City of Hamtramck. The gothic style is so impressive that the church was featured in the National Geographic Magazine. The parish has served as an important educational center for many years. Unfortunately, the high school was recently closed. Each year, the entire Polonia visits the parish for its May Strawberry Festival. The present pastor is Rev. Daryl Roman. For further information, call 313- 871 - 2778.
ST. LADISLAUS PARISH
The parish is located in the center of the City of Hamtramck. The present pastor is Rev. Stanley Ulman, a conscientious leader who has fostered social programs, projects for seniors and many Polonian causes. School buildings are presently rented by the Public Schools that boast a huge increase in a multi-ethnic student population. For further information about the parish, please call 313 - 872 — 0709.
HOLY CROSS POLISH NATIONAL CATHOLIC CHURCH
This is the first time that a parish of the Polish National Catholic Church has been included for the Holy Thursday Pilgrimage, We are more than gratified by the acceptance of both our members and the members of this congregation. Rev. Jaroslaw Nowak is the present (new) pastor of the parish and has welcomed our organization not only for Holy Thursday but also for all future projects that will benefit our joint goals. In the May/June issue of our bulletin, we will feature a short history of this parish. For further information about "Holy Cross", please call 313 -365 -5191.
OUR LADY QUEEN OF APOSTLES PARISH
This parish has one of the largest concentrations of Polish-speaking parishioners. The pastor is Rev. Bogdan Milosz. An elementary school is still in operation and the parish is doing everything in its power to make certain that it remains open for the forthcoming years. Many Polish American organizations have leaders or members that are active in the parish. For further information, please call 313 - 891-1520.
ST. HYACINTH PARISH
This parish has been the starting point of the Holy Thursday Pilgrimage for some 30 years. At other times, parishes such as St. Stanislaus and Immaculate Conception (both no longer in existence) were selected. The pastor of St. Hyacinth is Rev. Francis Skalski, known throughout the Polish Community as a staunch and fervent supporter of all things that are related to the preservation and promotion of the Polish heritage in the United States. St. Hyacinth carefully recorded its history with three publications over the years, and another is being proposed for its 100th Anniversary in the future. The American Polish Assistance Association is indeed thankful for the wonderful relationship it is has with the parish over the years and hopes for continuous cooperation in the future. For further information, please call 313 - 922-1507
The short amount of information given about each parish is by no means the only information available. There are pamphlets available that abbreviate but present the major points of parish histories; and some of those places visited have anniversary books that are still available for purchase. Some of the parishes have historical committees. There are also many contacts for research regarding family memberships. These Polonian parishes, like many others across the United States, stand as monuments to Faith and Ancestry. The founders were energetic, devoted, believing people. As they carried their faith to American shores they also carried their love of Poland. This is evident wherever your eyes take you as you visit. Do not forget this Holy Thursday. Speak of it with younger people - renewing their faith, love of Christ and their heritage.
MARIAN DAY PILGRIMAGE
The American Polish Assistance Association has been sponsoring a Marian Day Pilgrimage for three years. According to tradition, in Mary 2005, the group will again sponsor the pilgrimage beginning with a tour of special churches built in honor of the Blessed Mother.
Unlike other pilgrimages, the APAA also promotes this day as one of multi-cultural understanding. As an example of this, such churches as the following are oftentimes visited for the day: Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Mother of God Macedonian Orthodox Church, Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Byzantine Rite Catholic Church, Holy Family Italian Church, Assumption Grotto, St. Mary's Catholic Church in Greektown, Sweetest Heart, Nativity Church, the Chaldean Cathedral, Our Lady Queen of Apostles and Our Lady Help of Christians.
After the pilgrimage, participants gather at Help of Christians for Mass and the Crowning of Mary. The parish has a beautiful shrine built outside on parish grounds. After the religious celebrations, participants gather in the church hall for a wonderful home-cooked dinner. This is followed by the performance of one of the community's leading folk adult dance ensembles.
A registration form for the Marian Day Pilgrimage will appear on our website in the month of January.