The following is a timeline of events for the Polish National Catholic Church. It is essentially a summary of the many activities that took place during the church’s history. It is a work that still continues to this day.
To view a segment click the “+” symbol to expand.
[spoiler title=”1897 – 1899″] July 11, 1897– Rev. Francis Hodur declared to the assembly that the new church pews will be delivered shortly at a cost to the parish of $500.00, which at present we do not have. He urged the parishioners to procure tickets for seating in the church pews in order to offset the cost of the project.
August 4, 1897– The Greek Catholic parish has an area available for burial and will grant the same to the parish of St. Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr for one year at a cost of $5.00 for each adult grave and for infants, $3.00. Parishioners, married, 60 years of age, will have a place of burial at a cost of $1.00. The above issue was adopted for one year.
October 13, 1897– The Committee for the year 1897-1898 was elected. President-Joseph Nycz, Vice-President-Michael Sznyter.
January 17, 1898– Father Hodur travels to Rome to deliver a petition to Pope Leo XIII on behalf of Polish Catholics in the United States. His memorandum is left with Vatican officials.
April 3, 1898– Rev. Francis Hodur informed the meeting that the firm engaged in making the Church Bells has been contracted to manufacture three belles.
April 25, 1898– STRAZ- A meeting was held in the Parish Hall to mark the occasion of the blessing of the new Polish church in Priceburg. All priests interested in working in the spirit of the “National” church and committees of three Polish Catholic Parishes: Scranton, Philadelphia, and Priceburg as well as representatives of national organizations were in attendances. Preliminary discussions were held regarding the future of their mutual work. The meeting named Rev. Hodur as administrator, giving him full powers and authority to organize parishes. The authority of the administrator stands until Rome arranges for a Polish Bishop, adhering to the agenda of the National Church.
The following resolutions were accepted:
1. To choose an administrator and a main council consisting of delegates from individual parishes numbering three, that is, one priest and two lay people from each parish.
2. Confer upon the administrator the power of preparing a constitution for the National Church.
3. The administrator has the right to nominate and organize a committee to spread the ideals of the National Church.
4. The National parishes will assign to the administrator a certain yearly monetary sum for the purpose of spreading the ideals of the National Movement.
July 31, 1898– “In the year of our Lord, 1898, on the 31st day of July, at 10:00 o’clock in the morning, Rev. Francis Hodur, pastor of the Parish of St. Stanislaus, Bishop and Martyr, performed the act of blessing the bells purchased by the parish and cast in Troy, New York. The bells shall bear the names of “Stanislaus,” “Francis,” and “Ignatius.” The act of blessing was performed in the presence of and assistance of parishioners who acted as “Godparents” of each bell respectively.” The names of the godparents are recorded in the Parish minutes.
August 18, 1898– At the regular meeting, Father Hodur emphasized that the school was in need of another teacher. With 200 students in the school, it was impossible for ONE teacher to control the entire class.
September 28, 1898– Father Francis Hodur is excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church by Bishop Michael J. Hoban in the name and by the authority of Bishop O’Hara.
October 2, 1898– The letter of excommunication, which is ordered to be read in all Roman Catholic parishes, is burned by Father Hodur during an evening service. The ashes are thrown into the creek opposite the Church.
February 3, 1899– Stations of the Cross purchased by Rev. Francis Hodur for $400.00 are due to arrive shortly. Upon delivery, the treasurer shall render Rev. Francis Hodur a check in full payment.
July 30, 1899– A balance of $414.15 on the church bells is due on Monday, August 1 and after normal expenses are paid there will not be sufficient funds available to meet this outstanding payment. It was proposed that each member donate $1.00. $40.00 was collected at the meeting and a $400.00 loan was arranged to settle the matter.
October 15, 1899– Church debt is $14,085
October 21,1899– Rev. Francis Hodur informed the committee that he received a letter from Rev. Andrew Zychowicz stating that Bishop Hoban has instructed him to inform the parish of St. Stanislaus, B & M that unless the words “Roman Catholic” are eliminated from the charter of St. Stanislaus, then he, Bishop Hoban, will introduce a lawsuit against the parish of St. Stanislaus, B & M. After a brief discussion, it was unanimously decided to leave the terminology of the charter intact, whether the lawsuit is initiated or not and to endure the consequences.
November 4, 1899– The matter of the Charter will be held in abeyance until we are summoned by the Court.[/spoiler] [spoiler title=”1900-1910″]
January 6, 1900– The matters of repairing the school doors and the construction of confessionals, meeting the approval of Rev. Francis Hodur, were delegated to Joseph Kowalewski.
January 14, 1900– Observance of the third anniversary of the founding of the National Church in Scranton, PA was held on the 30th of November, 1899 by holding a parade through the principal streets of the city and a proper program. Debt on the church as of January 1, 1900 is $13,318. Rev. Francis Hodur stressed the importance of installing a new altar with a painting. The work would take at least eight (8) months and would exceed $1,000.00 in cost. The sum of $400.00 has already been collected for this project.
February 10, 1900– Martin Gogolkiewicz motioned that the cemetery should be properly cleared and cleaned and that appropriate trees be methodically planted. It was ordered to pay Hagen Lumber Co. $51.75 for lumber used in the construction of the confessionals.
April 1, 1900– Rev. Francis Hodur again emphatically stressed the fact that any member of the Parish of St. Stanislaus B & M representing a threat to the Church, the Priest, or the parish at large, shall be immediately and permanently excluded from the church. This assertion shall be included in the Constitution and Principles of the Church.
May 21, 1900– The contract for the building of the Main Altar by Mr. Ochal was finalized.
August 8, 1900– A carved panel of Christ crucified will be mounted over the main altar. The cost of the panel was $80.00 and was paid for by T. Zurowski.
October 1, 1900– Rev. Francis Hodur informed the committee that the St. Aloysius Society purchased two statues for the main altar, namely; one of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, their patron, and one of St. John the Evangelist. The Woman’s Society of the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament purchased a rug for $160.00.
December 12, 1900– A special meeting summoned by Rev. Francis Hodur. Rev. Hodur reported that the people did not expect the Bishop to object to the building of the new Church. After the bishop refused to bless the cornerstone, Rev. Hodur performed the holy action himself. Father Hodur wrote to the Papal delegate and called on the bishop personally in order to represent the position of the Polish people. Their reply was that the laws of the Catholic Church applied to everyone and no exception would be made; especially for the Polish people. Bishop Hoban sent a letter date today, stating that he would accept the parishes of Scranton and Plymouth, as long as there are a sufficient number of parishioners to support them, under the condition that ownership title be immediately transferred to his authority. The parishes in Duryea, Priceburg, and Wilkes-Barre would be closed as there was no reason for their existence. Refusal of his conditions would result in his pursuit of the lawsuit against the parish. From the audience there was an outcry that this is just another example of the abuses suffered by the Polish people. It was decided that only a Polish bishop could be recognized who understood their position. It was resolved not to make any further appeals to the American bishops regarding the Parish.
July 6, 1900– Leo Makowski became organist. An organ was purchased for $75.00.
January 7, 1902– The debt on the cemetery was paid to Mr. Kane- $900.00 plus $150.00 interest.
May 27, 1902– In order to protect the property interests of the parish from confiscation, a meeting of the trustees was held and adopted a resolution: “We trustees of the Polish Roman Catholic Church resolve to sell the land and all property of said church situated in Lackawanna County, State of Pennsylvania, to Franciszek Hodur for the sum of $10,800.00 with the understanding that said Franciszek Hodur agrees to satisfy all notes of debt of this corporation. The next day the parish corporation was dissolved and Father Hodur became the legal “owner” of the property.
October 5, 1902– A pipe organ was purchased for $800.00.
November 9, 1902– A motion was passed unanimously that the Committee present a petition to the Armenian Patriarch requesting that he consecrate one of our priests as a Polish Bishop.
January 26, 1903– Having lost the right to use “catholic” in the title of the parish corporation, the new charter for St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr Polish National Reformed Parish is presented.
The First Synod of the National Church- September 6, 7, and 8, 1904.
The First Synod of the “National” Church was held in Scranton, Pennsylvania at St. Stanislaus Parish. 146 Delegates, including fifteen priests, and representatives from independent Polish parishes and fraternal organizations were in attendance. The following significant issues were decided at this gathering:
1. A complete separation between the Vatican and the “National Church” was decided once and for all. The following resolution was drafted:]
In regard to other Christian groups, we do not denounce any. We respect each as long as it has as its duty the enlightenment and good of its people, and the teaching of the Gospel and the peace of Jesus Christ to His people. But, we cannot agree to the pretense of whatever group that preaches that it alone is the recipient of Grace of God, and that its teachers are the true sowers of God’s truth. For as we have seen in the history of the Christian Church, many errors have been made. What one Pope has considered truth, another has denounced. Therefore, we consider the Pope and his church as inadequate, leaning toward falsehood and ill will, and the dogmas of Roman infallibility as wrongdoing against God.
2. A fund to support a Seminary was established, assessing each Church member $2.00 toward the support of this effort.
3. Father Hodur was unanimously elected as Bishop of the Church.
4. Efforts were made to work toward a common effort with Bishop Kozłowski (the Old Catholic Bishop in Chicago); especially in the development of the Polish National Alliance in the United States.
5. The Great church Council was established under the direction of Rev. Hodur.
6. The STRAŻ was adopted as the official Church organ.
The question of married clergy was also entertained, but was considered too sensitive an issue at this point in the Church’s development.
November 13, 1904– Parish Meeting- Decision was made to expand the printer facility to accommodate space for a priest seminary. The newly-elected officers of the Committee, vowing to conscientiously work for the good of the Parish, are administered the oath of office by “The Right Reverend Bishop Hodur.” This is the first record of the use of the Bishop’s title.
May 5, 1905– The Committee agreed to a contract with Mr. Frank Kapalski of Philadelphia in the amount of $1,300.00 for the interior painting of the church. The work is to be completed within three months.
May 26, 1905– A contract of $900.00 was signed with H.R. Converse for the installation of new pews and repair to the church entrance.
July 30, 1905– Special Meeting- Bishop Hodur brings to the attention of the committee that certain parish priests are changing some of the religious rites and working contrary to the goals of the National Church. Rev. Kawalski and Rev. Szumowski condemn the priests who are mentioned. Because of various circumstances, the Great Council elected at the Synod has not been able to meet. It was resolved to make corrections and additions to the Constitution and send a copy to each Parish.
February 4, 1906– The committee authorized repairs to the “Solidarnosc” Library doors and windows so that the Boys Defenders Society would be able to have their meetings and drills there.
May 20, 1906– Contractors were contacted for the rebuilding of the front Church steps and the building of an upper vestibule. Each member was assessed $3.00 to support this project.
June 25, 1906– Bishop Hodur informed the Committee of the upcoming Second Synod of the Church to be held on August 11, 12, and 13, 1906 in Scranton. $50.00 was assigned to meet the expenses of the parish delegates.
August 30, 1906– Report to the Congregation regarding the Second Synod of the Church:
1. After a lengthy debate, it was resolved that the name of the Church be “The Polish National Catholic Church.”
2. To encourage young men to study for the priesthood, a fund was established, assessing each member 50 cents per year.
3. Since a newspaper would serve as an excellent source of information for Church members and the public, it was agreed to begin publication of an official Church organ- Trybuna. A partnership was formed to assist Bishop Hodur in the publishing and financing of this project. Every Church member would be morally obligated to subscribe.
