November 2015 – Volume 93 – Issue #11



November 2015 – Volume 93 – Issue #11
Volume 93
November 2015
Issue #11
Most Rev. Anthony Mikovsky
Prime Bishop
As we approach the end of November the Church
enters the season of Advent. The first Sunday of
Advent is always the Sunday closest to November
30th, the Feast of Saint Andrew, the Apostle. In this
way there are always four Sundays of Advent before
the feast of the Nativity of our Lord at Christmas.
This season can be looked at in several different
ways as a season of extension or preparation.
As an extension, Advent occurs immediately
following the Solemnity of Christ the King as the last
Sunday in Ordinary Time. Although we say that the
Solemnity of Christ the King ends the liturgical year
and Advent begins the New Year, there certainly is a
connection. Throughout Ordinary Time, we often
hear about the teachings and actions of our Lord
Jesus Christ in His ministry. This season culminates
with us acknowledging that Jesus is the true Lord of
our lives and our world, that He is Christ the King.
But then in Advent the response to this
acknowledgement is to desire Jesus to once again
come into our world. As Christians today we wait
for the culmination of all things in the return of Jesus
Christ. We still acknowledge this each and every
time we proclaim the Nicene Creed during Holy
Mass, “He will come again in glory to judge the
living and the dead, and His kingdom will have no
end.” We also remind ourselves that the very last
words of Scripture tell us of the situation in which we
find ourselves. At the conclusion of the Book of
Revelation we read, “It is I, Jesus, who sent my angel
to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the
root of and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And
let everyone who hears say, “Come.” And let
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everyone who is thirsty come. … The one who
testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming
soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation
22:16-17, 20) As Holy Scripture closes with these
words, these are the words of the Church for today.
We wait for the return of Jesus. The church, the
Bride of Christ, says “Come, Lord Jesus.” The
season of Advent is an extension in that it is the
response to the acknowledgement that Jesus is Lord.
This season is also a preparation. Certainly I imagine
that in our world today we tend to look at these few
weeks in this way, of course maybe not as the season
of Advent, but rather as a secular preparation for
Christmas. As the month of December begins there
is certainly much pressure to get ready for Christmas.
In fact we can sometimes see that Christmas sales
and displays might have been present even since the
time of Halloween. We are encouraged to get our
homes ready by decorating. We are encouraged to
get ready by spending countless hours in stores
looking for just the right gift for everyone we know.
But all this is not the season of Advent.
Advent encourages us to get our hearts, our minds
and our lives ready for the arrival of the new-born
Messiah on the Solemnity of the Nativity. Like the
prophets of long ago, we know that Jesus is coming
into the world and we must work to make ourselves
ready. This certainly occurs within the liturgical life
of the Church, via the celebration of the Sunday
Masses and also with the celebration of Rorate
Masses in Advent which honor the Blessed Virgin
Mary. These Masses have always had a special place
in my Advent preparation. The faithful gather in the
(Continued on Page 3.)
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God’s Field — November 2015
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National Church Center and God’s Field are:
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Publication Information
Prime Bishop Anthony Mikovsky
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Volume 93, Issue No. 11
(Advent - Continued from Page 1.)
early morning, oftentimes while it is still dark, to
honor the Blessed Virgin as an example for all
Christians who wait for Jesus, the true light. During
these Masses the ancient prophesies regarding the
Messiah are read and we also read of their fulfillment
in the history of the life of Mary from the time of the
annunciation until the birth of Jesus.
And of course there are also many other ways to
honor this Advent season in our homes as well.
Many families light an Advent wreath, especially
before the evening meal within their homes.
Meditations or prayers are read and the light
multiplies from one candle to four as the time for the
birth of Jesus draws closer. There is also the
tradition of an Advent calendar. On each day as the
number is counted down a small door or drawer is
opened on the calendar revealing an image or portion
of Scripture. Each of these family devotions gives us
the feeling that we are in the time of waiting and
day of our lives we are waiting and striving to bring
Jesus into the world. In prayer we desire to be in
contact with Jesus as the Lord and Savior of our
We receive Holy Communion to unite
ourselves with Him. We want Jesus to be a part of
our family life, our work life and our worship life.
We want Jesus to be born into every one of our
thoughts and actions. And of course we desire this
not only for ourselves, but also for those we love, for
our families and our parishes. Each prayer, each act
of love, kindness and mercy is, in some ways, filled
with the plea, “Come, Lord Jesus.”
Within the family, Advent is also a great time to
begin to set up the Nativity scene. The manger can
be placed out, as well as some of the people and
animals that are not as crucial to the story. Of course
Mary and Joseph would be saved for Christmas Eve
and the Christ Child for Christmas Day, either after
returning from Midnight Mass or early in the
morning. This too reminds us that Advent is to be a
time of preparation, and as we prepare our homes we
should also be preparing our hearts and lives for the
arrival of Jesus.
I often think that it is for this reason that although I
certainly am lifted up and rejoice in the hymns of
Christmas and Easter, it is the hymns of Advent that
speak to me most strongly. They are the hymns of
my daily life. These hymns cry out “Come Jesus”
just as my prayers and good works do. So many of
these hymns are familiar to us, but do we take time to
contemplate the words, “Send forth, O Heavens,”
“Come, Thou Long-expected Jesus,” and many
others. During this season of Advent, I encourage
you to listen to the words of the Advent hymns and
make them a part of your daily prayer life. As an
example, I’ll share one of my favorites. “O Come
Divine Messiah! The world in silence waits the day,
when hope shall sing its triumph, and sadness flee
away. Sweet Savior, haste; Come, come to earth:
dispel the night and show Thy face and bid us hail
the dawn of grace. O come, Divine Messiah, the
world in silence waits the day, when hope shall sing
its triumph and sadness flee away.”
Although I certainly see in Advent both an extension
of the liturgical year past and a preparation for the
arrival of Jesus, in another sense I always look at
Advent as the best expression of where all Christians
are now within our spiritual lives. Each and every
Let this Advent be a response to the acknowledgement that Jesus is the Lord of our lives and let it be
the time of preparation to accept Him, not only at the
Solemnity of the Nativity, but to welcome and accept
Jesus each and every day.
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God’s Field — November 2015
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Volume 93, Issue No. 11
2016 P.N.C.C. Home Liturgical Calendars
The Polish National Catholic Church will have a limited number of full color 2016 home liturgical calendars for sale on a firstcome, first-served basis. This calendar with original photographs for each month includes information concerning P.N.C.C. holy
days. We urge you to order your calendar(s) as soon as possible.
Calendar prices have remained the same as last year’s, although the shipping costs have increased. The chart below can be used
for calculating your costs.
Cost per
Cost Subtotal
U.S. Shipping
Depends on
package weight &
Depends on
package weight &
*PLEASE NOTE: We cannot predetermine the cost of shipping on orders of 11 or more calendars because this cost is
calculated by weight and geographic location of recipient. You will be invoiced for this cost in your shipment.
Remember that an additional $30.00 is required for ad setup for a sponsor (quite often a funeral director) and
specific parish information regarding Sunday services, telephone numbers, name of pastor, etc.
Please place your order as soon as possible so that we can ship your calendars to you before the New Year. An order form can
be obtained online at:
Attn: Julie Orzell
1006 Pittston Avenue
Scranton, PA 18505-4109
Total payment (including calculable shipping costs) must accompany order. Please make checks (in USD) payable to:
Polish National Catholic Church. (You will be invoiced for shipping costs if they must be calculated at the time of packing.)
Thank you for your continued support of this church-wide endeavor. If you pick up your order at the National Church Center,
there will be no shipping charge.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Anthony A. Mikovsky
Prime Bishop
Polish National Catholic Church
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God’s Field — November 2015
The Solemnity of the Humble Shepherds
One of the last remaining items in the P.N.C.C.
Action Plan for 2015: A Year of Regeneration
focuses on The Solemnity of Humble Shepherds. It
calls for the Future Direction Sub-committee to
prepare and make available a pamphlet that will
include prayers and Scripture readings for this
special day in our Church. The pamphlet will be
distributed and used throughout the P.N.C.C. as a
tool to increase learning, spirituality and promotion
of Sacred Vocations. The Solemnity of Humble
Shepherds will be celebrated this year on Sunday,
Dec. 27th, 2015.
that we establish the Solemnity of Humble
Shepherds. This solemnity was to be a reminder to
all Polish National Catholics that God chose humble
shepherds, poor ordinary people, to be the first to
receive the good news of Jesus’ birth. Having heard
the good news of the birth of Christ, the shepherds
were the first to come and worship Him. Everyone at
the Synod agreed and the Solemnity of Humble
Shepherds has been celebrated in the Polish National
Catholic Church ever since. It serves to remind us of
God’s providence, which uses the poor and lowly in
His work of regeneration and salvation.
