It has been a different Lent in the time of covid-19. No one planned on giving up THIS MUCH as part of their annual sacrifice. However, during it all I hope you are finding the opportunity to reflect on things you may have taken for granted and build new memories with your family.

Observing Holy Week with prayers

This This unique conversation with Christ about his suffering was started in the early 18th Century and is conducted with words and chants that retrace the passion and crucifixion. The devotion of the Gorzkie Żale spread around the territory of Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania very quickly. Over time attempts have been made to translate the text into other languages, especially English. But it remains a Lenten devotion piously celebrated in Poland and in most Polish communities abroad. The haunting melodies will burn into your memory and stay with you throughout Lent and beyond. A sample of the words and melodies can be reviewed here.

It’s Pisanki Time
Time to start working on your Pisanki /Polish Easter to enjoy for Easter. Make this the year you give it a try! You can do it! Watch a video with PYTown Friend Raymond Vargus here. Remember, it is not about making a perfect decorated egg—it’s about trying out the tradition of your ancestors and keeping their spirit alive.

You can still get your baskets blessed!
Despite the limitations of the social distancing and other safety precautions, local clergy are working hard to keep our holiday traditions in place. BlessingAnother nice tradition to do is to have your Easter morning food blessed. In Poland, even the process of taking the basket of food to church is a festive occasion after the long, somber Lenten period. There are always certain items that should be in the basket along with your food. The priest then specifically addresses the various contents with special prayers then sprinkles the individual baskets with Holy Water, some even use the traditional straw brush for dispersing the water. Older generations of Polish Americans, descended from early 19th century immigrants, tend to bless the whole meal, often brought to church in large hampers & picnic baskets. HOW CAN YOU CELEBRATE THIS YEAR? On Holy Saturday at 1 PM Fr. Michael Swierz is hosting a drive up blessing at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church at 225 North Main Street, Hubbard, Ohio 44425

Easter Monday is a time to celebrate

After more than six weeks of Lenten fasting, abstaining, sacrificing and penance and hiding from the virus, Catholics will be ready to celebrate. Easter Sunday is for praise and worship, but, in Polish tradition, Śmigus-Dyngus, the name for Easter Monday, was for mischief and fun. Early in the morning, boys awake girls by pouring a bucket of water on their head and striking them about the legs with palmy wielkanocne, decorated pussy willow branches. The custom of pouring water was an ancient spring rite of cleansing and baptism, the switching with willows to feel the sting of God’s suffering and make one feel worthy in the coming year.  Time to create your own tradition! My kids know that chances of getting awoken with sprinkles of water to the face are predictable. Even better, make sure you use a squirt gun on your family and even neighbors to keep the tradition alive.

…or celebrate virtually

 Cities like Buffalo and Cleveland have created a street party and parade tradition to mark this occasion – but not this year. Instead you can still raise a Piwo, whip up some pierogi and dance a polka from the comfort of your couch. Join Dyngus Day Cleveland as they host Alex Meixner Band, Fred Ziwich, Jake from Chardon Polka Band, and, of course, your host DJ Kishka, on Facebook Live.  Use this link to join the party on Monday April 13 at 1:00 PM EST:  Learn more at their FB PAGE

Words of encouragement in Polish
We all need them, especially now. So here’s a few options from the folks at  Polish Language Blog for you to say to your friends and family as we struggle to get thru this:

Uda ci się! – You can do it!
Na co czekasz? – What are you waiting for?
Nie jesteś sam. – You are not alone.
Jestem z ciebie taki dumny! – I’m so proud of you!
Tak trzymaj! – Keep up the good work!
Nie poddawaj się! – Don’t give up!
Walcz dalej! – Keep fighting!
Warto spróbować. – It’s worth a shot.
Co masz do stracenia? – What do you have to lose?
Śmiało! – Go for it!
Uwierz w siebie – Believe in yourself
Bądź silny – Stay strong.
Jesteś numerem jeden! – You’re number one!
Możliwości są nieograniczone – The sky’s the limit


Tak trzymać! – There you go!
Nie jest ważne jak wolno idziesz, dopóki się nie zatrzymasz. – It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.
Nie istnieje droga na skróty do miejsca, do którego dojść warto. – There are no short cuts to any place worth going.
Bądź zmianą, którą chcesz ujrzeć w świecie. – Be the change you want to see in the world.
Pamiętaj, iż twoja własna determinacja, by osiągnąć sukces, liczy się bardziej, niż cokolwiek innego na świecie. – Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.

News from Poland by Ted Mirercki
Government using confiscated alcohol as disinfectant

The fight against coronavirus in Poland has revealed that no resource will be wasted, even confiscated booze.

Poland's Ministry of Finance said Friday that some 660 gallons of confiscated alcohol were recently donated to emergency responders and health care facilities. The donated alcohol will be used to prepare disinfectants, according to the ministry. The alcohol was originally intended to be destroyed after being confiscated as part of criminal investigations. Instead, the donated alcohol was sent to the University Clinical Hospital and the Provincial Specialist Children's Hospital in Olsztyn, and the state fire service. As of this writing, according to the Polish Ministry of Health, there are 4,848 cases of the disease with 129 deaths and 191 recovered. Learn more at This week in Poland on our website.

Calendar Highlights
April 13 CANCELLED Dyngus Day Buffalo VIRTUAL Dyngus Day Cleveland…with the possibility of a fall reschedule…Saturday April 25 Cleveland Polish Constitution Day Parade & Celebration TBD…POSTPONED Krakusy Society of Youngstown Constitution Day Fundraiser to October Saturday, June 7 Pierogi Dash 5K & Fun Run …. Friday - Saturday, June 19-20 Simply Slavic TBD…Sunday, August 30 Polish Heritage Day TBD

Do Zobaczenia!
Aundréa and Your PolishYoungstown Team


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