Polish films to be shown at Three Rivers Film Festival

For the first time in 33 years, Polish film will be shown on the opening nights of the Three Rivers Film Festival in Pittsburgh, Penn. On Nov. 8 2013, Film Director Bodo Kox will introduce his “Girl from the Wardrobe.” Film Director Ryszard Bugajski will introduce his “The Closed Circuit” following on November 13 and November 14.

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Genealogy Roadshow uncovers connection to Falcons

“Did you know anything about the [Falcons]? Did you think it was just an athletic club?” The researchers from the new PBS program, Genealogy Roadshow, uncovered one Detroit woman’s family connection to the Polish Falcons organization. Billing itself as “part detective story, part emotional journey,” Genealogy Roadshow explores individual family histories in the context of broader global history. When Eugenia Gorecki approached Genealogy Roadshow, she hoped to learn more about her father, who died in 1942 when she was only two years old. She learned that her father had been killed by Nazis for his involvement in the Polish Falcons organization. The Polish Falcons in Poland, much like their counterparts in America at that time, dedicated themselves to defending Poland, through force if necessary. When Nazi Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, members of the Polish Falcons fought back: disrupting communication, derailing trains, and collecting weapons for armed resistance. The Nazis did everything in their power to quash this resistance; Ms. Gorecki’s father was one of many Polish Falcons killed for their dedication to Poland. “It’s a surprise,” said Ms. Gorecki after learning the reason for her father’s death. “I feel really good about it, because those are my beliefs also.”

You can watch the rest of the Genealogy Roadshow episode in Detroit by visiting http://www.pbs.org/program/genealogy-roadshow/.

Learn more about the history of the Polish Falcons organization, including its military history, by visiting the PFA Online Museum at http://polishfalcons.tumblr.com.

VP Trish: Time in Erie and Upper Western NY Part 2

That evening, I drove to visit former National Physical Education Director Marian Wesolowski. She has a lovely trailer at a campground near the Angola camp we used to use for Falcons. It was Druhna’s birthday! On Sunday, we visited St. Vincent DePaul for their fundraiser to celebrate! It was great to see a sunset over Lake Erie again, I hadn’t done that for a couple years. There have been many improvements made to the camp; I wish we could get back there!

Elaine Sieczkarek, Mother of Outstanding Gorecki recipient Stephanie Sieczkarek, stopped by for a visit. It was nice to chat and hear about happenings at the Nest.

On June 30 with two grandchildren, Dakota and Mikayla, I arrived at Camp Hawthorne Ridge for a week of fun at Falcon Camp. This camp is located off the Edinboro exit on interstate 79 and very close to Erie. Once again, I requested to be in the cabin with the older teenage girls. I had 11 wonderful girls in my cabin, a junior counselor, Michelle Wolniakowski from Nest 725, and two chaperones, Dorota Lewicki and Aneta Matyszczyk. Our cabin was actually a house. The majority of the girls slept on the floor in the living room, with a group of girls in a bedroom, the two chaperones in another bedroom and Michelle and I in the dining room. The cabin had one bathroom so the girls had to fix hair in the kitchen; quick showers were a must. These girls got along very well. The girls from the bedroom would go to the living and vice versa. There weren’t any issues with nastiness! The camp started off as a typical camp week, everyone checking in, happy to see one another, meeting new folks and getting into the camp routine.

Well, this was not your typical week of camp! First of all Mother Nature had other ideas as it rained and rained. The driveway to our cabin was a swamp, and mud was everywhere! On Monday morning, I led the kids in pierogi making. It was fun but ended up being quite the task. We made way too many. Most of us enjoyed eating them. I had to be on midnight watch, which was actually fun because it was a perfect summer night. Upon my return to my cabin, Michelle and I sat up for quite a while talking about the future of the PFA and her desire to be involved. It was encouraging to hear of a young person who is serious about her commitment to the PFA (fortunately for us, we have quite a few!).

The theme for the week was holidays! Tuesday was Halloween and it proved to be a very frightening day and night! Most of the activities were the planned ones but we had to make a few modifications. One of our campers seemed to be dehydrated and spent most of the day trying to recuperate. Following dinner, his sister came up to me to tell me that he (her brother) had chills and was vomiting. This of course, had us spring into action. Druh Joe Choromanski (who just happened to be dressed as a doctor for Halloween) and I drove Tim and Olivia up to Erie to visit the hospital. After several tests and a few hours, it was determined that Tim needed to have his appendix removed. Now, his Mom is sitting in New Jersey hearing of this. And, Tim made it clear that he wanted to return to camp, not go back home. We sat with Olivia while Tim was in surgery, all went very well. We left the hospital at 3:30 a.m. to head back to camp. Needless to say, I was hungry. We stopped at Eat ‘n Park (local restaurant chain) for breakfast. While drinking our coffee and tea and eating our fruit cups, the lights went out. Our waitress brought over tea lights and told us that we probably weren’t getting our food. We decided to leave. Well, there was an entire grid of power out! It was pitch black! Now, if you are familiar with Peach Street, you realize how freaky that is! Tim had to stay in the hospital until Thursday around lunch time. When we arrived back at camp, everyone was standing around the green cheering him back.