4. On a motion made by Bishop Hodur, it was unanimously decided to establish two new Feast days: The Feast of Brotherly Love on the second Sunday of October and The Feast of the Humble Shepherds on the first Sunday after the New Year.
February 2, 1907– The Committee’s decision to build a seminary on the property owned by the parish was reported. Members were to build the concrete foundation.
June 4, 1907– It was decided that the home already owned by the Parish be repaired by the Seminary Fund and be given over to the use of the Seminary.
July 5, 1907– It was decided to install an iron fence and gate at the cemetery entrance.
September 29, 1907– At the Old Catholic Church of St. Gertrude, Utrecht, Holland, Francis Hodur is consecrated as the First Bishop of the Polish National Catholic Church in America by Gerardus Gul, the Archbishop of Utrecht. The Bishops of Haarlem and Deventer are the co-consecrators.
October 26, 1907– Bishop Hodur suggests that rather than lotteries and fairs, it is better that the Parish hold dinners, bake sales, concerts, and theatrical plays as fundraisers.
February 8, 1908– It was agreed to print contracts for the cemetery in English.
May 3, 1908– It was decided to install brick walkways around the Church building.
June 4, 1908– It was decided that only parishioners have the right to a contract for burial in the cemetery with a payment of $5.00 to initiate the contract, the balance to be paid at the time of burial.
October 12, 1908– The Committee agreed to lend money to the members in the Continental and Sloan areas of the Parish for the establishment of Polish schools there to benefit their children.
November 5, 1908– The Committee resolved to reimburse Bishop Hodur for the expenses connected with his consecration trip to the Netherlands. The total expense was $120.00.
January 1, 1909– Special Parish Meeting- On a motion made by Francis Harwarzinski, seconded by Joseph Janus, the assembly decided to build a rectory for the Bishop. After a long deliberation, it was resolved to construct a rectory of at least thirteen rooms, with a wood interior and brick exterior. The committee was directed to select the most durable material for the construction. It was reported that members of the National Church are being mistreated on the streetcars. The director of the streetcar company advised contacting the Senior President in Philadelphia.
February 6, 1909– It was decided that the lots in the area of the Great Cross (at the cemetery) not be sold to individuals, but rather that they should be reserved for priests of the National Church.
April 13, 1909– Further discussion regarding the construction of the rectory found that the bids for this project range from $12,923.00 to $20,105.00. It was decided to sell the existing structure which occupies the rectory construction site at an auction. (R. Worniak bought the house for $37.00).
May 5, 1909– Rev. Bonczak, the Bishop’s assistant, would receive a salary of $25.00 per month.
August 8, 1909– Delegates were elected to represent the Parish at the Synod to be held on September 28 and 29.
September 19, 1909– A parish arbitration court was elected to resolve issues involving the parish. It was decided to have four judges plus the Bishop on the panel. The members of the court swore their oath before the Bishop. Any member disobeying the laws of the Church would have to submit to the court which met every Thursday. A member is required to submit the decision of the court without reservation. Should a member refuse to submit the court’s decision, he may be expelled from the parish. Panel members of the Tribunal must maintain confidentiality equal to confession.
October 17, 1909– The parish made an application for a load in the amount of $5,000.00 for the rectory construction.
November 29, 1909– A mortgage loan is made by the Lackawanna Trust and Safe Deposit in the amount of $5,000.00 for the rectory construction.
May 15, 1910– Work is authorized for the construction of restrooms, the leveling of the old rectory site and the construction of a fence on the Lavelle Court side of the Church property. The committee is authorized to issue notes to parishioners at 6% to cover the expenses of this project.
July 7, 1910– The matter of purchasing additional cemetery land was left to the decision of the Bishop and Michael Sznyter. They are to locate the present owner and see on what terms the land may be purchased.
August 1910– A total of $7,000.00 is needed for ongoing projects around the property. The Committee is authorized to borrow this amount through loans or notes. A School Advisory Committee is appointed.
August 2, 1910– The land near the cemetery belongs to the Connells. Mr. Sznyter was authorized to contact them regarding a purchase agreement.
September 12, 1910– Application of a loan for the $7.000.00 needed for the property improvements was made to Lackawanna Trust and Safe Deposit.
October 23, 1910– It was announced that the Parish treasury was depleted. Many projects underway could not be paid for and no private sources were able to lend any money. Mr. Hawarzinski appealed to the assembly to pledge 50 or 100 dollars per member. “The body received his appeal in silence.” Attempts to borrow money from The Third National Bank were in vain. Lackawanna Trust would only lend them the money if the Parish transferred all of its banking business to them. It was decided to do this in order to get the loan for the improvements.
[/spoiler] [spoiler title=”1911-1920″]
January 1911– The Bishop announces that unless the current organist, Alex Bielawski, improves the choir by next month he will be replaced.
February 4, 1911– The diligent work of the organist has raised the level of the choir’s performance! Bishop Hodur announces that the vicar, Father Krupski, has been assigned to a Parish and will be replaced by Father Laszkiewicz.
May 9, 1911– Electric light would be installed around the Church and at the corners.
July 16, 1911– A special Parish meeting was held to establish a fund to assist the needy members of our church in the United States.
September 24, 1911– A special meeting was held to discuss the issue of celibacy and the priesthood. Bishop Hodur explained that the Synod rejected married clergy, but each parish should decide where they stand on this issue for the next Synod. The Parish vote showed 128 votes for celibacy and 26 votes for married clergy. Therefore the parish in Scranton determined that it was for celibacy(!)
December 4, 1911– Bishop Hodur suggested that each society holding a meeting in the Parish Hall pay 5 cents per hour. Said suggestion was accepted!
December 11, 1911– Bishop Hodur declared that for the Parish to exist and remain strong, each member must be united by “Divine Love.” The Bishop will draw up regulations of conduct and each member will take an oath promising to abide by them.
February 5, 1912– The old rectory was rented for $7.25 a month.
April 11, 1912– The Lithuanian Parish requested permission to have their Mass in our Church. Permission was granted and they will pay $15.00 monthly for the use of the premises.
May 12, 1912– Special Meeting- Bishop Hodur called this special meeting to inform the congregation that some Roman Catholic priests are interfering with marriages in our Church. One proper marriage was upset and the couple no longer lives together. Mr. Lazenka stated that a lawsuit was in progress.
May 19, 1912– Bishop Hodur announced a Special Provincial Synod to be held June 2, 1912 in Wilkes-Barre.
June 30, 1912– Reports were given regarding the Provincial Synod. The following matters were addressed:
1. The Bishop explained the meaning of the Church symbol. The Bishop suggested that the priest read the “Confession of Faith” to their people at least twice a year. Also, he stated, the Apostle’s Creed is binding. The Bishop’s explanation was accepted unanimously.
2. It was resolved that the Mass and other services of the Church be conducted in the Polish language. The Slovak and Lithuanian Parishes should strive to conduct services in their own languages also.
3. The STRAZ, it was agreed, should be the official organ of the whole Church. Also, textbooks prepared by the Bishop and clergy would be provided to inform the people.
4. It was felt that a Diocesan Chancery was necessary for the function of the Bishop. A diocesan fund should be established to meet the expense of a Diocesan Secretary.
5. The Synod resolved that those individuals using the Church for their own purposes and not living Christian lives should be refused religious services and debarred from Church membership.
August 5, 1912– The new assistant to the Bishop will be Father Thomas Krakowiak. His salary will be $25.00 monthly.
September 1, 1912– The Wilkes-Barre Church (Holy Cross) will be blessed on September 2, 1912. All Parish organizations will be represented.
October 19, 1912– Decision of the new committee; “The committee is obligated to be at Mass every Sunday.” The Bishop noted that the remains of Rev. Szumowski were interred in the Bialkowski mausoleum. The agreement expires in December. The Bishop states that he has $25.00 from the priest’s estate. The cost of a proper tomb would be approximately $100.00.
December 9, 1912– An additional bell was purchased for $195.00. Edward Paszkowski was authorized to make a map of the cemetery.
January 13, 1913– The Bishop made it known that a small church on two lots was available for sale in Tripp Park for $1600.00.
June 15, 1913– The Bishop summoned a Provincial Synod for June 29, 1913 in Priceburg. The Bishop announced that the following Sunday, an outdoor Mass will be celebrated at the cemetery, followed by games and entertainment.
July 13, 1913– The reports of the Provincial Synod were given. Bishop Hodur and Rev. Bonczak were selected as delegates to the Old Catholic Congress. Regarding the School, it was decided that no tuition would be charged for members in good standing. Those whose dues or not paid, or non-Church members must pay $1.00 a month. This will be strictly controlled!
July 24, 1913– Bishop Hodur appointed Rev. Bronislaw Krupski to take charge during his absence.
November 9, 1913– It was decided to purchase the Church in Tripp Park for $1600.00. After a committee inspected the property, the parishioners in Providence and Tripp Park will be asked to expend one-half of the cost. The Parish will expend the other half. Tripp Park will be a branch of the Parish until they have 100 families, at which time they will be a separate Parish and will repay St. Stanislaus the monies expended.
November 30, 1913– The resolution was accepted as to the conditions of the establishment of Tripp Park church. It will be the property of St. Stanislaus until the conditions for separation are met. All Tripp Park members must be active paying members of St. Stanislaus, however, imposed assessments will be applied against the Tripp Park debt. Tripp Park members are authorized to establish a committee to oversee the affairs of their church.
December 16, 1913– The property of Tripp Park is registered in the name of St. Stanislaus. The down payment of $700.00 was accepted by the current owner who will allow the balance to be paid, without interest, by May; provided that the congregation can use the property for worship until their new Church is completed. The resolution regarding the purchase was accepted. Property purchased was the Methodist Episcopal Church Lot 9 and 10, Block J Ward 21. The resolution was signed by: Theofil Zenker, V.F. Bialkowski, Joseph Nycz, Joseph Zychal, Maryan Ptaszynski, Edward Paszkowski, Michael Sznyter.
January 5, 1914– The Committee for Tripp Park is confirmed: John Wisniewski, President, Victor Kosinski, Secretary, Walter Zakrzewski, Treasurer. Trustees: Ignatius Malinowski, Joseph Bogusinski, John Kaczmarek, and Stanley Zaczkiewicz.
February 22, 1914– It was decided to secure a bank loan to pay off the Tripp Park debt and to require the Executive officers of Tripp Park to attend the St. Stanislaus Parish Committee Meetings.
March 9, 1914– The Tripp Park Committee reports that they have purchased pews for the church in the amount of $100.00.
March 23, 1914– A door-to-door census of Tripp Park would be conducted to determine how many children would attend Polish School there. Also a steeple would be added to the structure and an altar and bell would be purchased.
April 6, 1914– The Tripp Park committee reported that 50 children would attend the school there. The Reverend Joseph Pekala was named as the new assistant at St. Stanislaus.
May 3, 1914– The contract to complete the work at Tripp Park was awarded to G. Sawicki for the amount of $120.00
June 9, 1914– A contract to paint for $544.00 was awarded to Forbach Co. The purchase of new crosses and the remodeling of the Church Hall were also approved.