The P.N.C.C. “A Book of Devotions and Prayers”
and “An Abridged History of the Polish National
Catholic Church,” published by the P.N.C.C.
National School of Christian Living Commission,
provide a wonderful background of all of our Church
solemnities. I’d like to share with you some of the
writing related to Humble Shepherds and encourage
you to work to increase your own personal
spirituality and learning by taking the time to read
the history of The Solemnities in their entirety. Both
of the referenced publications are available through
the P.N.C.C. Book Department.
Today, as we recall how the shepherds and our
ancestors in the faith were looked down upon, we
should remember to always treat others with love and
respect. This solemnity should be an encouragement
to the poor, the humble and the lowly today, knowing
that God cares for them and may be using them in a
special way.
“In 1904 the First General Synod of the Polish
National Catholic Church was held in Scranton, PA
and in 1906 this Synod was reconvened to complete
its work. At these gatherings Father Hodur proposed
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During the Holy Mass on this day we pray for our
Prime Bishop, Bishops, Priests, Deacons and
Seminarians. We also pray for sacred vocations to
the Holy Priesthood, that those whom God has called
may answer His call and serve His people as
Respectfully Submitted,
Kathryn Nemkovich
Future Direction Sub-Committee Member
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Volume 93, Issue No. 11
From the National Youth Chaplain
I am preparing to attend this year’s edition of the
National Youth Workers’ Convention in a couple of
weeks. As every year, I begin to connect with some
youth ministry mentors anticipating seeing each other
one year older, with youth ministry challenges that
we commiserate about, and discuss new resources
available to us. In conversation, I was offered two
blogs which I thought were of note in this fledgling
youth ministry year. I offer them to you and I hope
they are of value to you. Please keep the youth
workers in your prayers from across the country
during the days of 11/19-22 (as well as Convo 2016)
as they undertake this amazing ministry to our youth;
The first is from Paul Turner, a long-time youth
worker, speaker, and blogger of all things youth
ministry. He’s the youth pastor at Pleasant Grove
Assembly in Birmingham, AL and writes regularly at
I have lied to myself more times than I can count.
False beliefs make their way into my heart, and they
affect my actions and sabotage my future — and I
know this is true of other youth pastors as well. But
we don’t have to live this way! Confront these seven
lies with the truth, and watch your life and ministry
turn around:
1) I’m an impostor.
Sometimes we may feel as if we shouldn’t be up in
front of students because of sins we’ve committed or
because the passion we feel for working with
teenagers isn’t as strong as it once was. We might
even feel as if we don’t deserve to be in youth
The Truth: We’re all recipients of God’s grace. The
apostle Paul said, “I do not understand what I do. For
what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I
do” (Romans 7:15). You’re redeemed, and God
knows exactly who you are — just like He knew who
Gideon, Jacob, and Paul were when He called them.
2) Everyone is against me.
It’s easy to point our fingers at others (pastors,
deacons, parents, etc.) and say that they’re the reason
we can’t succeed. But this paranoia is unhelpful, and
it will isolate us.
The Truth: There are some people who will be
against you. For whatever reason, they may not like
you or your vision for the ministry, or maybe they
just think your skinny jeans are dumb. But remember,
there are more people who want you to succeed than
fail — you just need to learn how to identify these
people in your life.
3) I have to have a certain amount of students in
order to succeed.
Numbers, numbers, numbers! I, for one, really
struggled with this one — maybe you do, too. In
order to see yourself as a successful youth worker, do
you feel as if you have to get more and more
teenagers in your youth group?
The Truth: Numbers have their place, but more
important than the size of your youth ministry is the
health of your youth ministry. Adding lots of students
to an unhealthy ministry means you’ll have a lot of
unhealthy students. Jesus taught twelve students for
three years, and I think that turned out pretty well.
Small and healthy beats big and sick.
4) I am the ministry.
I call this the Jack Nicholson effect. It’s when we say
things like, “This ministry would fall apart
without me.” Or, like Colonel Jessup in A Few Good
Men: “You want me on that wall. You need me on
that wall.” Egomania is a beast that is hard to get
back in its cage once it has been released.
The Truth: We’re not the ministry — we’re servants
of the Most High God who called us first to be His
sons and daughters. He requires us to die to ourselves
and allow His Spirit to work through us. If the
ministry would fall apart without you, then maybe it
should just fall apart. Anything built without God’s
hand will fall apart eventually (1 Corinthians 13:1112).
5) My way is the best way (a.k.a. everyone else is
Have you ever had what you thought was an amazing
idea, but after you executed it, the result felt hollow?
Victories can be very unsatisfying when the only
person to high-five in the end is you. Or have you
ever forced an idea through only to watch it fail
miserably? A mouth full of crow is pretty unpleasant.
(Continued on Page 8.)
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God’s Field — November 2015
(From the Youth Chaplain - Continued from Page 7.)
The Truth: Your way might not always be the best
way for your youth ministry or church. Listening to
other voices is critical in order to test out ideas. If
someone disagrees with your ideas, this doesn’t make
that person is stupid. They may be ill-informed, but
they’re not stupid. It’s our job to educate others as to
why something will work, and then we must
articulately answer any questions about why it may
not. “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many
advisers they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22). Our ideas
need other people’s input in order to make them
6) Everything depends on me.
Robert Schuller had a saying: “If it’s going to be, it’s
up to me.” Do you ever feel as if you’re the only one
who can do things for your youth ministry? This lone
wolf mentality may make us feel holy, but it leaves
us weak. This is the Elijah effect: Elijah believed he
was the last prophet serving God, when in fact God
had hidden 100 prophets in two caves (I Kings 18:4).
The Truth: Everything does not depend on us. We
may be the head of the spear, but no one chucks just
the head of the spear at an oncoming enemy. Ministry
requires teamwork. Building a team around yourself
gives you the protection, feedback, support, and
leverage to allow God to do big things. Isolating
ourselves is unproductive and dangerous and only
leads to more lies.
7) You have to work harder.
I used to say, “You may do a lot of things better than
I do, but you can’t outwork me.” Have you ever told
yourself this lie? It may make us feel as if we’re
getting more done, but it will only lead to burnout.
Telling ourselves we need to work harder is like a
pilot saying, “I have to get out of the plane and push
it to make it go faster.” Yeah, that doesn’t work.
The Truth: Work smarter not harder. All the
needless hours we work to make ourselves feel
valued could be spent in training others, becoming
more organized, and educating ourselves so as to
make these hours matter even more.
To believe a lie is to chain ourselves in place
forfeiting forward progress emotionally, mentally,
and spiritually. Jesus said, “You shall know the truth
and the truth shall set you free.”
Let Jesus set you free from the lies that have held you
down and watch yourself and your ministry move
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I’d like to continue the conversation with anyone
who’d like to share. Let’s talk about topics like:
Which lie has been holding you back the
most? Which truth will be your greatest challenge to
The second, Quick Tips For Small Groups, is from
Brian Aaby, the director of YS SEARCH &
COACHING, assisting churches with personnel
placement and providing coaching guidance for
youth leaders. Brian served for 17 years as a youth
pastor and then founded and led Youthmark since
2008. Brian speaks nationally at churches, camps,
conference, and events:
I’m of the belief that there are some who are just
naturally intuitive in how to lead a small group, but a
much larger portion of the youth ministry leadership
population need some training and experience; either
way, I hope these quick ideas may be a blessing to
you and your leadership of a small group.
Opening Questions: Because the goal of a small
group is often community, take some time to get
everyone to talk so that when the conversation gets a
little more serious, all participants will already feel
more comfortable speaking. [Questions like “If you
had to be in an existing reality TV show, which one
would you choose? Why?]
Don’t Rescue The Silence (too quickly): Leaders/
Facilitators often fear silence. When you ask a
question, don’t rescue the group by providing the
answer; some are processors and are willing to speak,
but just need time to form their thought (likewise,
don’t correct the answer, even when wrong, rather,
ask the rest of the group, “what do you all think of
that answer?”).