The rain continued and so did the fun, camaraderie and all the good stuff that goes on at camp. Cultural Commissioner Larry Kozlowski brought much to the camp this year with so many things especially teaching the kids how to make the oplatek and the meaning of sharing the wafer. This was done around the campfire on Friday night. Even those kids who are not Polish really enjoyed this special tradition! My grandkids would like to have this at our Christmas celebration from now on.

One of the things that was not a hit this year was the food. So one night, I decided to get my girls pizza (since they were so wonderful!). Guess where we had to go to get the pizza? Erie, of course! The girls were thrilled to have this treat (of course, they shared this story with the other campers who were not happy to hear about it).

Saturday was New Year’s Eve and we ended camp with a dance (in the rain). Even though, it was a very soggy week and we had to make a hospital run, it is still another great Falcon memory. Congratulations to Druhna Puskar for the great week! There had to be a lot of modifying of scheduling but we pulled together and made the best of it!

In early August, I go the National Golf Tournament in Erie! Check back for my next post.

Statement on the Passing of Tadeusz Mazowiecki

Office of the Press Secretary

October 29, 2013

Statement by the Press Secretary on the Passing of Tadeusz Mazowiecki

We were saddened yesterday to learn of the passing of Tadeusz Mazowiecki, a tireless and devoted advocate for human rights and democracy who persevered through imprisonment and hardship to become the first Prime Minister of a free Poland. For decades, Mazowiecki worked to build a movement in opposition to the oppression and injustice of Communism. When strikes broke out at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk in August 1980, Mazowiecki helped forge the lasting ties between shipyard workers and anti-communist intellectuals that propelled the Solidarity movement to become a transformational force in Polish society.

Mazowiecki subsequently endured prison during Poland’s martial law, but he inspired millions in August 1989, when he was approved by the Sejm to become the first non-Communist Prime Minister behind the Iron Curtain in more than four decades. His contributions to freedom and human rights live on today and will never be forgotten. We extend our condolences to Mazowiecki’s family and all those in Poland and around the world who remain inspired by his example.


Pope John Paul II to be canonized on April 27

Vatican City (PMN)—Pope John Paul II will be canonized on April 27, 2014. Pope Francis had let it be known earlier in a private conversation that the Sunday after Easter is the date he wanted for the ceremony. On September 30, a consistory of cardinals formally approved the canonization date.

Pope John XXIII, who was pontiff from 1958 to 1963 and convened the Second Vatican Council, will also be canonized on the same date.

During a papal press conference on his return from Rio de Janeiro July 28, Pope Francis said both Popes will be canonized “together,” but said it was unlikely the canonizations would take place during the autumn or winter as many Poles will be traveling to Rome for the ceremony by bus, and the road conditions could be bad.

Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi had previously told Newsmax Magazine, “We can say that April 27 is very likely, given that the Pope made an explicit reference to [Divine Mercy Sunday] in the interview on the return flight from Rio, saying that he realized that in winter, it would be difficult for pilgrims from Poland and countries of Central and Northern Europe to attend, and so it was better to postpone until the spring.”
Divine Mercy Sunday is a special day for John Paul, who established the feast day in 2001. Its origins date back to Polish nun Faustina Kowalska, who had a devotion to the Divine Mercy after an encounter with Jesus. In visions and conversations with Jesus, Kowalska, who lived from 1905-1938, said Jesus asked her specifically for a feast of Divine Mercy to be established so mankind would take refuge in Jesus.
John Paul II died on the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday in 2005.
The theme of mercy is also central to the pontificate of Pope Francis, who has frequently said, “This is the time for mercy.” Father Lombardi told Vatican Radio July 30 that Francis has “great effectiveness in helping people understand the theme of God’s love and mercy, which reaches out to soothe and heal the wounds of humanity.”
Pope Francis signed a decree July 5, 2013, that gave the go-ahead for the canonizations of both John Paul II and John XXIII. Usually two miracles attributed to a candidate’s intercession are required to become a saint. A French nun, who was inexplicably cured of Parkinson’s disease, led to John Paul II’s beatification on May 1, 2011.
A second miracle, which must occur after a beatification, involved a Costa Rican woman who was cured of a cerebral aneurysm the very day of John Paul II’s beatification.
For John XXIII, Pope Francis took the rare step of waiving the requirement of a second miracle, paving the way for his canonization.
Often it can take centuries between the death of a person with a reputation for holiness and their canonization. But for John Paul II’s cause for canonization, the process was partially expedited after pressure was placed on Benedict XVI to waive the usual five years between a candidate’s death and the opening of their cause. Benedict agreed to the waiver in May, 2005.
When the late Polish pontiff is elevated to sainthood on April 27, it will have been only nine years and 25 days since his death.

Source: Polonia Media Network