November 1, 1914– Five delegates are elected to attend the General Synod in Chicago on December 1, 1914. Bishop Hodur initiates the idea that in place of a “fair”, a free-will offering be conducted in November for the purpose of paying off the Church debt.
December 20, 1914– The organist, Alex Bielawski, left his position without notice. The committee will seek a new organist.
December 23, 1914– The reports of the Third Synod were rendered.
Main Resolutions of the Third Synod
1. Main duty of the delegates is the building of a seminary for the purpose of training priests in Godly and National Spirit. For maintenance, the sum of $.25 yearly from each member was assessed, and for the building of the seminary a free-will offering.
2. The election of three bishops as helpers since it is time to ease the work and duties of Bishop Hodur. The new bishops are mainly to spread and maintain the ideals of the Polish National Church.
3. The affirmation of the fact that the STRAZ is a useful newspaper in defense and promotion of a free church, and to enlighten every church member to subscribe to and support the newspaper, which for nearly 18years has carried on a running battle against the enemies of truth and of the Polish people.
4. To establish three new holidays of the Polish National Catholic Church. These are: the Institution of the PNCC on the second Sunday in March, The Feast of the Fatherland-Poland, on the second Sunday of May, the Feast of the Christian Family on the second Sunday of October.
5. Correcting and preparing the constitution and making its observance the obligation of every member. This constitution is to be printed as soon as possible and sent to every parish.
6. Establishing a national donation for our mother country, Poland. Every member is obligated by his conscience to give even the smallest donation.
7. For the priest to encourage his parishioners to work with all people of Polish descent who have the desire for the independence of Poland and the advancement and happiness of the Polish nation.
In the minutes of the Third Synod, the following items stand out:
- To publish a brochure titled “The Dependence of Poland on Foreign Influence, Mainly Rome, and the Errors as a Result.”
- To send an emissary to Poland for the purpose of establishing a Church there.
- The matter of establishing a school to educate our children was touched upon.
- The matter of celibacy was discussed.
- The use of the Polish language instead of Latin. But, for this, there will have to be booklets printed and that involves work and expense. The matter was unanimously approved.
- Bishop nominated the following to constitute the spiritual portion of the Great Council:
- Rev. Franciszek Bonczak
- Rev. Walenty Gawrychowski
- Rev. Jozef Plaga
- Rev. Walenty Cichy
- Rector of the Seminary: Ks. Bronislaw Krupski
- Secretary: Ks. Leon Grochowski
When the matter of adding lay people to the General Council was raised, voices of opposition were heard, saying it is best left to the priests. Bishop Hodur did not agree, stating that lay people belong to the council. “Learn to govern yourselves,” he said to the Synod. “Learn to decide for yourselves and to think for yourselves.”
Maintain active interest in the movements of other National Churches, especially those in Belgium, Switzerland, and the Anglican Church
January 3, 1915– A special meeting was called to establish a fund to help the poor and hungry people in Poland. B. Holofast motioned to create this fund from parishioner’s donations, as well as contributions from the Polish National Union and members of the National Defenders. The motion on this issue was passed unanimously.
January 4, 1915– Bishop Hodur presented a candidate for the position of Church organist, Adam Pikulski. He was unanimously accepted.
January 11, 1915– Annual Meeting- It was reported by the outgoing president that the parish gained 72 new members during the previous year.
March 15, 1915– Special Meeting- Bishop Hodur asked if he could speak on some things concerning the Parish. First of all, he asked if he could be released from the duties of being the pastor of the parish due to the need of visiting other parishes who are starting to organize, not only locally but also in other parts of America. These parishes need advice, financial help and also religious teaching. According to the resolution of the last Synod, he must have more free time to visit parishes, hold classes with the seminary students, write newspaper and religious articles pertaining to the church, etc. To replace him as pastor of the parish, he recommended the Rev. Krupski from Plymouth, PA, who would also be the Vice-Rector of the seminary. After a lngthy discussion, the committee agreed to accept the Rev. Krupski to become pastor of the parish. Next, the matter of saving the parish and church in Perth Amboy, NJ (Ss. Cyril and Methodius) was discussed. After a short discussion, a group of parishioners offered to contribute $50.00 a month to help that congregation.
April 12, 1915– Bishop Hodur reports that due to very important reasons, Rev. Krupski cannot come to Scranton to assume the pastorate at this time.
May 12, 1915– It was decided to hold a special program in honor of the 500th Anniversary of the martyrdom of the great Czech Reformer Jan Hus who was burned at the stake.
May 23, 1915– The Hus celebration was set for July 4th. It was decided, also, to paint the altars, the statues in Church, and the stage. The cost of the project was set at $350.00.
August 29, 1915– It was decided to by the Kanieski property for the offered price of $1500.00.
October 11, 1915– The remaining debt at Tripp Park is $977.32.
January 16, 1916– Total number of members-695, total one to four years in arrears- 129. Total names on the books-823.
December 3, 1916– After investigation of the coal seams under the Church, it was decided to work with the coal company in order to secure the surface of the Church properties.
December 11, 1916– A private engineer was hired to investigate the coal seams underneath the church. His fee was set at $25.00.
December 29, 1916– Special Meeting- It was decided to contact the coal company for an estimate as to the cost of filling in the empty spaces between the coal seams.
January 21, 1917– Requests for funding were received from the Dupont and Wilkes-Barre Parishes in the amount of $75.00 each. The committee compiled with their requests.
February 11, 1917– A decision was made to have the empty spaces in the coal seams filled with bricks.
June 17, 1917– Today the old rectory would be auctioned off.
October 14, 1917– An appeal was directed at all Parishioners who are able to buy Liberty bonds to do so.
January 21, 1918– A pledge of $100.00 to the support of the Parish in Plymouth was approved.
November 17, 1918– Jan Drwal resigned as the Parish sexton. (Drwal was the holder of the first Spojnia policy).
December 12, 1918– The ANS Society will be charged $12.00 a year for electricity.
April 6, 1919– Bishop Hodur suggested that the members and organizations of the Parish join the Red Cross in the welcome home ceremonies sponsored by the City of Scranton to honor those returning from combat and workers contributing to the war victory.
May 18, 1919– Bishop Hodur proposed the publication of a pamphlet explaining the reasons for the separation of the Poles into two groups in the Scranton area. 5000 copies of the pamphlet would be printed and distributed here and in the “old country.”
August 11, 1919– Bishop Hodur again appealed for donations for the relief of Poland, to be combined with funds from Spojnia. These collections would be sent by Church and Spojnia representatives to the Polish Consul in New York.
October 3, 1919– A motion was made that the Parish School be operated according to the guidelines of the State. A committee for the “Polish Home” was selected.
October 15, 1919– Benches were lent to the Taylor Polish School for their students.
October 19, 1919– It was decided to build a “Polish Home” as would suit the Parish needs. Bishop Hodur and two lay delegates were selected to be delegates to the Polish Sejm.[/spoiler] [spoiler title=”1921-1930″]
January 24, 1920– Bishop Hodur announced from the pulpit that the Church debt must be eradicated. He also requests that the committee attend all major functions as a group.
April 5, 1920– It was proposed to purchase $10,000.00 worth of Polish Government bonds to be resold to our parishioners.
May 23, 1920– Bishop Hodur requested that the parish members, out of love for Poland, grant the parish committee authority to purchase $5,000.00 worth of Polish Bonds as a loan to Poland. It passed unanimously.
May 30, 1920– It was encouraged that each parishioner who is able to purchase $50.00 worth of Polish Government bonds. A law suit was filed between Bishop Hodur and Rev. Zychowicz. Freewill offerings would be accepted for the legal fund.
August 8, 1920– The minutes record that Bishop Hodur is in Poland.
August 22, 1920– As one of the bells is cracked, a new one will be purchased at the price of 46 cents per pound. 20 cents per pound will be credited to us for the old one.
November 15, 1920– A discussion on consecration of the side altars took place. Bishop Hodur suggests the purchase of candelabras.
December 13, 1920– It was reported that the candelabras cannot be purchased in Scranton and will have to be ordered from New York. Bishop Hodur suggested that the crèche be refurbished and the eternal light be electrified.
January 10, 1921– Representatives of the Polish National Spojnia, Victor Kosiorek and Michael Roman, attended for a joint discussion and course of action relating to the third Sejm to gather the Polish Nation of America in Pittsburgh on the 26th of January, 1921. On the cause, Bishop Hodur gave several reasons why we cannot take part in the Sejm. On the advice of Bishop Hodur, it was decided that the National Church and Spojnia should not participate in the Sejm.
January 16, 1921– Annual Meeting- Mr. Zenker took the floor and proposed that the committee be given power of attorney to renovate the church. Bishop Hodur suggested that should it be determined that the surface under the church is secure, the committee would have full authority to renovate and repair the church. The motion was supported by all present and accepted. Next, Bishop Hodur presented the matter of the Home for the Aged and Disabled and advised to appoint two individuals to assist him. L. Kosin and W.H. Sznyter were appointed.
January 22, 1921– Bishop Hodur advised Vice-President, Josephine Siemientkowski, to give special attention to those young girls who may not belong to any church. She may win them over to our church. Bishop Hodur advised that the parish of St. Stanislaus B & M prepare to observe the 24th anniversary of the National Church and to have the oldest and youngest committee member speak.
February 14, 1921-Next, Bishop Hodur advised to repaint or renovate the Large Altar, Stations, and to have a historic souvenir picture made as a memento of the organization of the Polish National Catholic Church. We could engage the painter who is expected to be in this area to do this. Bishop Hodur was given power of attorney to hire the painter. Bishop Hodur also announced that this year there will be a Synod of our Church in Scranton.
April 10, 1921– Special Parish Meeting- President Wysocki informed the gathering that this meeting was called to select a pre-synodal committee and delegates to the Fourth Synod of the National Church. Bishop Hodur took the floor and stated that the delegates to the Synod should be chosen on the basis of declaration of faith of the National Church.
May 5, 1921– President Wysocki advised that the local and regional funeral directors are thinking of improving the road to the cemetery and they plan to contact all parishes to cover the cost. Bishop Hodur advised that our parish should send delegates if the funeral directors have a meeting.
Because of the war, the Synod was held in June. 162 delegates attended. Main resolution of the Fourth Synod- Establishing that public confession, as well as private, is a sacrament.
July 3, 1921– Special Parish Meeting- On the matter of the West Mountain Sanitarium, Bishop Hodur spoke on the benefit received from it and suggested to donate $100.00 from parish funds for this benefit. Motion made and accepted. The next matter discussed was that of the parish relieving Bishop Hodur of ¾ of the responsibility of his pastoral functions in the parish because his duties pertaining to the general church will occupy more of his time. For the job of pastor of the parish, Rev. Zawadzki was presented and it was pointed out that he would be responsible for everything that was connected with the parish. With regards to salaries, Rev. Zawadzki would receive $100.00 a month and Bishop Hodur $50.00 a month. Bishop Hodur stated that he needs two rooms and suggested that the parish committee work on it.
July 24, 1921– Semi-Annual Meeting- Bishop Hodur advised that land near the cemetery should be purchased because the old cemetery will be used up in a short time. After a short discussion, it was decided to hand the matter over to the committee and let them handle it. However, Bishop Hodur stated that the committee has undertaken the task of repairing the school floor and suggested that the repairs be set aside for another time.