Know Where You’re Going, But Allow
Alternative Routes: If you’re studying a passage (or
using a curriculum) know the major areas you want
to touch on, but know that your group may have an
alternative route to get to the destination. Allow for
rabbit trails (some of the best learning can take place
by allowing students to ask questions or tell stories
that take you a different direction).
People Watch: Shepherding a group requires great
attention to the dynamics of those gathered. Notice
the silent one (he or she may be screaming something
by their non-verbals). Pay attention to those who sit
together and those who may seem to avoid each other
(Continued on bottom of Page 9.)
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Volume 93, Issue No. 11
NCC Statement on Recent Middle East
Violence and Acts of Terrorism
Over many years, the National Council of Churches
has often expressed our aspirations and sorrows, our
confidence and fears, related to an eventual peace in
the Middle East.
At this time,
Inter-communal violence is consuming Israel and
the Palestinian Territories.
Terrorism and civil conflict are raining fire upon
Syria and Iraq.
Horrific acts of terrorism have recently taken
place in Paris, Beirut and Baghdad and many
other cities around the world.
Afghanistan is sliding back into chaos.
Refugees are fleeing the region and entering
Europe in large numbers with no end of suffering
on the horizon.
Religious minorities are being persecuted, and
sectarian strife is affecting Christian, Muslim and
Jewish populations.
As we approach the celebration of the birth of Christ
our hearts are filled with sorrow and fear that peace
will remain out of reach in the Middle East for much
longer than we could ever have imagined.
We have no illusions that establishing peace will be
easy. We lament that the two-state solution for Israel
and Palestine is ever more elusive and negotiations
(From the Youth Chaplain - Continued from Page 8.)
– catching these things early (and naming them
privately) may lead to greater dynamics later.
Change-Up: Every so-often break the routine and
do something completely different. For me, this
means I take the group on an experience instead of
just doing regular group [examples: meal night, people
watching project at a mall, serving project, athletic
event of someone in the group].
Speak It Into Existence: There are times when a
group simply needs to hear that you love them and
believe in them (even when they are acting
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are not taking place. We pray for a peaceful solution
to the Syrian conflict. We call upon religious
communities to build upon their historic legacies of
inter-religious relationships, dialogue and action.
When all these are in sight, we can envision
peace. And yet such a vision seems hard to fathom
Still, we remain people of hope. The Lord we follow,
Jesus Christ, died a violent death. But he was
resurrected from the dead in the singular miraculous
event that is at the core of our belief. Thus the hope
of resurrection, and of the eternal life and profound
peace it symbolizes, permeates our being and calls us
to be vigilant in our hope for peace in the region
where he lived among us.
We witness to this hope for peace with our fellow
Christians in the region. We stand together with our
Muslim and Jewish and other sisters and brothers of
goodwill who seek peace there. As the National
Council of Churches, we will continue to encourage
our churches and congregations to support a renewed
peace settlement as the only option. And we call
upon the United States government and the United
Nations to enforce previous commitments towards a
just peace and do everything to ensure that a just
peace has a chance to emerge from today’s chaos and
Adopted by the NCC Governing Board, November
17, 2015.
unlovable). You give permission to them by naming
the fact that you love being with them and that you
see them maturing.
Keep It A Safe Place: Unfortunately just about
every environment a student enters has the potential
for harm. You have the opportunity to establish a
group as a place of refuge! Encourage them to avoid
the foolish chatter & jokes and establish an
affirmation environment.
What other quick tips do you have for successful
small group leadership?
For the Youth of our Holy Church.
Bishop Stan Bilinski / [email protected]
Official P.N.C.C. Facebook Page: PNCC1
God’s Field — November 2015
A Story and a Confession
Let me introduce myself as the sole lay
representative on the Sacred Vocations Commission
of the Polish National Catholic Church. On this
Commission, I am fortunate to have the privilege to
serve with a great group of clergy. One advantage as
the lay representative, especially during last month Pastor Appreciation Month - is that I have the
opportunity to impart to my brothers and sisters
something more appropriately shared from one who
is not currently a member of the clergy.
Let me begin my story and a confession. It was a
few weeks ago, as I was meeting with a student in
my office about his future career and educational
aspirations. I was asked, “Dr. P, your walls are
covered with so many credentials, plaques, awards
and recognitions, so which one means the most to
35 years for me to thank him for being an amazing
role model; to thank him for the picture that
continues to speak to me today and for the
opportunities he provided me in our Church.
As we have recently gone through October, the
month of Pastor Appreciation, I hope by sharing this
simple reflection you would consider taking the time
to reflect on your pastor, and other clergy who have
impacted your life, and express your appreciation for
all he does - both seen and unseen. Thirty-five years
is far too long to wait to say thank you to one who
changed and influenced your life.
As St. Paul wrote: "The elders who direct the affairs
of the church well are worthy of double honor,
especially those whose work is preaching and
(1 Tim. 5:17). Perhaps you may
consider one or more of these suggestions of how
you can “stop the presses,” to express your thanks.
Immediately and without thought I went over to one
of my bookcases and pulled forward a worn, tattered
and simple picture. The words on the picture have
faded over the years from sun and just normal wear
and tear. I handed the picture to the student, who read
the simple message and stated, “Those are powerful
words.” I nodded in agreement and asked the student
to flip it over and read the other side, which contains
the date I received the gift, and from whom. He had a
puzzled look on his face as the words on the back did
not resonate with him like the front of the picture did.
I explained that in 1974 Father Senior Banas gave me
this gift as recognition for something I did. I
continued by explaining how this person served as a
major influence and role model in my early
developmental years. I shared how he taught,
lectured, preached, listened, scolded, praised and
always served as a source of encouragement to me.
The student asked more questions and then I
confessed to him that I had never “stopped the
presses” of my life to thank Father Senior for being
such a guiding force in my life as he laid the
foundation for my understanding of Jesus Christ, and
for me to become a leader, professional, and public
speaker. He provided avenues to foster the growth of
gifts that he saw in me that others did not. In my
confession to the student, I also noted that it was 35
years later when Bishop Stan Bilinski, my wife and I
visited Father Banas in Ware, Massachusetts. It took
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Send an email of encouragement.
Send a card or letter.
Coordinate a special meal .
Coordinate a standing ovation after mass.
Paint him a picture.
Send a card from the whole parish.
Create an appreciation video.
Purchase a gift that is personal to him.
Design a “Best Pastor” T – Shirt.
Place an article in the local newspaper.
Facebook the world celebrating your pastor and
watch the likes roll in.
Celebrate every day, especially during October,
honoring your pastor.
Thank you for taking the time to read and hear my
story and a confession. To all our pastors, thank you
for all that you do, for answering the calling of Jesus
Christ, placing our souls as more important than
anything in this world, and for all that you will do
for us, our communities and His Church. Lastly,
thank you to those priests who have made an
amazing difference in my life, but especially, Father
Senior Banas, Father Ruda, Father Senior Ratajack,
Father Roman, Father Jason and Bishop Stan.
Jim Ploskonka
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Volume 93, Issue No. 11
The Gospel – The Liturgy of the Word Ends
Most Rev. John F. Swantek, Prime Bishop Emeritus
We have come to the proclamation of the Gospel,
the principal reading of the three Mass readings. This
is the Good News of Jesus Christ, His teachings and
mission to redeem and save humankind. Here we
meet our Lord Himself Who speaks to us, revealing
eternal truths which we could never have discovered
by ourselves. In the Mass this reading occupies a
special place, and its importance is shown by the
numerous ceremonies associated with it. Unlike the
first two readings, only a deacon, priest or a bishop is
permitted to read the Gospel.
The minister, who is to proclaim the Gospel, prays
that he may be worthy to read this sacred text; he
also asks the ranking minister present to bless him.
All rise as the minister goes to the lectern to begin
the reading. Standing for the proclamation of the
Gospel began in the East in the 4th century and
shortly after in the West. He greets the faithful with,
"The Lord be with you," and they respond, "And also
with you." As the Gospel is announced, the cleric
makes a small sign of the cross on the forehead, lips,
and breast and the faithful do likewise. With the
cross on the forehead we ask God "to help our minds
that we may understand the teachings of Christ." The
cross on the lips is a sign that we may tell others of
the truths of the Gospel, and the cross on our breast
signifies that “we may be filled with love for the
teachings of Jesus." During the proclamation of the
Gospel in the Old Catholic Churches two altar
servers stand on the sides of the lectern with lighted
In Solemn High Mass there is a Gospel procession
with the Deacon carrying the Gospel Book. With him
is the Subdeacon who will hold the Book as the
Deacon reads or chants the Gospel. Two altar servers
with lighted candles will stand on the sides of the
Gospel Book. Before the Gospel is proclaimed, the
Deacon will incense it, showing the greatest respect
for the Gospel as well as acknowledging the
presence of Christ Himself in this sacred work. This
is analogous to the incensing of the Blessed
Sacrament during Benediction as we kneel in the
presence of Christ in the Sacrament.
