| Summer Fun in Poland|
Pilgrimage to Częstochowa
August 1994 by Mitch Bienia
Poland is still one of the few countries on earth where the faithful walk a pilgrimage to celebrate a religious holiday. The Shrine of the Black Madonna, in the town of Częstochowa, is the focal point of celebration of the annual Feast of the Assumption on August 15. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims walk from all corners of Poland annually. Under the direction of priests from each village, town and city, pilgrims sleep in their own tents in farm fields at night. As they walk, rain or shine, they participate in an organized program of religious activities, like a huge open-air mass, prayer recitations, singing of hymns and listening to meditations. For toilet facilities, pilgrims use the woods and forests. When I was in Poland teaching with my two daughters, then ages 13 and 16, and I thought it would be fun to make the trek from Warsaw, 275 km, over nine days. You know, a great bonding opportunity with my daughters. The first morning we started out with mass in Warsaw at 6 am; the sun shone brightly and strongly. It became so hot that day that the surface of the road was melting and sticking to the bottoms of our shoes. The first evening, my girls announced that they wanted to go home. Not just back to Warsaw, or civilization in general, but straight back to Cleveland. Find out what happened here
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Take Me Out to the Ballgames
The warm weather means at least one trip to the ballpark for our family. This year we have two chances! The Mahoning Valley Scrappers are hosting Mascot Mania on Sunday, July 22, and guess who has been invited to participate? That’s right, your favorite Polish Pierogi, premiering his new duds! Come out and cheer for him/her during all the mascot games and festivities before, during and after the game against the Jamestown Jammers. Festivities start at 3 PM and the game begins at 5:05 PM, so the temperature should be mild, too. Let us know if you want us to reserve you a spot at the picnic table!
Working with the Cleveland Society of Poles, the Cleveland Indians have not only brought back, but also improved Polish Night at Progressive Field on Tuesday, July 24 at 7:05. This year, in addition to the cool parade on the field pre-game, you get reserve seats, a Polish themed t-shirt, hot dog, chips and a drink. You can order your tickets independently but let us know if you want to carpool.
Congrats for a fun event PolishNew Castle
You should have made the trip. A couple of carloads made the drive to support the American Polish Central Committee as they celebrated their annual Zabawa at the Polish Falcons hall in New Castle. The haute couture outfit created for our friend Rocko “Honky Rocky” Naples by our resident designer Agi Lyda Khoury shown here gives you just a taste of the sense of fun and energy we brought with us. We danced, ate, sang, and did it all again. On the way home, we even stopped in to see one of our PYTown Founders Darek Chomczyk at The Crane Club! Stay tuned for details on our next event, and see more photos HERE! Fear not, this was our first PHH vacation in almost three years, so we will be back at it on August 9 with a summer-themed party close to home. Mark your calendar and stay tuned for details!
Cleveland’s St. Casimir Reopens
Amid a colorful procession of neighborhood and Polish-American pride, St. Casimir Catholic Church reopened on Sunday with a celebratory mass described as miraculous. It is the first of the once-shuttered Cleveland churches to be restored to use after a Vatican ruling in March. More than 1200 worshipers created a joyously crowded sanctuary, vestibule and street. “It was phenomenal; like a pageant from a victory parade,” said Joseph Feckanin, one of the organizers of the three-year protests to reopen the church. “The Spirit was definitely with us.” Attendees wept and applauded several times as Polish Legion of American Veterans and Knights of Columbus units led in the parishioners who had been staging continuous weekly vigils to keep the church alive since the Mass of Eviction on November 8, 2009.
See video coverage of the event HERE
A Not So Quiet Goodbye
Ryszard Kossobudzki Cosby, a veteran of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising and subject of the book Quiet Hero, succumbed to cancer late last month at the age of 86. In The New York Times bestseller, Cosby’s daughter, Emmy award-winning journalist Rita Cosby, described how she uncovered the story of her father kept secret about his courage, service and imprisonment. While speaking on a book tour here in Youngstown, Cosby tearfully shared how writing the book brought father and daughter together. She also showed video of when she took her father back to Poland for his first and only visit to Poland in 2009, after a lapse of 65 years. Jesteśmy z tobą Rita. Wieczny odpoczywanek racz mu dać, Panie. Send your kondolencje here
News from Poland
Was U.S. to have new Polish Ambassador
The U.S. Ambassador to Poland, Lee Feinstein, announced suddenly last week that he will be ending his service. The change in leadership will not occur immediately, and the relevant diplomatic processes are expected to take weeks to complete. Steven D. Mull, who already served in that role from 1993 to 1997 and was part of the negotiations team for adding Poland to NATO, will replace him. Feinstein was an active member of the public discourse in Poland, but, rumor has it, he had a falling out with Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski over compensating heirs of Jewish assets following the Holocaust.
Jews in Poland Museum Revived
Just before his announcement, Ambassador Feinstein participated in a ceremony at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews to celebrate the announcement of $11 million in donations that will allow for the completion of the core exhibition which will narrate the 1,000-year history of Jews in Poland. "There is no history of Poland without the Jews and no history of Jews without Poland," said Piotr Wislicki, the chairman of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland.Until shortly before the Holocaust, there were about 3.5 million Jews living in Poland, the largest Jewish community in the world and the land of ancestry for many Jews living across the world today. Polish Jews were also about 10 percent of the larger population of Poland, and they made significant contributions to Polish culture, science and politics. The Museum is scheduled to open in fall 2013. Read more about this story HERE and other news from Poland at our Polish Media Watch.
July 21-22 Polish Festival 2012, Baltimore... through Sunday, Aug. 5 "A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People" , Maltz Museum, Cleveland... August 2-5 Bavarian Funfest, Sharon... August 24 Polish Business Lunches... August 25 Zabawa with all-you-can-eat pierogi fest and music by Polka Pirates and Chardon Polka Band... August 26 Polish Day 2012
Aundréa and Your PolishYoungstown Team