August 8, 1921– Bishop Hodur advised to have an evening to observe (Święty Rodziny) Holy Family Day.
October 10, 1921– President Wysocki suggested to have our parish participate in the blessing of the church in Dickson City. This year, 1922, our parish is completing the 25th year of its organization . We should celebrate the 25th anniversary; this matter was turned over to the parish committee.
January 29, 1922– Special Parish Meeting- Called to adopt the Jubilee program and choose a parish court. Bishop Hodur presented a seven (7) point Jubilee program which was accepted.
1st Point: Count all those close to you, who are living, and were joint founders of the Polish National Church in Scranton, their scattered children and later members and their families.
2nd Point: During religious festivities, the whole parish is to attend penitential services and receive Holy Communion as an indication of thanksgiving for receiving God’s Grace.
3rd Point: The Jubilee Committee is to prepare a combined dinner; an act of love (agape); which all parish members will attend as well as invited representatives from neighboring National Parishes.
4th Point: Prepare a souvenir book.
5th Point: The united youth, under direction of the YMSofR, would build, in Scranton, a Home of the Polish Youth where the younger generation from Scranton and vicinity will gather.
6th Point: The parish is to pay off the rest of the debt that is burdening the church.
7th Point: Arrange a religious service in the church and a civic celebration in a central city hall.
Bishop Hodur advised that the Jubilee committee should be compsed of three committee members and two members from each existing organization of the church. They should be present on the appointed day. The Jubilee could be held on the 1st Sunday of May. There was a discussion of establishing a tribunal in the parish and the benefits that would be gained.
March 12, 1922– The committee of the Tripp Park Chapel is asking for advice as they plan to have the church repaired. Bishop Hodur announced that correspondence was received from Poland requesting the emblem of the National Church. Motion was made to give Rev. Zawadzki twelve (12) emblems to send to those he believes worthy.
May 7, 1922– Special Parish Meeting- President Wysocki informed the parishioners that $1,214.50 is still needed to pay off the debt.
June 4, 1922– Special Parish Meeting- President Wysocki informed the assembly that the reason for the meeting was to take up the matter of the building alongside the church that is used as a reading room and recreation. After a brief discussion and upon the advice of Bishop Hodur, a motion was made by A. Hojnowski, seconded by St. Sliwinski, to sell the recreation building and give the committee authorization to handle the sale.
July 2, 1922– Special Parish Meeting- Rev. Zawadzki explained that a continuation school (during summer vacation) is absolutely necessary in our Parish. Financially, those parishioners who are able, can give an offering of 50 cents. The Spojnia will also help us. The school is to start July 3rd and will run from 4 to six o’clock.
August 20, 1922– Special Parish Meeting- President Wysocki announced that the purpose of the meeting is consideration over the parish school. Bishop Hodur took the floor and explained the matter of the parish school and advised to choose a committee that would improve the curriculum at the parish school. He indicated the committee should be comprised of two priests, the parish president, the teachers, and nine parish members.
January 14, 1923– Annual Meeting- Bishop Hodur informed the assembly of the presence of representatives from a stained glass window firm from Kingston, PA, who will present a plan for colored windows for the church. Bishop Hodur states that there are three important items concerning the church:
The First Matter: Whether to set aside money from the parish treasury (1,626.64) in a separate book and establish a building fund and after a few years consider building a new church or a school eventually to be accepted by the Parish.
The Second Matter: Bishop Hodur, at the end of February or the beginning of March, will travel for a short time to Poland for a meeting in Krakow with members of the National Church in all of Poland.
The Third Matter: For this meeting in Krakow, Poland, to cover the cost of Mr. Boczar and Miss Klapowny to represent our parish.
All three items were accepted unanimously.
May 27, 1923– Special Meeting- A motion was made for all parish members to take part in the welcoming back of our Prime Bishop, Francis Hodur at the Lackawanna Station the day of his return to Scranton.
June 11, 1923– It was suggested to have a Mass and outing at the cemetery on the 2nd Sunday of July.
July 22, 1923– Semi-Annual Meeting- Bishop Hodur suggested that the funds collected for the absent delegates to the meetings in Poland be given to the first parish organized in Poland for items needed for the church.
August 19, 1923– Special Parish Meeting- The purpose of the meeting was to choose a delegate for the upcoming Synod of the Polish National Catholic Church of America, which is to be held in Cleveland, OH at the time of the Sejm of the Polish National Spojnia.
September 23, 1923– Special Parish Meeting- The reason for the meeting was to gain approval for the parish to give a donation in the amount of $100.00 to help the Japonczyk family.
October 8, 1923– To light the cross at the cemetery for All Souls Day, Mr. Frank Lipo will drive his car into the cemetery and the electric wires will be connected to the car battery to light up the cross. Bishop Hodur made a motion, which was unanimously approved, to conduct a membership drive during the two weeks that he is away. All new members will be inducted at the same service, with all church members in attendance, so that welcoming is done in a better fashion than it was done previously.
January 20, 1924– Annual Meeting- Next, Bishop Hodur spoke of building a Polish Home and suggested the building of it should be done by the parish and for the members to make a donation payable over two years; (older people $25.00 each and younger people $50.00 each). The proposal was unanimously accepted.
March 10, 1924– Bishop Hodur explained that the Society of the Holy Family in Taylor will purchase black and purple altar hangings.
May 12, 1924– A decision was made to place water pipes through the cemetery and connect to the Water Company line.
August 3, 1924– Semi-Annual Meeting- Bishop Francis Hodur put forth the following ideas:
1. That there should be better order in the whole church. He also suggested to make his work load lighter and to choose a Pastor in his place to take care of parish matters. Bishop Leon Grochowski was chosen for this position.
2. To be sure to build a seminary.
3. That the parish should address the issue of the youth and elderly who are delinquent. Also that more people should be attending church and working harder for the church.
4. To look into a charter for the church in Tripp Park that is to be named Polish National Church in America.
All of Bishop Hodur’s suggestions were accepted unanimously.
August 11, 1924– Bishop Hodur suggested to choose a working committee to look into the matter of obtaining a charter for the church in Tripp Park and to file the proper paperwork in court. The charter will reflect the name of the Polish National Catholic Church in America because until this time it has been under the jurisdiction of St. Stanislaus B & M Cathedral in Scranton.
It was decided to decorate the church for the consecration of bishops- Grochowski, Gawrychowski, Gritenas, and Bonczak.
January 18, 1925– Next, it was mentioned that the church was built 28 years ago this coming March and major repairs are needed both inside and outside. A special committee should be picked consisting of eleven or more members. When plans are made, a special meeting should be held to decide what should be done. Then a decision should be made whether a new church s hould be built or the present one be remodeled. This should be done in a period of two years.
The following committee for rebuilding or remodeling the church was chosen:
Br. Wysocki, W. Szpajer, M. Sznyter, Br. Mazewska, St. Podkulski, D. Kasprykowski, J. Zawadzki, St. Helstowski, W. Kosiorek, Felix Cwynar, Joz. Siemientkowska, Frank Janik, St. Sliwinski, J. Mikuta, J. Szlagowski, Fr. Ajduzyk, Ignatz Plocha, S. Glazewski, J. Wisniewski.
January 30, 1925– Report of the Committee to Rebuild the Cathedral- As a result of this meeting, the design contract was awarded to Ward Architects. S. Sykes and Sons was awarded the contract to completely rebuild the existing Church.
June 8, 1925– It was decided unanimously to have a Mass at the cemetery, followed by a picnic, on the 12th of July. This will be a yearly event. It was also decided to have a canopy made over the altar.
July 19, 1925– Semi-Annual Meeting- The President brought up the matter of having Maple Street paved since the Polish Home will be located there. The members should sign a petition regarding this matter. It was decided to leave all matters with regard to building the new church in the hands of the renovation committee.
November 1, 1925– Special Parish Meeting- Building Committee President, B. Wysocki, gave a report on the progress of the building of the church as follows:
1. The contractor was paid $16,500.00 in two payments and the stained glass windows were purchased.
2. The type of wood to be used for the window trim will be decided by the contractor and the committee.
3. The fire insurance was raised according to the specifications and plans on the church.
Next, President M. Mietlicki said that there will not be enough money to cover the next payment to the contractor. It was decided to borrow $9,000.00 from the Polish Home Committee.
January 17, 1926– B. Wysocki, president of the Church renovation committee, reported the remodeling is slowly progressing. The exterior is finished with the laying of bricks and the interior is being plastered. The contractor has been paid $32,000.00 and the balance is $48,000.00. Building committee now consisted of Rt. Rev. Francis Hodur, B. Wysocki, M. Mietlicki, St. Helstowski, J. Mikuta, W. Szpajer, V. Kosiorek, J. Szlagowski, Ed. Siekierka, Fr. Ajduczyk, Ig. Plocha, Leo Wisniewski, D. Kaczprzykowski, St. Glazewski, M. Sznyter, St. Podkulski, St. Slivinski, John Wisniewski, S. Kuzminski, Felix Kozlowski, Jos. Filipkowski, J. Stankowski, Teofil Zenker, Fr. Lipo, W. Pron, Jos. Preitz, M. Stankiewicz, J. Siemietkowska, E. Kosiorek, K. Andrzejewska, E. Sznyter, Anna Stankowski.
B. Wysocki asked the parishioners to decide how to raise the money for future payments on the church. Bishop Hodur asked for donations of whatever the members could afford, suggesting (1) 50 members- $200.00 to $1,000.00; 100 members- $50.00 to $200.00; the remainder- $10.00 to $50.00. (2) that all delinquent members fulfill their obligation from the previous year, that is, two days pay. (3) members should loan money to the Church in whatever amount they can afford. Next, Bishop Hodur suggested to send $100.00 to the church in Jaslkowice, Poland. $78.25 was collected.
April 13, 1926– The Bishop reported that the Baltimore parish sent a $250.00 donation for the renovation of the church. It was decided to send a “thank you” note to the committee and parishioners.
June 13, 1926– the New Cathedral is blessed and dedicated- The program for the dedication proceeded as follows: 1. A parade was held through the downtown of Scranton. 2. Bishop Hodur blessed the Church and Bishop Leon Grochowski delivered a homily outside to a crowd of 10,000 people. 3. Bishop Hodur then celebrated Mass at which Bishop Valentine Gawrychowski delivered the homily. Bishop Jan Gritenas of the Lithuanian National Catholic Parish sang the preface of the Mass in Lithuanian. Father Imerich Jecuszko of the Most Holy Name of Jesus Slovak Parish in Passaic, NJ read the Gospel in Slovak. 4. Solemn Vespers were celebrated in the evening with Father John Jasinski (later Bishop of the Buffalo-Pittsburgh Diocese) delivering the homily. The following day a clergy conference was held to discuss the purchase of the Seminary building since many came from different parts of the country. Father Jecuszko made the first pledge of $300.00 to the Seminary Purchase Fund.
July 18, 1926– B. Wysocki, president of the rebuilding committee, reported that most of the work is done, except for two stained glass windows and a few minor items which will be taken care of shortly. The contractor and sub-contractor have been paid the sum of $84,399.85 and t here is a balance remaining of $14,133.00.
October 8, 1926– The Prime Bishop suggested to have a model of our church done in coal which he will give to the President of Poland on his upcoming trip. He would also like to get buttons and lapel ribbons to distribute among the people.