At the conclusion of the proclamation of the Gospel,
the Minister who read the Gospel or a higher ranking
minister kisses the Book. The making the sign of the
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cross on the forehead, lips, and breast, kissing the
Gospel, and the incensing of the Gospel Book
became practices in the Church in the 11th century.
The ceremonies that are identified with the reading
of the Gospel during Mass acknowledge the presence
of our Lord, Jesus Christ, Who speaks to us. The
acclamations said by the faithful at the beginning and
the conclusion of the Gospel; "Glory be to You,
Lord" and "Praise be to You Lord Jesus Christ;" are
directed to Christ Himself.
In the early days of the Church, men had to remove
their head covering and princes would take off their
crowns during the reading of the Gospel. At this
same time, knights would draw their swords and hold
them extended during the reading.
In the 11th century, the Gospel Book was carried in
the Palm Sunday Procession to take the place of
Christ. While during the synods, a throne was
erected for the Gospel Book to show that Christ was
presiding at this holy gathering.
It is interesting to note that at the conclusion of the
Gospel reading in the traditional setting, the minister
would say; "Through the words of this Holy Gospel,
may our sins be wiped away." It is interesting that
the reference works that I used had no commentary
on this ending. Perhaps it is self-evident.
During the synagogue service there would be
readings from the Laws and the Prophets. Following
the readings, one would give an explanation of them.
While in the earliest description of the Eucharistic
Liturgy in 165, St. Justin Martyr wrote: "When the
reader has finished the president (Bishop) gives a
discourse, admonishing us and exhorting us to
imitate these excellent examples." For quite some
time, preaching was the prerogative only of the
bishop. Eventually priests and deacons were
permitted to preach. A homily is preaching the Word
of God that follows a Scripture reading.
In Catholic theology "there is and can be no doubt
that the word of God is one of the chief means of
Grace." (Pulpit Orator, 1904) In 1909, the Synod
stated the following: "Hearing of the Word of God,
(Continued on Page 12.)
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God’s Field — November 2015
(The Gospel - Continued from Page 11.)
preached according to the teaching of Christ the
Lord, has sacramental force, that is, it causes in us the
same effect as does the receiving of the other
The homily is delivered after the Gospel, but at one
time in the past it was preached after the Mass had
been celebrated. At St. Casimir's Parish, Wallingford,
CT, the priest would go to the sacristy after Mass,
remove the Mass vestments, don a surplice and stole
and come out to preach.
If the homily is to have sacramental value, the
minister must have the intention of preaching the
Word of God in conformity to the Gospel of Jesus
Christ, and the listener must have the intention of
receiving the Word of God as food for eternal life. In
the homily we must encounter Christ. In the Middle
Ages, however, there was a de-emphasis on
preaching and an accentuating of the Liturgy and
paraliturgical services.
The Nicene Creed, which follows the homily, is a
profession of faith which had its origin in the
Council of Nicea (329). It was later amended by the
Council of Constantinople in 381. When the Arian
controversy arose in Alexandria regarding our Lord,
Jesus Christ, being coeternal with the Father, the
emperor convoked a council of bishops to meet in
Nicea in 325 to resolve this problem. After a number
of sessions the council fathers drafted a document
expressing the fundamental teaching of the Church.
The Creed would be completed by the Council of
Constantinople in 381. Previous to this Creed there
was a profession of faith that was made by those who
were to be baptized. The Nicene Creed is said on
Sundays, Solemnities, and important feasts.
blessings consisting of requests for individuals and
general needs. The Christian Church adopted this
practice which is found in St. Justin Martyr's
description of the Mass as it was celebrated in 165.
The intercessory prayers are found in the Liturgy of
Church in both the East and West. Unfortunately
these Prayers of Intercession disappeared in the
Western Church by 590. The only trace of them is
found in the Liturgy of Good Friday. The Prayers of
Intercession are not found in the Tridentine Mass.
Later in the West we find a commemoration of the
Commemoration for the Departed after the
Consecration. At this time the celebrant quietly
mentions the names of the living and the departed for
whom he is praying. Those sitting in the pews should
also quietly mention their loved ones and friends.
In the past there have commemorations read by a
deacon from the diptychs. Diptychs are a pair of
narrow tablets joined together, usually made of wood.
The inner surfaces served as a writing surface. They
would be used for writing the names of those who
would be remembered; they could be bishops with
whom his Church was in communion and other
important persons. This practice appeared about the
4th century.
The Nicene Creed was added to the Eucharistic
Liturgy in the 6th century in Spain, in France in the
8th century, and in Northern Europe in the 10th
century. When the emperor visited Rome in 1014, he
was appalled that the Creed was not said during the
Mass. After that visit, the Bishop of Rome added it to
the Roman Mass. Because of its importance, all stand
as the Creed is being recited. Since the 8th century it
was required for all to genuflect or make a profound
bow at the words "And became man."
For many years the Mass was looked upon by
scholars as having two essential sections: the Mass of
the Catechumens and the Mass of the Faithful. The
Mass of the Catechumens went from the beginning of
the Mass up to the end of the Gospel. This section of
the Liturgy consisted of prayers of preparation,
Prayers to the Father, Scripture citations, Lessons,
Gospel and Homily. During this part of the Mass,
which we could call instructional, one would be
exposed to the teachings of the Church. One desiring
to become a member of the Church had to enter the
catechumenate, an instructional program to prepare
those who desired to be Baptized. This program
would last for two or three years.
It would
concentrate on the basic teachings and spirituality of
the Church. It must be realized that a catechumen was
not yet a member of the Church, therefore he could
not remain for the entire Mass. Our word catechism
is derived from the word catechumenate.
Also at the Mass of the Catechumens were members
In the Jewish synagogue liturgy were several
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(Continued on bottom of Page 15.)
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Volume 93, Issue No. 11
Formation of Seniorates of the Polish National Catholic Church
The idea of seniorates was first broached by Bishop
Hodur at the November 26 - 27, 1934 meeting of the
Great Council held in Buffalo, NY in response to a
suggestion by Władysław Proń that “Parish
committees have their own central committee so that
they could meet every so often and discuss matters of
economic nature.” Bishop Hodur said that he had an
idea whereby “our Church would be divided into
seniorates (according to seniority), at the head of
which would be older priests, and the clergy and lay
representatives of the parishes would meet regularly
and discuss the actual matters of the Church for its
benefit and development.” He also said that these
seniorates “would have a sort of autonomy regarding
the character of love, solidarity and co-operation with
the bishop.”
Bishop Hodur also presented his plan for Church
Administration at a Clergy Conference held in the
auditorium of All Saints Church prior to the Seventh
General Synod, to be held in 1935. He said that “The
Administration, in the opinion of the First Bishop,
should be streamlined. In the eighteenth century
absolutism ruled in the world, the whole world was
subordinated to this system, and only Poland opposed
this system, and therefore it fell. It is happening
similarly in present day Poland, where a tendency to
create a strong government can be observed. Such a
problem also arises before us in the National Church.
I have the intention to propose a project, that the
Church Council should have the authority to move
bishops, if a need should arise. Influencing this
project is experience acquired easily in America as in
Poland. To streamline the administration of the
Church, we would institute a division into seniorates,
or seniorities. To streamline this administration, we
should institute uniform societies in the whole
The relevant section of these comments is that he
was going to propose a Seniorate structure for the
church at this or subsequent Synods. I didn’t find
any reference to this proposal in the minutes of this
Synod. Nor could I find any discussion of the
procedure or qualifications of the priests who would
be in charge of the administrative districts called
Seniorates. However, perhaps they were left to the
discretion of Bishop Hodur and the Grand Council,
as so many Constitutional changes at past Synods
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At the September 2, 1937 meeting of the Great
Council held in Scranton, PA, Bishop Hodur
identified the ‘seniorates’ as Provincial authorities
when he said that “the Great Council of the Polish
National Catholic Church (P.N.C.C.) is the highest
instance during the period between synods since it
includes all the dioceses which are represented not
only by bishops, clergy, but also lay representatives
as well as by provincial authorities, which we call
seniorates, the Full Council takes responsibility for
that which will be resolved in the spirit of our
Church.” At this meeting, there were seven Seniors:
four from the Central Diocese; Father Stanisław
Szufladowicz, Father Józef Zawistowski, Father
Rene Zawistowski, and Father Professor Teofil
Czarkowski; one from the Western Diocese: Father
Senior Michał Zawadzki, Cleveland, Ohio; one from
the Buffalo-Pittsburgh Diocese Father Senior
Siemiętkowski and one from Eastern Diocese: Father
Senior Józef Sołtysiak.
