100 Anniversary of Polish Parish in Windsor – press release October 20,2017

Holy Trinity Polish Parish Centennial Celebration

Windsor, Ontario – October 20, 2017

The oldest ethnic Catholic parish in Diocese of London is celebrating a big birthday.

Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Polish Parish year-long celebration of its 100th anniversary is coming to a great finale on Sunday, October 22 with a Thanksgiving Mass at 4:00PM officiated by the Bishop of London Most Reverend Ronald Peter Fabbro, followed by the Centenary Jubilee Gala banquet at the Caboto Club.

The Polish church, the second oldest active Catholic church in Windsor – on the corner of Langlois Avenue and Ellis Street – has been the spiritual and cultural home for tens of thousands of Poles over the last century.

“The Church is the foundation of our community and a close-knit family with a proud history” says Rev. Zbigniew Sawicki, the eighth in a line of pastors to watch over the growing community.

It has also been a safe harbour for thousands of refugees fleeing their homeland in times of political strife – seeking refuge and hope for a better life in Canada. “Our family came to Canada 34 years ago as political refugees, and Holy Trinity helped us settle in Windsor,” says Richard Kusmierczyk, Chair of the Centennial Committee.

The Centennial Jubilee Year has been observed from October 16, 2016 and featured numerous monthly cultural events open to the Windsor community including highlights:

· A Windsor Symphony String Orchestra concert on March 11,2017

· An exhibit at the Chimczuk Museum titled 100 Years of the Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Polish Parish that run from August 12 – October 15, 2017

· A lecture series titled Poland: The Country of Freedom Fighters, Artists and Saints from January through March 2017

Other events featured cultural works and productions from local artists, parish and community organizations, including Polish Language School students and two exhibits presented by the National Institute of Remembrance of Poland.

Information and a calendar of events, as well as a brief history of the Parish has been published on the Centennial Jubilee Committee website http://100holytrinity.com/en/

For more information, please contact:

Richard Kusmierczyk- Chair, Centennial Jubilee Committee Telephone: 519.944.4441

Email: jubilee@100holytrinity.com

FAST FACTS:

· Rev. Jan Andrzejewski who was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin as the first pastor of the new Holy Trinity Polish Parish on October 9, 1916

· On October 28, 1917 – Bishop Michael F. Fallon presided over the blessing ceremony of the church’s cornerstone. It was the first Polish Catholic Church in diocese of London, the first ethnic Catholic church in Diocese of London, and the fifth Polish Catholic church in Canada.

· During the time of leadership of Rev. Msgr. L. Wnuk PA, the Polonia Park and Villa Polonia- a low income 400 units housing projects were built to serve the Windsor’s community. These not for profit corporations are run by the board of directors- volunteers, members of the Holy Trinity Parish. They have been serving the community of Windsor for the past 41 years. In 1965 Msgr. L. Wnuk brought to Windsor 10 nuns from Poland- the Ursuline Sisters of the Agonising Heart of Jesus. Since then, the Sisters have been working as teachers for the University of Windsor, St. Clair College, St. Cecile School, St. Joseph and F.J. Brennan high schools. They also run the Ursula Daycare and the Polish Language School.

· During the period of leadership by Rev. Msgr. P. Sanczenko, more than 1000 families came as the refugees on the program sponsored by Bishop M. Sherlock.

· There are approximately 12,000 Polish-Canadians in Windsor and Essex county

· Holy Trinity Polish Parish in Windsor counts 4,000 parishioners

Information and a calendar of events, as well as a brief history of the Parish has been published on the Centennial Jubilee Committee website http://100holytrinity.com/en/

Text – Courtesy of: Mr. Richard Kusmierczyk

Photo – Courtesy of: Mr. Edison Goodfellow