November 28, 1926– Special Meeting- The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the attack on Prime Bishop Hodur, Bishop Bonczak, and other of our brothers in Poland; and to draft a solution to be sent to the U.S. Government in Washington, D.C. Father Jasinski took the floor and read the telegram from Poland. He explained about Prime Bishop’s health and advised to pick a committee of trustees to carry a resolution to Washington. B. Wysocki then spoke about the criticism of Bishop Hodur form the Roman Catholics in their newspaper and urged our members to discontinue their subscriptions to the paper.
June 1927– The committee then made an offer of $500.00 per acre to purchase land adjacent to the cemetery. Mr. Morgan then presented his last offer of $600.00 and added he would not accept a penny less. The offer was accepted and agreed to buy 10 acres. A $100.00 deposit was paid for the land. Atty. Kenowski was advised to draw up the papers to buy 10 acres at $600.00 an acre.
August 2, 1927– This meeting was held at the church office. Discussion was made how to parcel off the newly acquired land. The decision was that 4½ acres will be used for cemetery purposes, 2 acres for cemetery lots, 2 acres for graves and ½ acre to build a chapel. The 5½ acres is to be developed for recreation purposes, such as a park for picnics, a baseball field, and a stage or platform for performances.
April 1, 1929– Meeting held in the church office, requested by caretakers of the Tripp Park Church. In attendance also was Father Kasenczak. This group of Ukrainian people was asking for help with their newly organized church. They asked if they could hold their service on Sunday at the Tripp Park Church and in the case of a death of one of their parishioners, to give them the permission to bury in their cemetery. This would continue until they were able to secure their own church. The committee agreed to help these people for the time being. For the use of the chapel, they would pay for the electricity used for the first three months. The Mass for the Ukrainian people would be held at 10:30 A.M. The Mass for the Polish people would be held every second Sunday at 9:30 A.M. instead of 10 A.M. Father Kasenchak thanked the committee for their help and cooperation.
June 3, 1929– Special meeting held in the church office pertaining to the Grotto at the new cemetery. Mr. Zenker submitted a bid to build the Grotto of stones at the cost of $1,300.00. That is without the figure or statue of Christ. That would cost another $600.00. the Society of Divine offered to pay the cost of the statue.
June 11, 1929– The Parish donated an additional $1,000.00 from the Bartosz Glowacki Fund to be used in the joint venture of the PNCC and the PNUofA in purchasing the needed property for the Home for the Aged and Infirm at Waymart, PA.
June 16, 1929– A committee was selected to observe the dedication of the Spojnia Home for the Aged on July 4, 1929. Many parishioners offered their services for this event.
July 26, 1929– Prices for refreshment at the picnic are: clams, 6 for $.30; small soda, .05; large soda, .20; punch, .05; ice cream, .10; coffee, .05; milk, .05; beer, .15; ham, .15; cantaloupe, .15; with ice cream, .25; orange, .05; pretzels, 3 for .05; bananas, 2 for .05; gum, .05; snacks, .10; candy, .05; cake, .10; peanuts, .05; cigarettes, .20; cigar, .05.
August 3, 1929– The cost of the Grotto at the new cemetery for the sum of $1,300.00 has now risen to the sum of $2,245.55. Mr. Zenker, who was present at the meeting, has agreed to drop his commission of 10% and will deduct $100.00 from the cost for his labor. Now the total cost for building the Grotto will be $1,941.41.
October 21, 1929– Special Meeting- The main committee of the PNU, with Father Padewski, was in attendance. It was discussed to have an assembly, or evening of entertainment on November 7th for Bishop Hodur, who is going on a mission to Poland. This will be a Bon Voyage to Bishop Hodur. There will be a collection to raise money for a mission fund to take to Poland. Speakers are Father Padewski, Walter Pron, L. Sankiewicz, and W. Kosiorek.
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January 18, 1931– Annual Meeting- It was announced that Locust Street would be paved. The portion in front of the Church and empty lot will be the responsibility of the city. The Parish must pay $640.00 to have the front of the Rectory paved.
February 9, 1931– The Bishop informed the Committee that due to concerned interest of the church in Poland, he will be going there for a few months accompanied by Rev. Joseph L. Zawistowski of Shenandoah and Rev. Stanley Szufladowicz of Plymouth. He will return in late April or early in May and will leave Pastor, Rev. Joseph Padewski, in charge, assisted by Rector, Rev. Adam Walichiewicz.
April 19, 1931– Bishop Hodur informed the Committee that the new section of the cemetery would be dedicated since several people are already buried there.
December 14, 1931– The Bishop informed that there will be a change in liturgical vestments, according to the ritual of the National Church. We will convert the pulpit into an altar to celebrate Mass facing the congregation.
March 14, 1932– Bishop Hodur mentioned that the altar will have to be enlarged which is necessary for the services according to the ritual of the National Church.
April 11, 1932– Before the minutes were read, Bishop Hodur informed everyone that the Committee from Greenwood is interested in building a hall to be used for a supplementary school and also to be used by the Societies in Greenwood.
September 12, 1932– Bishop Hodur announced that the Committee decided that due to hard times, the building of the Hall in Greenwood would not be undertaken at this time and to wait until working conditions improve. President Pron suggests the idea of donating a certain sum as an award for the Youth Zlot. Bishop Hodur states that this idea makes known that our Parish as the first Nationals should show our love and encouragement to the Youth of the church by giving a certain sum for prizes. $25.00 from the treasury is assigned for this purpose.
November 7, 1932– Bishop Hodur informs the Committee that because of conditions in Poland, he must travel to Poland for a few weeks to rectify everything and to give the priests and members of the church encouragement to sustain for better work for the good of our church and the church in Poland. He will leave for a short time and return around January 7, 1933. While Bishop Hodur is away, his replacement will be the Rev. John Misiaszek of Dickson City, assisted by Rev. Stanley Molon.
December 12, 1932– Rev. John Misiaszek relates that because of a ruling by Bishop O’Reilly, Christmas Eve Midnight Mass will not be held in the Roman Catholic Church. After discussing this matter, the Committee unanimously agreed to promote this on the street and also to have programs printed so as many as possible would attend Christmas Eve Midnight Mass in our Church.
April 10, 1933– A resolution by the Political Club to change Locust Street to Kosciuszko Street was endorsed and forwarded to the City Council.
July 16, 1933– Semi-Annual Meeting- Bishop Hodur discusses the matter of unveiling the Statue of Christ Benign and arranging a religious meeting on the occasion of observing the Death of Christ. Bishop Hodur pleads for all members to assist in the planning of blessing the Statue and the religious gathering. Also, whoever is able at this time, give a donation for the Statue of Christ Benign. The wish of Bishop Hodur is to hold the religious gathering immediately following the blessing. Gathering will take place in the school or on the grounds near the church.
February 16, 1934– In anticipation of the 38th Anniversary of the Church, Bishop Hodur suggests that the second evening of celebration be a forum discussion on the following topics:
1. Is religion necessary in the 20th Century?
2. What charecteristics indicate true religion?
3. Why do Bolsheviks fight the church?
4. What are the duties and obligations of members and followers of the National Church?
5. Do the children inherit the disputes of religious and anti-religious parents?
6. Is it necessary to have unity and order in the Polish National Catholic Church?
July 9, 1934– Bishop Hodur made it known that Marie Curie died in France. She was a dedicated Pole, the first woman to be a Professor at the University of France and as a Polish mother distinguished herself especially with her discovery of radium, plutonium, and polonium. The Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament and Maria Konopnicka Societies should honor this great scholar by arranging a program at the convention of the A.N.S Society.
July 29, 1934– Bishop Hodur stated that Polish river banks flooded over and several country areas are flooded with water and around 2000 people are without a roof over their heads and suggests our parish assign $25.00 for the flood victims.
March 11, 1935– The matter of the new Polish Missals of the Polish National Catholic Church were discussed. Bishop Hodur explained the costs of the missals, pointing out that there are three prices: $27, $30, and for a beautiful quality cover, $35.00 or higher. He suggested individuals buy one missal, the Maria Konopnicka Society by another and the parish the highest quality. For this purpose, the parish promised to contribute $100.
June 10, 1935-The Reports of the Synod in Chicago included the establishment of the quarterly “POLKA” to be published by the Women’s Society for the Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Bishop Hodur pointed out that the Synod improved the administration of the church by establishing Senior Priests.
August 11, 1935– Bishop Francis Hodur Informed the Parish that due to exhaustion and the excessive amount of work required of him, he’s stepping down as Pastor and will assume the work of Bishop; devoting himself to the positive work of the Divine Love Society. The work of the Parish will be the responsibility of Fr. Senior John Misiaszek.
October 7, 1935– Bishop Hodur announced that after November 4, he is moving to Ustronie and Fr. Senior John Misiaszek will perform the functions of a parish priest in our parish. Bishop Hodur will travel once a month for High Mass and will control the work of the Polish School Society.
September 14, 1936– At the Parish Committee Meeting, Bishop Misiaszek thanked the committee for their kindness on the occasion of his consecration to the Episcopacy.
October 10, 1937– Bishop Misiaszek stated that the parish purchased 2 missals and the Maria Konopnicka Society purchased 1 missal. One missal will be sent to Bishop Joseph Padewski in Poland. Likewise, if the rituals are ready and priced, the parish will place an order for them. The Constitution of the National Church that was corrected and approved by all the synods of the National Church was printed and already sold for 7 cents apiece. The parish committee paid $21.00 for the constitution and sold them for a total of $4.83.
November 9, 1937– Bishop Misiaszek invited the committee to take part in the consecration of Father Senior Joseph Lesniak on November 16 when he will be consecrated to the Episcopacy. President of the committee read a letter from the parish in Syracuse, NY, inviting our parish to attend the blessing of the church. Bishop Misiaszek informed the committee that on January 2nd, before Vesper services, the missals of the Polish National Catholic Church will be blessed. One missal will be sent to the parish in Krakow, Poland as a gift from the parish in Scranton.
January 10, 1938– The committee adjourned to the rectory to discuss problems of the church in Poland with Bishop Hodur, who advised that a petition be sent to the government of Poland requesting recognition of the National Church and the clergy so that parishioners would not be subject to the loss of personal freedom or financial indebtedness because of their faith.
January 16, 1938– Two new banners were made. One has the emblem of Poland on one side and the other side the emblem of the church. The other was the American flag, and each were placed on either side of the main altar. These are still standing in the sanctuary of the Cathedral.