Father Senior Józef Sołtysiak wrote a paper entitled
“On the Seniorate of the National Church,” which he
read at the meeting. His report was later printed in
two parts in Rola Boża (God’s Field), the first part in
the Oct 9, 1937 issue on pages 342 through 344, and
the second part in the Oct. 23, 1937 issue on pages
359 and 360.
Between the November 26 - 27, 1934 and
September 2, 1937 meetings of the Great Council, at
least seven Seniors were elevated. There may have
been more, but these were the only Seniors present at
the 1937 meeting.
The focus on the use of the seniorates continued. The
Supreme Council, April 26 and 27, 1960, meeting
minutes reported that an intensive internal mission of
the Church would begin in the territories of the
That the seniorates were an important part of the
Church’s communications effort can be seen by
Prime Bishop Zielinski’s report to the April 16 and
17, 1968 Annual Meeting of the Supreme Council
held in Scranton, PA; that he planned to visit every
seniorate in the entire P.N.C.C. He reported the
positive results he received as a result of his
visitations. All of the seniorates in the Central
Diocese have been visited. His plan is to visit the
(Continued on Page 14.)
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God’s Field — November 2015
(Formation of Seniorates - Continued from Page 13.)
seniorates in the Eastern Diocese next, then the
Western Diocese and finally the Buffalo-Pittsburgh
Diocese. He also said that he makes arrangements
with the ordinary of the diocese regarding the
Seniorates were also tasked to to provide other
services to their dioceses. Bishop Gnat’s report to the
17th General Synod gave a description of the tasks
assigned to the Eastern Diocese Seniorates for the
preparation of Synods. He said “For this year of
1986, each area of the Diocese had active
participation in preparing the Synod that you are now
attending. For example, the Northeast Seniorate was
responsible for the program book as well as the
general Pre-Synod Committee here in the parish; the
Southwest Seniorate was responsible for the lighting
system, which is my own invention but done by
somebody else -- in front of us, the timer clock, timer
lights -- as well as the balloting committee from the
Southwest. The Central Seniorate spent a lot of time
on the Rules and Regulations. And I know it’s a
dangerous thing to just mention a few, but each part
of the Diocese had their input into this week’s
General Synod.”
Seniors also served as lecturers at Priests’ retreats.
Seniorates also have been used as the means of
commissions. Very Reverend Peplowski at the 18th
General Synod said, “In response, the Commission
had thought that it would be a good idea, and we
were supported by the Prime Bishop, to have a
Commission member conduct a seminar for the
clergy of the various Seniorates throughout the
Church; and also, perhaps, even to make the person
from the National Liturgical Commission available
for meeting with peoples who are involved in music
ministry, organist ministry, choir directors, choirs
themselves, people like that, just to kind of talk about
this new pew book, to highlight some of the
opportunities that are there for the parish which were
not present, perhaps, in the form that they are now, in
the past, and so, we were hoping to prepare a seminar
program for traveling throughout the various
Seniorates of the various dioceses of the Church.”
Mr. Albert Micka, the coordinator of Fund Raising
for the National Church Center was invited to give
updates at numerous times to the various Seniorates
as well as Diocesan Synods.
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The duties of Seniors were defined by changes to the
Constitution and Laws of the P.N.C.C. through many
General Synods. At the Seventh General Synod,
Sept. 27 - 29, 1946, held in Scranton, PA, Article 7,
Paragraph 2 was amended by adding “Seniors.” after
the word Bishops.
The 2010 Constitution defines the Duties of Seniors
in Article XIII: “Seniors are charged with such duties
as are assigned them by their Diocesan Bishops.
They fulfill strictly all orders of their Diocesan
Bishops and assist them in the following matters: (1)
they oversee the Seniorate District entrusted to them;
(2) they conduct conferences with the clergy and lay
representatives of their Seniorate Districts and
prepare and send accurate reports to their Diocesan
Bishops; (3) they conduct retreats with the priests of
their Seniorate Districts and Seniorate District
meetings at least twice a year; Seniorate Meetings:
There shall be at lest one (1) meeting held every year
encompassing representatives of all Parishes in a
given Seniorate. All Pastors, all Priests and three (3)
duly elected representatives of every Parish within
the given Seniorate shall have the right to vote at the
meetings of the Seniorate. The administrative Senior
shall preside at the meetings; a vice chairperson and
recording secretary shall be elected at the first
meeting after the Diocesan Synod. Provisions shall
be made at each meeting to devote some time to
matters related to the cooperation with pastors and
parish committees, clarifying areas of authority of
each administrative branch within the Seniorate. (4)
they verify the Parish record books, vital statistic
registers, incorporation papers, and in general all
official documents, including but not limited to bank
accounts, checks and orders of the Parish, upon the
express order of their Diocesan Bishop; (5) upon the
express order of their Diocesan Bishop they summon
Parish Committee meetings and together with the
Parish Pastors they summon Parish meetings within
their Seniorate Districts for the discussion of Parish
problems; (6) together with the Parish Pastors they
prepare the Parish for the official visitation of the
Diocesan Bishop and the Prime Bishop; (7) they
assist in the collection of funds for the Church’s
purposes as instituted and enacted by the Synods; (8)
they install Parish Pastors; (9) they carry out all other
functions entrusted to them by their Diocesan
Apparently, by the Ninth General Synod, held
in1954, there were enough questions about why there
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Volume 93, Issue No. 11
are more Seniors in the Church than there are
Seniorates, that the Synod passed the following
amendment to the P.N.C.C. Constitution, Article XII
“in the matter of Senior Priests: In the case of
transfer from one parish to another, the dignity of
elder priest does not extinguish even though the
obligations of Senior are fulfilled by another priest.
The dignity of a Senior of the Polish National
Catholic Church is permanent.”
There are 19 Seniorates in our 5 dioceses: the
Buffalo-Pittsburgh Diocese has 4 Seniorates Texas, Northern, Central and Southern; the Canadian
Diocese has 2 Seniorates - Eastern and Western; the
Central Diocese has 5 Seniorates - Mohawk Valley,
New York/New Jersey, Plymouth, Philadelphia and
Scranton; the Eastern Diocese has 3 Seniorates Central, Northeast and Southwest; the Western
Diocese has 5 Seniorates - Illinois, Indiana,
Northeast, Northwest and Florida.
Synod itself, I believe that Seniorates were formed
following the 1935 Synod.
Apparently the position of Senior Priest came into
being before the establishment of Seniorates. At the
Seventh General Synod in 1935, seven Senior Priests
are listed as delegates: Father John Misiaszek, Father
Stanisław Szufladowicz, Father Rene Zawistowski,
Father Józef Leśniak, Father Józef Sołtysiak, Father
Franciszek Siemiętkowski and Father Józef L.
1897-1957 Album Sześćdziesiątej Rocznicy
Polskiego Naridowego Katolickiego Kościoła.
Editor, Andrej Namitkiewicz,
The Polish National Catholic Church, Minutes of
the First eleven General Synods, 1904-1963,
translated by Theodore L. Zawistowski, Compiler
and General Editor, Casimir J. Grotnik., East
European Monographs, 2002.
The Polish National Catholic Church of America,
Minutes of the Supreme Council 1904-1969,
translated by Theodore L. Zawistowski, Compiler
and General Editor, Casimir J. Grotnik., East
European Monographs, 2002.
Seniorates came into being when it became clear to
Bishop Hodur that division into dioceses did not
distribute the load enough. Diocesan Bishops needed
help in administration just as much as the Prime
Bishop did.
Since the idea of Seniorates was only brought up in
the clergy meeting prior to the 1935 and not at the
(The Gospel - Continued from Page 12.)
of the Church who were classified as public
penitents. They were enrolled in the Sacrament of
Penance called Canonical Penance. It was a very
rigid penitential program which could last for many
years, even up to ten or more years. Because of sin
one is separated from both God and the Church. The
penitent during this period of penance was
considered outside of the Church. He would be
restored to the Church, only after fulfilling a rigid
period of penance and through
prayers of
reconciliation by the bishop. After the homily, a
deacon would ask the catechumens and the
public penitents to depart from the assembled.