January 16, 1939– Bishop Hodur advises that a petition signed by members of the Polish National Church, friends and sympathizers should be sent to the Polish government advising them of the hurt and insult to our sisters and brothers of the National Church in Poland, only because these persons wish to believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ, preached in the Polish National Church. Priests are being arrested for saying Mass, and are forbidden to register Baptisms, Marriages, or Deaths of members of the Polish National Church. We cannot tolerate such state of affairs that exist in Poland today, just because we don’t have the approval of the Roman Church, and do not acknowledge the exalted of this earth! Bishop Hodur informs us that when these signatures, numbering 50,000 on the petition, the Grand Council of the Church will decide when and how two delegates chosen, together with Bishop Joseph Padewski, will go to Warsaw and present said petition to the government of Poland, demanding justice. After explaining the problem, Bishop Hodur asked Bishop Misiaszek to read the following resolution:
Scranton, Pennsylvania- January 22, 1938-
“We, the undersigned members of the Polish National Catholic Church, established in the United States of America to save the souls from cessation and denationalization through the altar, pulpit, confessional and parochial schools of the powerful Roman Church, some of us born in Poland, others born of immigrants to the United States, respecting and revering the star-studded flag, the symbol of the mightiest and most free democracy in the world, however honoring and loving the reborn Poland, the cradle of a great people, we entreat the government of the republic of Poland for such recognition of the Polish National Catholic Church as is given to others. Under existing conditions, as worthy of aspirations in the spirit and interests of Poland, and indication that the members of the Polish National Catholic church will no longer be subjected to the loss of their personal liberty and sentenced to insult and abuse because of their faith in religious principles voiced by our Savior Jesus of Nazareth, which the Polish émigrés embraced as the foundation of their earthly lives, so to be saved from ruin, spiritually and materially.”
July 12, 1938– Members of the committee adjourned to the rectory where Bishop Hodur voiced his idea of a “Day of Scrantonians” to be held on the Second Sunday of July 1939. The idea will be brought up at the semi-annual parish meeting to the entire parish on July 17. Bishop Franciszek Hodur presented to the Parish Committee his thoughts on having a gathering (reunion) of former Scrantonians. His suggestion was accepted.
July 17, 1938– Young people were organized to attend the Polish Olympiad in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Bishop Hodur presented his idea for “Scrantonian’s Day.” 42 years ago 250 families vowed to hold together through all obstacles, however, many of those who were forced to move to other states to get jobs to support their families. Bishop Hodur requested that a reunion be held with as many possible in attendance, to celebrate the 42nd anniversary. “It would be then, on our part, desirable, beneficial, and advisable, if we in this critical time, came together in Scranton, gathering beneath our Sacred banner, making an account of and reminding ourselves before God, and America, for giving us the opportunity to organize a free Polish National Catholic Church. During this gathering we would remind ourselves of what united us then and unites us today, what we have accomplished, suffered, built, and what we have failed to do- and why we have failed to do it. He also stated that if this meeting of the parish agrees to his proposal, the assembled parishioners will select a committee that would make efforts to locate those members who have left our area.”
August 18, 1938– A thank-you note was sent to Jacob and Ludwika Hodur in appreciation for the portrait of Bishop Hodur which they donated to Scranton. (This portrait now hangs in the Cathedral Rectory Reception Office)
January 16, 1938– Petitions are being signed by members of the PNCC. They will be taken to Poland by Vice-President of the Parish Committee, Al Kenowski, who will travel to Poland as a delegate. He will be accompanied by Bishop John Jasinski and Bishop Joseph Padewski. The will present petitions to the Polish government. The petitions are asking the Polish government to recognize and legalize the Polish National Catholic Church in Poland. They did not succeed in their mission. Ms. L. Sankiewicz advises that the effort should be continued to have the Polish National Catholic Church legalized in Poland. Bishop Hodur then told the people he will celebrate a Mass on Friday seeking God’s Intercession on behalf of the Church in Poland because the Polish government refused to honor our request to legalize the PNCC in Poland. Bishop Hodur will preach a proper sermon on this subject. It will be published in the STRAZ newspaper and God’s Field publication. We will also send letters protesting this action to the Polish Ambassador in Washington, DC.
May 18, 1939– Bishop Francis Hodur informed the committee that Mrs. Apolonia Rychel made a donation to the church in the sum of $500. It was made in memory of her late son Frank Rychel. Bishop Hodur advises the raising of the Main altar to change the style. Renovation of the side altars will be to compliment the new Main altar.
June 12, 1939– Mr. Pron informed the committee that the main altar work is finished. The statues will be painted, the cost to be $85.00.
July 16, 1939– Bishop Hodur notes that the Reunion of Scrantonians was a complete success.
[/spoiler] [spoiler title=”1941-1950″]
February 10, 1941– Bishop John Misiaszek suggested printing a prayer book which would be given as a gift to our men who are going into the Armed Forces of our country and also to those leaving to work in defense plants.
July 20, 1941– A memorial book commemorating the 44th anniversary of the founding of the Polish National Catholic Church was printed. This 64 page memorial book contained 9 articles of information, names of parishioners and photos of clergy and members. This memorial book was given to all parishioners. Prime Bishop Hodur announced that on Sunday, July 27th, there will be a special church service at 10:30am in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the City of Scranton. He suggests that the entire church committee and all members of the church organizations of the parish and also the Executive board of the Polish National Union attend the services.
January 25, 1943– Bishop Hodur advised the committee that he received an invitation from Washington D.C. to stimulate the sale of U.S. Bonds. It was explained that the committee could arrange to sell bonds and stamps at the Parish office. A motion was passed to buy $100.00 worth of stamps and sell them to parishioners.
February 8, 1943– The Parish reported sales of U.S. Bonds in the amount of $3,485.00, stamps $152.40.
March 8, 1943– Decision to buy a new Bishop’s chair for the altar passed by the Parish Committee.
July 12, 1943– The Parish reported sales of 159 bonds- $10,101.25.
August 19, 1943– The 50th Anniversary of Bishop Hodur’s Ordination to the Holy Priesthood. Nine o’clock Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Hodur.
January 12, 1944– A rally to purchase U.S. Bonds was held. Bishop Hodur spoke of the need to purchase bonds. The Parish will buy $2,000.00 worth of bonds.
AS OF JANUARY 1, 1944, – 600 YOUNG PEOPLE FROM THE PARISH WERE MEMBERS OF THE AMERICAN ARMED FORCES
January 15, 1944– Bishop Hodur suggests that a plaque be erected to honor those who have served in the defense of freedom. He also suggests that the Cathedral Parish reconstruct a destroyed church in Poland, after the war, as an example to other Parishes to do the same. The Parish makes a gift of $100.00 to the Parish in Throop in light of the fact that they have only 13 paying members. All information from the meeting will be published in Forward Christian Soldier, a publication of the PNCC sent to Church members in the Armed Forces.
AT THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION, 33 ORIGINAL CHARTER MEMBERS ARE HONORED BY BISHOP HODUR WITH A PRESENTATION!
May 2, 1944– Bishop Hodur emphasizes the importance of our Parish participating in the Polish American Congress meeting at Buffalo on May 28, 29, and 30.
June 27, 1944– it was announced that a special service would be included at the Mass on the 2nd Sunday in Julyin honor of those serving in the Army. A special service flag will be presented on shich will be placed 210 blue stars for those who are serving and 4 gold stars for those who have made the supreme sacrifice. All the names of the servicemen will be read from the pulpit. By this date the total investment in War Bonds is $52,515.00.
November 13, 1944– It was decided to change the name of the Annual freewill offering to “November Offering.”
February 12, 1945– A letter is received from R.W. Voris, manager of the U.S. Treasury Department thanking the parish for their patriotic participation in the War Bond effort. Since in its inception, the parish program, under the direction of Stanley Janus and Josephine Zell has sold or purchased $110,570.00 in bonds.
July 22, 1945– It is reportated that Bishop Hodur celebrates a service of Thanksgiving at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City in honor of the freedom of America and Poland. It was also reported that Bishop Padwski will leave for Poland as soon as possible to aid the Church there. The total mission collection for Poland stands at $62,000.00.
July 15, 1946– It was decided to purchase 13 acres adjacent to the YMSofR Park for $3,000.00.
November 9, 1947– Bishop Hodur suggested that the English language be introduced into the Church services. He explained that at the least, the Epistle and Gospel should be read in English at Mass and explained.
September 14, 1948– The Day School children will participate in the 40th Anniversary of the Polish National Union of America which aids the School with its financial support. It was accepted to eliminate the word “Reformed” from the title of our Church on the checks printed by the bank.
November 15, 1948– The Polish American Congress was contacted regarding the matter of our Bishops’ membership in their organization. As of this date, they have been denied membership.
June 27, 1949– The Parish minutes record, “After the Mass at the Grotto, the Outing for the children, entertainment and games will be under the supervision of Rev. Edward Sobolewski, Frank Orloski, and Seminarian Anthony Rysz.
July 17, 1949– During the previous six months, 35 poor children were given shoes and clothing and two elder parishioners were given financial assistance for a total amount of $150.00. Delegates are chosen for the 8th General Synod to be held on September 27, 28, and 29, 1949 in Scranton. It was suggested that the four living organizers who attended the First Synod be elected as delegates: Michael Sznyter, Michael Augustyn, Br. Juszkiewicz, and Leon Kosinski. Bishop Hodur recommended that these individuals be made honorary delegates and that twenty younger people be elected to represent the Parish. Representatives of the Episcopal and Presbyterian Churches are to be invited.
August 1, 1949– It is decided to give each district of Spojnia a mandate to the General Synod. In addition, the Synod will be advertised and reported on in both the English and Polish language presses in various sections of the country. Bishop Padewski, who has been the missionary Bishop in Poland for 18 years, cannot attend. The Church in Poland requires his constant supervision and care.
August 22, 1949– During the Pre-Synodal Meeting it was decided that a qualified woman can be the Vice-Chairman of the Synod.
September 19, 1949– Bishop Hodur announced his intention to present Bishop Misiaszek to the Synod as his choice to be the new Bishop of the Central Diocese. Due to age and poor health, Bishop Hodur can only continue to fulfill limited duties, but will retain the rank of Prime Bishop.
REPORT OF THE DELEGATES OF THE EIGHTH GENERAL SYNOD
The 8th Synod approved the elevation of Bishop Misiaszek to the office of Diocesan Bishop for the Central Diocese. Bishop Leon Grochowski was elected to replace Bishop Hodur as Prime Bishop in the event of the latter’s death. The body was urged to support and encourage the standard organizations of the Church. Though admitted English was the primary language of the younger members of the Church, it was decided that society meetings should be conducted in Polish and to maintain the use of the mother language in our Church life.
November 6, 1949– Bishop John Misiaszek is installed as Diocesan Bishop. Bishop Hodur speaks to the congregation over the “public address system” from his quarters in the Rectory. (shortly afterward a better system was installed which Bishop Hodur used frequently to address meetings as well as preach sermons.)
December 12, 1949– The Parish now has the legal right to use “Polish National Church” in the conduction of its affairs. The word “reformed” has been dropped.
January 9, 1950– Prime Bishop Hodur suggested two projects to the Committee: 1- The placement in the foundation of the Church building of plaques honoring the organizers of the Church and those who served in the Armed Forces. 2- The publication of four books: “The Life of Jesus Christ”, “The History of the United States”, “The History of the Polish Nation” and “The History of the Polish National Catholic Church”.
January 15, 1950– It was decided to select a committee to undertake the long-delayed “Youth Home” project. This had been discussed since before World War 2.
April 18, 1950– The Supreme Church Council announces a $35,000.00 renovation plan for the Savonarola Theological Seminary. Each Church member is to donate $2.00 to this endeavor.
June 18, 1950– $2,000.00 from the Parish treasury is allotted toward the Seminary renovation.
July 16, 1950– It was suggested to begin car services for the youngsters living in outer sections of the Parish. Attendance in the Parish School was low and perhaps this would increase enrollment.[/spoiler] [spoiler title=”1951-1970″]
May 10, 1951– Bishop Joseph Padewski dies in Communist prison in Warsaw. By government decree the Missionary Diocese of the Polish National Catholic Church is liquidated and the Polish Catholic Church is established; severing all ties with the Church in the United States.
March 30, 1952– It was announced that Bishop Joseph Soltysiak would be consecrated in our Church on April 23, 1952 at 10:00am.
October 13, 1952– Bishop Hodur indicates that his health is failing. It has been a few years since he has been able to celebrate Mass, as he cannot get to the Church. He requests that an altar be built in his library for his use.
February 16, 1953– At 8:00am a meeting was summoned to announce the death of Prime Bishop Franciszek Hodur. Arrangements were made for the funeral to be held the next Saturday at 10:00am. Condolences were received from international religious and civic leaders. A resolution was passed and signed by the assembled committee to continue the visionary work of our First Priest and Bishop. This resolution was printed in the public press.
April 12, 1953– The first discussions are held regarding the building of a crypt for the remains of Bishop Hodur who is temporarily entombed in the Grotto of Christ Benign at the Cemetery.
July 13, 1953– The Bishop Hodur Memorial Fund is created with a $10,000.00 deposit from the Parish Treasury.
October 12, 1953– Twelve and one-half more acres are added to the land adjacent from the cemetery for the sum of $5,677.50. It is decided to design a remembrance tablet in memory of Bishop Hodur to be placed in the Cathedral.
December 14, 1953– The Mausoleum design of George Lewis is presented to the Committee for approval.
February 14, 1954– The remembrance tablet is unveiled.
May 10, 1954– One-eighth of an acre of land is sold to Sacred Hearths Roman Catholic Parish to allow them to construct an additional entrance to their cemetery.
May 23, 1954– After the concurrence of the Supreme Council, it was decided that the Parish would accept the responsibility of the cost of the Monument of Gratitude, a structure which would measure 56 feet by 14 feet with a roof line of 26 feet in height. It was later announced that the total cost would be $78,304.76. The ground would be blessed on June 7 at 10:30am and the cornerstone dedicated on July 11 at 4:00pm.
October 10, 1954– The Supreme Council decision that Bishop Misiaszek will leave his responsibilities as Diocesan Bishop are announced to the congregation.
November 8, 1954– Bishop Grochowski announced that an “Irish” priest has been accepted as an instructor in our Seminary, Thomas McCann. He would like to offer Mass and preach in our Church in English on Sundays. The Committee feels this is ill-advised and enters a protest to the record.
November 13, 1954– It is announced that Bishop Joseph Lesniak will take charge as Pastor by appointment of Prime Bishop Grochowski.
November 23, 1954– Five hundred English Mass books are ordered for use in the Cathedral.
February 28, 1955– It is decided to hold a welcoming program and reception for Bishop Grochowski at the Masonic Temple on May 15, 1955. Bishop Grochowski is still in the process of relocating to Scranton from Chicago, but has agreed to assume the pastorate of the Cathedral Parish.
March 7, 1955– The estimate from Baut Studios for the windows in the Monument of Gratitude is $1,880.00. The large window will be offered by Spojnia. One of the side windows will be donated by the YMSofR. The contract for the crypt was awarded to Summit Hill Marble at a cost of $975.00. L. Michell will create the marble likeness.
July 4, 1955– The earthly remains of śp. Bishop Franciszek Hodur are transferred to the Monument of Gratitude in solemn ceremonies.
August 18, 1955– A new organ is installed and blessed. It was purchased primarily through funds raised by the Chopin and Kalina choirs.
November 11, 1956– The carillon bells will be blessed on Thanksgiving Day.
February 10, 1959– Youth Center Committee Chairman Ernest Gazda that in three weeks $160,000.00 in pledges have been received for the building of the Youth Center.
May 11, 1959– Bishop Grochowski will attend the Synod in Poland. It is hoped that reunification of the American and Polish Churches will be achieved.
March 27, 1961– Work on the design of the front of the Cathedral continues, the mosaic to be started on May 15 and all work will be competed in 120 days.
April 10, 1961– The Parish accepts a gift of two Holy Water fonts from Josephine Orlowski in memory of her husband Frank Orlowski, deceased President of the Parish Committee.
September 15, 1961– The dedication of the remodeled Cathedral façade is set for November 19, 1961.
October 9, 1961– The Bartosz Glowacki Society is dissolved. The balance of its assets are given to the renovation of the Cathedral façade.
June 29, 1963– Bishop Eugene W. Magyar is consecrated as Bishop for the Slovak Parishes within the jurisdiction of the Polish National Catholic Church.
August 10, 1964– Specific plans are presented for the new Youth Center.
January 31, 1965– The Annual Meeting approves a resolution to have one Mass each Sunday entirely in the English language.
April 13, 1965– Professor Adam Pikulski, who served more than 50 years as Parish organist, passes away.
August 17, 1965– A contract is approved with Fiorini to construct the Youth Center at a cost of $200,000.00. Ground breaking will be held September 8, 1965 at 11:00am.
February 21, 1966– Prime Bishop Leon Grochowski informs the Parish Committee that the English Mass will be printed and will be celebrated each Sunday.
September 20, 1966– The celebration of Bishop Franciszek Hodur’s 100th anniversary of his birth will be held in St. Thomas Episcopal Church in New York City on October 16, 1966. Prime Bishop Grochowski informs the Parish Committee that he will appoint a new pastor. Father Senior Rysz and Father Senior Nieminski are named as the candidates to fill this position.
February 21, 1967– The new altar donated by the John Ostrowski Family was consecrated on January 22. The candidates for Pastor both declined the appointment.
April 30, 1967– Delegates are chosen for the Church Synod scheduled in October of this year in Manchester, New Hampshire.
August 23, 1967– It was unanimously decided to present to the Synod a resolution that the Central Diocese have its own a Diocesan Bishop as the Prime Bishop has too many duties within the whole church.
September 17, 1967– The Grand Opening of the Youth Center was held.
September 20, 1967– The Prime Bishop informed the Pre-Synodal Committee that a representative of the Roman Catholic Church will be invited to the inaugural Mass at our Synod.
February 20, 1968– A letter from the Prime Bishop Leon Grochowski was read. It designated that Father Senior Rysz will be the Pastor as of the fifteenth of this month and that the Rev. Steven Gnas will be the assistant.
May 21, 1968– Attorny Alfons Kinowski was authorized to prepare a petition to change our charter from “Reformed Church” to “Polish National Catholic Church.”
June 26, 1968– Bishops Rysz, Nieminski, and Slowakiewicz are consecrated to the Episcopacy.
August 7, 1968– The name of the corporation shall be St. Stanislaus Polish National Catholic Church of Scranton, PA.
March 2, 1969– Francis Golembieski is elected Chairman of the Parish Committee.
July 17, 1969– Prime Bishop Grochowski dies while on a mission to Poland.
October 18, 1970– Bishop Rysz is formally installed as the Bishop of the Central Diocese.[/spoiler] [spoiler title=”1972-1990″]
April 23, 1972– Tripp Park Chapel is rededicated after a renovation costing $12,000.00.
May 5, 1972– Plans are announced for the 75th Anniversary celebration of the Organization of the First Parish of the Polish National Catholic Church. Maria Jaroszewski is the only surviving organizer. In preparation for the event, the interior of the Church will be painted at a cost of $16,850.00.
May 8, 1972– Funeral services for śp. Bishop John Misiaszek are held in the Cathedral.
June 10, 1972– The National United Choirs present an Anniversary Concert at the Masonic Temple. Three hundred singers participate.
June 25, 1972– A special meeting establishes a fund for the relief of the flood victims in the Wyoming Valley.
July 1972– Altar at the Grotto of Christ Benign is blessed. $45,667.00 was collected for flood relief.
September 13, 1972– CAMPAIGN ’72, a fund drive to support the building of the new Home for the Aged at Spojnia Farm, is announced. The goal of the campaign is $500,000.00.
September 19, 1972– It is announced that the Parish is in need of a new organ. A small electronic organ will be purchased until a proper instrument can be designed and paid for. The proceeds of the estates of Lillian Sankiewicz and Helen Palka are received (totaling $11,000.00). A loan of $10,000.00 at 0% interest is approved to benefit the building project of St. Barbara’s Parish in Houtzdale, PA.
February 4, 1973– It is announced that according to the new liturgical approach, Holy Communion will be distributed at every Mass.
September 28 and 29, 1973– The First Synod of the Central Diocese is held. The Bishop Hodur Biography Commission is established by Synodal resolution.
October 23, 1973– Blessing of the Memorial Tablet of śp. Father Czarkowski, deceased Vice-Rector of the Savonarola Theological Seminary, takes place at the Parish Cemetery in Minooka. Tablet is a gift of the priests of the Central Diocese.
1976– During the Bicentennial Year, St. Stanislaus Parish participated in many activities connected with the 200th Anniversary of the independence of the United States. Many of the civic planning meetings for the South Side are held in the Youth Center.
- May 16 – A float representing our Parish participates in a Parade in the City of Scranton.
- June 13 – Holy Mass is celebrated at Ss. Peter and Paul’s Parish, Passaic, NJ on the grounds of the Revolutionary War cemetery adjacent to the Parish Property. A bronze marker is dedicated.
- July 4 – The New Home at Spojnia Farm is dedicated.
- July 18 – The United Maria Konopnicka Women’s Leterary Society holds services at the Forty Fort grave of the esteemed poet Eleanor Wylie.
April 19, 1976– The Missionary effort in Brazil is legalized as “Polish Catholic Church in Brazil- Mission of the Polish National Catholic Church in the United States.”
The statue of Christ Benign at the Grotto is gold leafed through the generosity of Sophie Sleboda
March 1977– A bronze plaque honoring Professor Adam Pikulski is placed in the Cathedral. A portrait of bishop Hodur is presented to the Cathedral by the Priests of the Central Diocese.
March 1978– The original altar of sacrifice is returned to the Cathedral’s possession.
September 1978– It was introduced to construct a chapel in the Auditorium for the elderly who cannot attend Church upstairs.
October 2-6, 1978– The 15th General Synod is held in Chicago, IL. Representatives of the Roman Catholic, Greek and Russian Orthodox and Episcopal Churches are present. Three candidates to be consecrated on November 30, 1978 are elected: Bishops Swantek, Gnat, and Zawistowski. Bishop Rowinski of the Western Diocese is elected Prime Bishop. Sacramental intercommunion with the Episcopal Church and Anglican Church of Canada is terminated. The Commission on Dialogue with the Orthodox Churches is established.
May 31, 1979– As part of the exterior restoration of the Cathedral, new doors with stained glass panels will be installed at the side entrances.
July 4, 1979– Spojnia Farm celebrates its 50th Anniversary. It is announced that CRUSADE ’72 realized over one million dollars in donations.
October 13, 1979– At the Scranton parade celebrating Pulaski Day, the PNCC has the largest representation.
January 15, 1980– Work begins on the renovation of the Parish Hall, including the expansion of the Parish Office and Library, as well as the creation of the Chapel space. Total cost for renovations alone will be around $150,000.00.
March 9, 1980– The Youth Center Donors’ plaque is dedicated.
April 15, 1980– the furnishings for the Chapel are ordered at a cost of $9,230.00. A plaque naming those donating $300.00 or more, as well as parishioners who donated time and labor to this project, is to be installed in an appropriate place.