The Mass of the Faithful consisted of the Offertory,
the offering of the gifts by those present, the
Consecration during which the gifts of bread and
wine, through the action of the Holy Spirit, would be
changed into the Body and Blood of our Lord and
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Joseph Francis Seliga
Chairman, Commission on History and Archives
Savior, Jesus Christ. Following the Consecration the
Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist would be given to
all who were present. For a period of time there
existed the practice in which the faithful would take
home the Consecrated Bread and place it in a special
receptacle in the home whereby one could receive
Holy Communion every day. During this period
Mass was not celebrated daily throughout the Church.
Today we refer to the Mass of the Catechumens as
the Liturgy of the Word and the Mass the Faithful as
the Liturgy of the Eucharist or the Liturgy of the
Since the liturgical renewal, the Church has used
more Scripture during the Eucharistic Celebration.
Before the renewal, one will notice how often
citations from the Psalms would be used in the
various parts of the Mass. But with the renewal,
where Psalm citations were only used, we now find
verses from the Gospels and other Books from
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God’s Field — November 2015
Convo 2016 Committee
Eastern Diocese - Polish National Catholic Church
Convo 2016 will be held from July 25 – 29, 2016 at St. Anselm’s College in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Please save the date and mark your calendars. The Convo 2016 Committee has been meeting and is planning for
an exciting week of worship, prayer, learning and Christian fellowship.
The Committee is very conscious of the increasing costs of our Convos and is trying to keep the cost down as much
as possible. We are asking for individuals, parishes and organizations to be sponsors for Convo 2016. A
sponsorship is $500 and we already have five Convo 2016 sponsors. These funds will be used to reduce the cost to
attend the Convo.
Please follow us on Facebook at: Convo 2016.
If you have any questions please call or email us at: [email protected] We thank you in advance for your
prayerful consideration and support of Convo 2016. May God bless you and we hope to see you at the Convo.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Eric R. Nemkovich
Very Rev. Robert M. Nemkovich Jr.
Rt. Rev. Paul Sobiechowski
Convo 2016 Chaplain
Bishop of the Eastern Diocese
Convo 2016 President
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Volume 93, Issue No. 11
The Spójnia, Inc. Board, together with the entire Polish National Catholic Church and the Polish National
Union of America, continues to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Bishop Hodur Retreat and Recreation
The ongoing “Valuing Memories and Building the Future” Campaign has been set up to raise funds to update
the Bishop Hodur Retreat and Recreation Center so that it can be maintained into the future and remain a
beautiful place for the youth of the Church to gather, to pray and make fond memories.
We continue to encourage everyone, but especially those who have great memories of the Bishop Hodur
Retreat and Recreation Center and Spójnia Farm, to please consider supporting this campaign by donating at
least $25.00 for the 25th anniversary of the Bishop Hodur Retreat and Recreation Center. A pledge form can
be found online at:
Or you may make checks, corporate matches or other gifts payable to Bishop Hodur Retreat and Recreation
Center and send them to:
Bishop Hodur Retreat and Recreation Center
1006 Pittston Avenue
Scranton, PA 18505
Please help in ensuring that the memories of the Bishop Hodur Retreat and Recreation Center will be available
for many more youth, for many more years to come.
Thank you and God bless you for your support of the Polish National Catholic Church and the Bishop Hodur
Retreat and Recreation Center.
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God’s Field — November 2015
Central Diocese
Holy Mother of Sorrows Parish Happenings
Dupont, PA
Each month, volunteers from Holy Mother of
Sorrows P.N.C.C. Parish and Sacred Heart R.C.
Parish, Dupont, PA work together at a food bank
distribution in Holy Mother of Sorrow’s Frank
Bednash Memorial Hall. This monthly community
project benefits the less fortunate citizens in Dupont,
PA and surrounding areas.
Holy Mother of Sorrows Parish welcomed the 201516 SOCL class, taught by Leslie Shumlas. Ms.
Shumlas’ and her students Natalie, Abigail, Jacob,
Layla and Hannah will spend the school year
studying about the Church and the Bible and working
on many projects and lessons. We wish them a
wonderful year of learning!
Our hardworking volunteers work hard every month.
Our SOCL class is ready for the year.
Holy Mother of Sorrows Y.M.S. of R. Branch #2
held its 10th Annual "Father-Son" Penn State tailgate
event on Saturday, October 17, 2015 in the Frank
Bednash Memorial Hall, Dupont, PA. The afternoon
and evening were filled with fun, delicious food and
fellowship. More then 20 members attended,
including some from St Stanislaus Cathedral Parish.
Angelo Conforti, Jr., Angelo Conforti, Sr., Jack Wall and
Nick Kazinetz help with the cooking.
Anthony, Walter and Andrew Shumlas, along with Zach Voras,
enjoyed relaxing and watching the game.
Website of the P.N.C.C.:
Submitted by Very Rev. Zbigniew Dawid
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Volume 93, Issue No. 11
Eastern Diocese
Pulaski Day Parade
Northampton, MA
The Polish Heritage Committee of Northampton
sponsored its 29th Annual Pulaski Day celebration
on October 12, 2015. It began with a memorial Mass
at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Roman Catholic Church,
followed by the Parade commencing from the
Church and ending with a special program and
ceremonies at Lampron Park . This event is held each
year to celebrate Polish Heritage and honor the Late
General Casimir Pulaski, Father of the American
Cavalry who was killed in the Battle of Savannah on
October 11, 1779. This observance was established
in 1929 when Congress passed a resolution
designating October 11th as General Pulaski
Memorial Day.
The Parade included many veterans groups, local
high school bands, drum corps, Polish Societies and
Polish School children from Indian Orchard, MA. St.
Valentine’s P.N.C. Church participated and its
contingent included our Bishop, Paul Sobiechowski,
and his wife, Karen (Holy Trinity Cathedral,
Manchester, NH), Fr. Adam Czarnecki and his wife,
Danuta (St. Valentine’s Parish, Northampton), Fr. Sr.
Fryderyk Banas, (Holy Cross Parish, Ware MA), Fr.
Randy Calvo, (Holy Name of Jesus Parish, South
Deerfield, MA) and the St. Joseph Children’s Folk
Dance group from our sister church in Westfield,
MA directed by Carol Ruszala, as well as many
parishioners from St. Valentine’s and St. Joseph’s
The program at Lampron Park included our own
Bishop Sobiechowski giving the invocation, Parade
Marshal, Caroline (Czaja) Topor, President of the
Kosciusko Foundation, New England Chapter who
laid the wreath at the Liberty Tree, David Narkewicz,
Mayor of Northampton, and several state senators
and representatives presenting Proclamations.
The keynote speaker was Attorney Richard Szlosek,
a Northampton native who often writes about the
history of the city and its various demographic
components. There was a rifle salute, taps and
singing of the National Anthems — both Polish and
American. Miss Polonia, Natalie Wolanski, and Jr.
Miss Polonia, Julia Swiatkowska, were introduced.
At the closing of the program, the benediction was
given by our Pastor, Fr. Adam Czarnecki.
Following the parade and program all participants
were invited to a reception. The Silver Moon Band
provided Polish music for our dancing and listening
pleasure. The Pulaski Day Parade celebration was a
wonderful event and a great time was had by all. We
are looking forward to next year’s celebration.
By Krysia Newman
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God’s Field — November 2015
The Very Rev. Fryderyk S. Banas Celebrates
65th Ordination to the Holy Priesthood
The Very Rev. Fryderyk S. Banas, pastor of Holy
Cross Parish Polish National Catholic Church, Ware,
MA observed his 65th anniversary of ordination to
the Holy Priesthood in our Polish National Catholic
Church on October 19, 2015. He has been involved
in the life of the Church from his early years,
having grown up a member of the Holy Mother of
the Rosary Parish, Chicopee, MA.
Fr. Sr. Banas and five other deacons were ordained to
the priesthood in 1950 by the late Bishop John A.
Misiaszek, Bishop of the Central Diocese, in St.
Stanislaus Cathedral, Scranton, PA. The six new
priests received the blessing of Prime Bishop Francis
Hodur following their ordination. Bp. Hodur’s instructions to them were very valuable, but most beneficial was his request that they be "good priests."
Father Banas' first assignment was assisting the late
Bishop John Z. Jasinski as assistant at the Holy
Mother of the Rosary Cathedral in Buffalo, NY. On
August 13, 1951 he was assigned as pastor of St.