June 25-28, 1980– The First Diocesan Acolyte Retreat is held at Spojnia Farm.
February 17, 1981– Parishioners are asked to submit name suggestions for the New Chapel which is nearly complete. A new organ ways and means committee will be organized. An appropriate instrument will cost approximately $150,000.00. Final cost of this project will be in excess of $225,000.00.
March 15, 1981– A new Allen Organ is purchased for the Chapel. The copper Chapel appointments are contracted to Garden State Religious Goods for $6,000.00.
August 23, 1981– The new Chapel of Christ Compassionate is dedicated in memory of Bishop Hodur with the celebration of Solemn Vespers.
December 21, 1982– Bishop Rysz is invited to the White House to witness a Presidential Proclamation condemning Martial Law in Poland.
May 17, 1983– The Organ Committee reports pledges in the amount of $106,000.00.
August 7, 1983– In the spirit of ecumenism and friendship, St. Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church is granted use of the YMSofR Park for their parish outing. Father Senior Stanley Skrzypek will represent the PNCC at the Installation of Bishop John O’Connor as the new Bishop Ordinary of the Diocese of Scranton.
August 14, 1983– The 75th Anniversary of the Polish National Union of America celebration begins at Spojnia Farm, Waymart, PA.
October 1983– The 22nd Sejm of the PNU of A is convened at Dearborn Heights, Michigan.
December 20, 1983– It is reported that Bishop Rysz and Prime Bishop Rowinski have met privately with Bishops O’Connor and Timlin of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Scranton. The discussion resulted in an agreement to reactivate the dialogue discussions between the two Churches.
March 4, 1984– Bishop Rysz will attend the Investiture of Bishop O’Connor as Archbishop of New York at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
May 15, 1984– The estate of Walter Siemietkowski in the amount of $300,000.00 is divided in equal shares between the Cathedral Parish and the Supreme Council General Church Fund. The Cathedral Parish appeals to its members to support the project to renovate the Statue of Liberty.
June 7, 1984– Bishop Rysz attends the Installation of Bishop James Timlin as Bishop in the Diocese of Scranton.
July 24, 1984– Contracts are signed for the new Austin Pipe Organ.
September 16, 1984– Archbishop Antonius Glazmaker of the Old Catholic Church of Holland visits the Cathedral Parish. Many religious and civic dignitaries are in attendance.
October 23, 1984– Formal discussions between the Roman Catholic and Polish National Catholic Churches begin in Passaic, NJ.
September 1, 1985– The new Austin Pipe Organ is blessed, followed by a dedicatory Organ and Choral Concert. The new instrument consists of three manual consoles. It has 47 ranks, 45 stops, and 2,427 pipes. It is custom designed and build to meet the acoustical and musical needs of the Parish. Final cost exceeds $270,000,00.
March 1986– The first two permanent Deacons in the Central Diocese- William Gaydos and John Szczepanski- are ordained.
October 23, 1986– Bishop Rysz attends services in Wilkes-Barre marking the 25th Anniversary of Metropolitan Theodosius of the Orthodox Church of America.
November 23, 1986– Prime Bishop Swantek is installed as the fifth Prime Bishop of the Polish National Catholic Church.
March 1, 1987– The Cathedral Renovation Fund is created. It is decided to renovate all of the windows, install new flooring, new pews, a new heating system renew all the altars and appointments as well as paint the interior of the Church.
September 10, 1987– Bishop Rysz reports on his meeting with Pope John Paul II at Columbia, South Carolina.
October 11, 1987– High Mass will be celebrated in English. The new oak pews will be installed at a cost of $38,000.00. The restoration of the windows will be executed for $76,000.00. The rose windows will be replaced with two depicting the Great Seal of the United States and the traditional Polish Eagle at a cost of $9,000.00.
November 17, 1987– The contract to paint the Church interior is awarded to D’Ambrosio Ecclesiastical Art Studios for $107,000.00.
December 15, 1987– A trust bequest is received from the estate of śp. Frank Menovich in the amount of $200,000.00. The heating system is contracted for $38,000.00.
September 20, 1988– It is decided to “lease” the land at 515 East Locust Street to the Central Diocese for the construction of a Chancery Building.
September 1988– The 5th Synod of the Central Diocese unanimously resolves to support the construction of a Chancery and Archives building on East Locust Street.
March 12, 1989– Celebrations marking the 100th Anniversary of the Declaration of Utrecht are held in the Cathedral. Archbishop Glazmaker celebrates Mass.
April 19, 1989– The Architectural Heritage Award from the City of Scranton is presented to the Cathedral Parish.
March 8, 1990– Initial discussions are held regarding the recognition of Holy Communion by Polish National Catholics and Roman Catholics at each others’ Churches as well as the excommunication of Bishop Hodur.
July 4, 1990– The Bishop Hodur Retreat and Recreation Center at Spojnia Farm is dedicated.
September 2, 1990– The newly renovated Cathedral is blessed. The Chancery Building is dedicated.
October 1990– The 18th General Synod moves to purchase a share in the new PNU of A Building for General Church offices, etc. The cost will be $1.5 million for the Church’s share.[/spoiler] [spoiler title=”1991 – 2007″]
February 19, 1991– A bequest of $20,340.16 is received from the estate of Henry Klett. It is mentioned that the 100th Anniversary of the Parish is only six years away; this would be a good opportunity to establish an Endowment Fund for the Parish.
May 1991– Special Services are held in Warsaw to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the martyrdom of Bishop Joseph Padewski.
December 26, 1991– Initial inquiries are made to manufacturers regarding the building of a multi-crypt Mausoleum at the Parish Cemetery.
February 15, 1992– Edward Cardinal Cassidy, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, delivers greeting to members of the Polish National Catholic Church on behalf of Pope John Paul II at a “Service of Healing” held at St. Stanislaus Cathedral. Bishops of the Roman Catholic and Polish National Catholic Churches both read statements regarding the historical circumstances of the relationship between the two Churches. During his comments Cardinal Cassidy states, “…we wish to erase from memory and consign to oblivion the censure of excommunication which has been an obstacle to rapprochement in charity down to our own days.” The service concludes with the Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament in which all Bishops participated.
April 26, 1992– The campaign to support the National Church Center Building Program is initiated.
October 1992– The Sixth Diocesan Synod is held in Scranton.
March 7, 1993– At the Annual Parish Meeting, volunteers are requested to comprise the Centennial Committee. Bishop Rysz calls for a spiritual renewal as we approach our 100th Anniversary.
March 21, 1993– Church Anniversary program is held one week later due to a storm which dropped more than two feet of snow. Anniversary Masses are conducted on March 14 as scheduled. Many area Churches were closed because of the severe weather.
March 24 and 26, 1993– In the spirit of ecumenism, Very Rev. Francis Kolwicz and Rev. Charles Csirip read the Stations of the Cross at St. Peter’s RC Cathedral. Very Rev. Joseph Quinn, rector of St. Peter’s and Rev. Joseph Bambera, Diocesan Ecumenical Officer come to St. Stanislaus Cathedral to do the same.
May 18, 1993– A $20,000.00 gift is received from the Very Rev. Edward Kuzminski, the interest from which is to endow the Cemetery Fund. A 64 crypt common burial Mausoleum is contracted with Granit=Bronze, Inc. for $62,000.00.
June 1993– Bishop Rysz celebrates the 25th Anniversary of his consecration to the Episcopacy.
July 13, 1993– The first meeting of the Centennial Committee is held.
August 1993– Bishop Rysz participates in the 100th Anniversary of the Old Catholic Church of the Mariavites in Plock, Poland.
August 17, 1993– The Grotto of Christ Benign will be refurbished at a cost of $6,000.00.
August 29, 1993– The 100th Anniversary of the ordination of Bishop Hodur is observed with the celebration of Vespers followed by a symposium in the Youth Center. Bishops from Poland, Switzerland, Holland, Germany, the Czech Republic and Austria are in attendance.
October 18, 1993– Bishops Joseph Tomczyk and Robert Nemkovich are consecrated.
December 19, 1993– A bequest is received from the estate of Sophie Sleboda in excess of $100,000.00.
May 17, 1994– A $500.00 donation is forwarded to the California Earthquake Relief. Guardian Angel Parish in Los Angeles sustained damage.
October 9, 1994– Capt. Robert Stankowski, USN, Ret. Reports that the Centennial celebration will begin on Labor Day 1996 and conclude on Thanksgiving 1997.
November 2, 1994– Common burial crypt is blessed during All Souls Day services at the cemetery.
December 20, 1994– The Dr. John Androski Memorial Medical Scholarship Fund is established by his family to assist young parishioners studying for the medical profession.
During the following months Committees and sub-committees completed work in their individual areas. Acknowledged in this publication are those without whose participation, the celebration of the completion of one hundred years of our faith journey in the Polish National Catholic Church would not be possible. The excerpts recorded here are but a “brief” overview of the countless hours and years of labor and dedication given freely by the people of St. Stanislaus to the cause of their Church and the work of the Gospel of Christ in the community. It is hoped that future publications may provide a more detailed and scholarly understanding of the great “experiment in faith” which we now know as the Polish National Catholic Church.
Labor Day 1996– Opening Centennial Mass is celebrated at the Grotto of Christ Benign. All Diocesan Bishops are concelebrants with the Prime Bishop, John F. Swantek. Faithful of the Church from many areas of the country are in attendance.
March 9, 1997– The Centennial of the Organization of the First Parish of the Polish National Catholic Church is observed with a Mass of Thanksgiving.
November 30, 1999– Bishops Casimir Grotnik and Jan Dawidziuk are consecrated at St. Stanislaus Cathedral. Bishop Grotnik is assigned to be Pastor of St. Stanislaus Catehdral and the Bishop Ordinary of the Central Diocese.
October 8, 2002– Bishop Robert M. Nemkovich is elected at the XXI General Synod as the Sixth Prime Bishop of the Polish National Catholic Church.
November 24, 2002– Prime Bishop Nemkovich is formally installed as the Prime Bishop of the Polish National Catholic Church. A former Assistant Pastor of St. Stanislaus Cathedral, he is the sixth Prime Bishop of the PNCC.
December 9, 2005– Bishop Grotnik passes away in office. Prime Bishop Robert Nemkovich later assigns himself as Pastor of St. Stanislaus Cathedral and the Bishop Ordinary of the Central Diocese.
October 2006– Four Bishops are elected at the 22nd General Synod- Father Senior Sylvester Bigaj of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, Father Anthony Kopka of Stratford, Connecticut, Father John Mack of Washington, Pennsylvania, and Father Anthony Mikovsky of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
November 30, 2006– Bishops Sylvester Bigaj, Anthony Kopka, John Mack, and Anthony Mikovsky are consecrated at St. Stanislaus Cathedral. Bishops in attendance include Prime Bishop Nemkovich, Prime Bishop Emeritus Swantek, Diocesan Bishops Dawidziuk, Gnat, Peplowski, and Bishop Emeritus Rysz. Bishop Bigaj is assigned to be Bishop Ordinary of the Canadian Diocese and Bishop Mikovsky is assigned to be Bishop Ordinary of the Central Diocese.
February 25, 2007– Bishop Mikovsky is formally installed as Bishop Ordinary of the Central Diocese and Pastor of St. Stanislaus Cathedral.[/spoiler]