John the Baptist Parish, Hazleton, PA, and a few
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months later as administrator of SS Peter and Paul
Parish, McAdoo, PA. On September 15, 1953,
Bishop Misiaszek, fulfilling the request of the
faithful of St. Adalbert's Parish in Dickson City, PA,
assigned Father Banas as pastor where he served the
parish for 24 years. On January 1, 1957, Father
Senior Banas became pastor of Holy Trinity Parish,
Throop, PA and served there simultaneously with
serving St. Adalbert's Parish. In May 1977, the late
Prime Bishop Thaddeus Zielinski assigned Father
Senior Banas to the pastorate of Holy Mother of the
Rosary Cathedral in Buffalo, NY.
As Bishop Jasinski's assistant, Fr. Sr. Banas traveled
briefly to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada to
celebrate Holy Mass for the faithful of the newly
organized parish in an Anglican church school until a
resident pastor would be assigned in 1952.
On August 4, 1964, the late Prime Bishop Leon
Grochowski elevated Father Banas to the dignity of
"Senior Priest" in the Church. He was installed
officially at St. Adalbert's Church, Dickson City, PA
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Volume 93, Issue No. 11
on November
by Prime
In February 1979 he was assigned as pastor of
Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Fall River, MA,
where he served until May 1989 when he assumed
the pastorate of Holy Cross Parish in Ware, MA. He
has served the people of Holy Cross Parish for the
last 26 years.
Father Senior Banas has held many positions on
several Church, Diocesan, Parish, PNU and civic
organizations. He was chaplain of the Diocesan
United Choirs as well as the United Church Choirs;
he was chair of the Diocesan Liturgical
Commission; he served the Central Diocese Clergy
Hospitalization Group with Ministers of Life; he
was a member of the Diocesan Matrimonial
Commission for many years; he served as recording
secretary for the Central Diocese Clergy and Central
Diocese Conferences for 20 years; he was an
instructor at the Rev. Hieronim Savonarola
Seminary, Scranton, PA for 20 years; he served on
the United Polish National School Societies
Commission for more than 20 years; and he assisted
at the Central Committees of the Maria Konopnicka
and Ladies Adoration Societies.
In the early 1950s Father Banas was appointed by
Governor Fine of Pennsylvania to serve on the
Board of Directors of the Scranton State Hospital;
he served two terms as director on the Board of
Directors of the Polish National Union of America,
Spojnia; he was the P.N.C.C. representative on the
National Board of Directors of the Polish American
Congress; he was one of the early charter members
of the Polish American Congress branch formed in
Scranton, PA by the late Prime Bishop Leon
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Father Senior Banas was the first delegate of the
American Polish National Relief for Poland, a
charitable organization founded by Prime Bishop
Leon Grochowski and Dr. Karol H. Sitko. During
this time he spent 5 months in Poland negotiating an
agreement with the Ministry of Social Affairs,
headed by Stanley Zawadzki. During this time he
was crucial in ensuring that American surplus foods
and other items were distributed to the members of
our parishes in Poland, as well as to the needy Polish
citizens. Bishop Anthony M. Rysz continued this
work of charity after Father Banas' return home. Bp.
Rysz was then succeeded by Atty. Ernest J. Gazda,
For 65 continuous years Father Senior Banas has
served with dedication, loyalty and devotion to our
Blessed Lord and Saviour, our Polish National
Catholic Church, Church societies, institutions and
various organizations. Father Senior Banas’ work
has filled his heart with joy and satisfaction, and he
gives grateful thanks to God for His innumerable
blessings, inspiration and guidance which made all
this a reality.
Of the six priests ordained in 1950, five have been
called by the Lord into His heavenly Kingdom; they
are: Fr. Sr. John Slysz, Reverend Fathers: Marian
Gorzela, Chester Pliska, Nicholas Zolnerowicz and
Bishop Anthony M. Rysz.
Father Senior Banas is the son of the late Stanley and
Valeria Szczepanek Banas. For 32 years, his dear
mother, assisted him by word and deed, inspiration
and sound motherly advice up to the time of her
passing into eternity on January 15, 1984.
Article from Straż No. 5, October 2015, Volume 117.
Photo from The Messenger, Vol. 4, Issue 3, September 2015.
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God’s Field — November 2015
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Volume 93, Issue No. 11
2016 Eastern Diocese Winter Youth Gathering
When: Saturday – January 2, 2016
Where: Holy Trinity Parish in Webster, MA
10:15 A.M. – Holy Mass
11:15 A.M. – Interactive Presentation on the Holy Name of Jesus
12:00 – Pizza and Soda
12:30 PM – 2:30 P.M. Bowling and a visit to the Firehouse
Cost—$5.00 per person - To register please contact either:
Fr. Sr. Rob Nemkovich - [email protected]
Fr. Randy Calvo - [email protected]
Come see your friends in Christ over the Christmas Vacation.
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God’s Field — November 2015
Father Jan Twardowski
“Love people before it’s too late: they’re gone so quickly.”
Jan Twardowski urodził się 1 czerwca 1915 r. w
Warszawie, w Kongresówce. Jego rodzicami byli Jan
Twardowski i Aniela Maria Konderska. Kilka
tygodni po jego narodzinach, z powodu I wojny
światowej, jego rodzina przeniosła się do Rosji. Po 3
latach powrócili do Warszawy. Tu, w 1935 r.
ukończył Gimnazjum im. Tadeusza Czackiego (z
poziomem maturalnym). W 1932 r. rozpoczął
współredagowanie gazetki młodzieżowej "Kuźnia
Młodych" - prowadził kolumnę, do której pisał
wiersze, opowiadania i przeprowadzał wywiady z
różnymi pisarzami.
Jan Twardowski was born on June 1, 1915 in
Warsaw, Congress Poland. His parents were Jan
Twardowski and Aniela Maria Konderska. Several
weeks after his birth, due to the events of World War
I, his family moved to Russia. After 3 years, they
returned to Warsaw. He finished Tadeusz Czacki
Middle School (with High School level) in 1935. In
1932 he began working with the youth newspaper
"Forge of the Young". He had his own column there,
for which he wrote poems, short stories, and
interviewed various writers.
Po ukończeniu gimnazjum, rozpoczął studia z
literatury na Uniwersytecie Józefa Piłsudskiego. W
1937 r. opublikował swój pierwszy tomik poezji.
After Middle School, he began studying literature at
the Józef Piłsudski University (University of
Warsaw). In 1937 he published his first book of
Podczas II wojny światowej brał udział w różnych
operacjach organizowanych przez Armię Krajową;
walczył w Powstaniu Warszawskim.
During World War II he took part in various
operations organized by the Armia Krajowa and
fought in the Warsaw Uprising.
Po wojnie wstąpił do seminarium i rozpoczął studia
teologiczne na Uniwersytecie Warszawskim. W 1948
r. został wyświecony na kapłana. W 1959 r. został
mianowany rektorem kościoła Sióstr Wizytek. Jego
prace były publikowane w popularnym magazynie
katolickim Tygodniku Powszechnym. Rozgłos
zyskał w 1960 r. po opublikowaniu pierwszego
tomiku poezji "Znak ufności". W 1980 r. otrzymał
nagrodę PEN Club im Roberta Gravesa za całokształt
twórczości, a w 1996 r. Order Uśmiechu. W 2000 r.
Twardowski zdobył nagrodę Ikara a w rok później
otrzymał nagrodę TOTUS .
After the war, he joined a seminary and began
studying theology at the Warsaw University. He
became a priest in 1948. In 1959 he became a rector
of the Visitationist Church. His writings were
published in a popular Catholic magazine, Tygodnik
Powszechny. He gained fame in 1960 after
publishing his first poetry book, "The Sign of Trust".
In 1980 he received the PEN Club and Robert Graves
lifetime achievement awards, and, in 1996, the Order
Uśmiechu (The Order of the Smile). In 2000,
Twardowski won the Ikar prize, and was rewarded
with the TOTUS prize a year later.
Najbardziej popularne dzieła ks. Twardowskiego
dotyczą głównie tematyki religijnej, ale religijność
znaczy dla niego więcej niż stan poetycki lub
pobożności; jest to raczej czczenie i uwielbienie
istnienia, próba teodycei pomimo wszystko -
Father Twardowski's enormously popular work deals
mostly with religious themes, but religiousness means
more to him than a poetical or devotional state; it is
rather praise and adoration of existence, an attempt at
theodicy in spite of everything - in spite of
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Volume 93, Issue No. 11
pomimo doświadczeń. Nie ma tu dramatycznego
odwoływania się do sacrum. Poezja Twardowskiego
czyni świętym świeckość i zwyczajność. Jego
twórczość charakteryzuje się poczuciem humoru i
świadomą prostotą zawartą w mistrzowskim
rzemiośle. Znalazły tu swoją prostą ekspresję
żartobliwe rozmyślania teologiczne i czułość i miłość
do niedoskonałego stworzenia. Jednak ta ekspresja
wydaje się nieodwołalna i konieczna, tak jak jest
koniecznym zachowanie wiary w świat, w którym
ludzie mogą żyć bezpiecznie i w harmonii, czując się
jak w domu. "Gdyby święty Franciszek był
współczesnym poetą, pisałby tak jak Jan
Twardowski", zauważa poetka Anna Kamieńska.
Jan Twardowski zmarł 18 stycznia 2006 r. w
Warszawie. Pochowany został w krypcie Świątyni
Opatrzności Bożej na obrzeżu stolicy Polski,
pomimo faktu, że chciał
być pochowany na
warszawskich Powązkach.
Ks. Jan Twardowski jest najpopularniejszym polskim
poetą współczesnym. Największe nakłady książek
mają nie nobliści, Miłosz czy Szymborska, ale cichy,
skromny ksiądz, katecheta i opiekun chorych dzieci,
który zawsze powtarzał, że "Właściwie poetą nie jest,
a tylko pisze wiersze".
experience. There is no dramatic appeal to the sacred.
Twardowski's poetry makes sacred the secular and
ordinary. His work is marked by a sense of humor
and a conscious simplicity within his masterful
ruminations and tenderness and love towards an
imperfect Creation find simple expression here. Yet
this expression seems irrevocable and necessary, just
as it is necessary to keep believing in a world where
people could live securely and in harmony, feeling at
home. "If St. Francis were a contemporary poet, he
would write the way that Jan Twardowski writes,"
observes the poet Anna Kamienska.
Jan Twardowski died on January 18, 2006 in
Warsaw. He was buried within the crypts of the
Sanctuary of Divine Providence on the outskirts of
the Polish capital, despite the fact that he wanted to
be buried at the Powązki cemetery in Warsaw.
Fr. Jan Twardowski is the most popular
contemporary Polish poet. The largest editions of
books are not of Nobel Prize winners, Milosz and
Szymborska, but of quiet, humble priest, catechist
and caregiver of the sick children, who always
reiterated that "Actually he is not a poet, he only
writes poetry".
Submitted by Rev. Adam Czarnecki
Powiedziano Miłości:
- Napisz swoje imię.
- Odczytaj.
- Policz litery.
- Nie uczyłam się rachować.
They told Love:
'Write your name down.'
So she did.
They said:
'Read it out now.'
So she did.
They said:
'Count the letters.'
She said:
'I Never learned to count.'
Trans. Jan Rybicki
(Continued on Page 26.)
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God’s Field — November 2015
(Fr. Jan Twardowski - Continued from Page 25.)
Proszę o wiarę
Stukam do nieba
proszę o wiarę
ale nie o taką z płaczem na ramieniu
taką co liczy gwiazdy a nie widzi kury
taką jak motyl na jeden dzień
ale zawsze świeżą bo nieskończoną
taką co biegnie jak owca za matką
nie pojmuje ale rozumie
ze słów wybiera najmniejsze
nie na wszystko ma odpowiedź
i nie przewraca się do góry nogami
jeżeli kogoś szlag trafi.
Asking for Faith
I'm knocking at heaven
and asking for faith
but not the makeshift kind
that counts the stars but doesn't notice chickens
not the butterfly kind that lasts a day
I want the kind that's always fresh because it's
that follows its mother like a lamb
that doesn't grasp but understands
that picks the smallest words
can't answer everything
and doesn't come undone
if someone croaks.
trans. Stanislaw Baranczak and Clare Cavanagh
Szukałem Boga w książkach
przed cud niedomówienia o samym sobie
przez cnoty gorące i zimne
w ciemnym oknie gdzie księżyc udaje niewinnego
a tylu pożenił głuptasów
w znajomy sposób
w ogrodzie gdzie chodził gawron jak gapa
w polu gdzie w lipcu zboże twardnieje i żółknie
przez protekcję ascety który nie jadł
więc się modlił tylko przed zmartwieniem i po
w kościele kiedy nikogo nie było
i nagle przyszedł nieoczekiwany
jak żurawiny po pierwszym mrozie
z sercem pomiędzy jedną ręką a drugą
i powiedział
dlaczego mnie szukasz
na mnie trzeba czasem poczekać.
Kiedy mówisz
Nie płacz w liście
nie pisz, że los ciebie kopnął
nie ma na Ziemi sytuacji bez wyjścia
kiedy Bóg drzwi zamyka… to otwiera okno
odetchnij popatrz
spadają z obłoków
małe wielkie nieszczęścia potrzebne do szczęścia
a od zwykłych rzeczy naucz się spokoju
i zapomnij że jesteś gdy mówisz że kochasz.
I Was Searching
I was searching for God in books
through the miracle of not talking about myself
through hot and cold virtues
in the dark window where the moon is pretending to
be innocent
but married so many fooling people
in a familiar way
in a garden where a rook walked
in the field where in July the grain hardening and yellowing
with the help of an aecetic who did not eat
and thus prayed before a sorrow and after a sorrow
in the church when nobody was there
and suddenly He came unexpectedly
like cranberries after the first cold snap
with His heart in His hands
and said
why are you searching for me
for me you sometimes have to wait.
When you say
Don't cry in your letter
don't write me fate gave you a kick
there is always a way out
when God shuts a door He opens a window
take a breath take a look
clouds are raining
small great misfortunes necessary for happiness
learn peace of mind from ordinary things
and forget that you are when you say you love.
Translations by Jan Rybicki
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Volume 93, Issue No. 11
Western Diocese
 śp. Very Rev. Joseph F. Kobylarz
The Very Reverend Joseph Francis Kobylarz,
beloved husband of Lillian (née Lucas), loving
brother in law of Felix (Lorraene) Lucas and Violet
Staley, passed away on October 22, 2015.
A lifelong member of the Polish National Catholic
Church, Fr. Sr. Kobylarz was born in Peckville, PA.
He was a member of St. Adalbert’s Parish in Dickson
City, PA and later a member of SS Peter and Paul
Parish in Passaic, NJ.
Fr. Sr. Kobylarz entered the Savonarola Theological
Seminary in Scranton, PA where he completed his
theological studies. In 1956 he was ordained to the
priesthood by Rt. Rev. Joseph Kardas in Chicago,
IL .
Fr. Sr. Kobylarz dedicated 59 years of service to the
priesthood of the P.N.C.C., where he served for 54
years as pastor of Saints Cyril and Methodius Parish
in Chicago, IL. Prior to his retirement in 2012 Fr. Sr.
Kobylarz also served as Assistant Pastor at All Saints
Cathedral, Chicago, IL, Administrator to St. Francis
Parish in McHenry, IL and St. John the Baptist Parish
in Chicago, IL.
Fr. Sr. Kobylarz is also survived by many nieces and
nephews. His Funeral Mass was on Tuesday,
October 27, at SS Cyril and Methodius Parish,
Chicago, IL. The family requests donations be made
to SS Cyril and Methodius P.N.C.C., 5744 West
Diversey Avenue, Chicago, IL 60639-1240.
The 2016 Liturgical Reference Calendar
The 2016 Liturgical Reference Calendar – Ordo is available for ordering. The cost of the Liturgical
Calendar is $12.50 per book for pickup-up orders or $15.25 per book for mail orders to U.S.; $18.60
per book for mail orders to Canada. To order, please fill out the order form, below, and make check
or money order payable to The Polish National Catholic Church – LRC and send to:
The Polish National Catholic Church – L R C
Attn: Secretary to Prime Bishop
1006 Pittston Avenue
Scranton, PA 18505-4109
PLEASE NOTE: All active pastors andPolish
will receive
copy of the 2016 LRC. If a pastor,
National Catholic
administrator or parish wishes to order additional
use the form, below.
Scranton, PA 18505
Ordos will be shipped as soon as they are available.
2016 ORDO
2016 Liturgical Calendar (Ordo) - $15.25 U.S.; $18.60 Canada
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God’s Field — November 2015
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