Dear Members and Friends,

I hope that this issue of the Naród Polski finds you all healthy and safe. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to be front and center of our everyday lives, I am certain that each and every one of you is doing everything you can to protect yourselves and your loved ones, all the while maintaining your sanity in what seems “a mad, mad world.” One of the ways we can protect ourselves and those around us is by wearing a mask. With so many creative individuals in our membership and community, we invite you to post your mask on our PRCUA social media. A template for a simple mask from an old t-shirt is found in this issue of the Naród Polski (of course, before you cut it out, we ask you to read the article on the reverse side). We encourage bedazzling, fabric painting, embroidering, ribboning, etc. Let your creativity soar!

On the subject of protection, there’s no time like the present to add to your annuities. PRCUALife can assist you in securing your golden years, especially during Annuity Awareness Month – JUNE. PRCUALife is also readily available in all situations with an extensive portfolio of life insurance products as well. Read all about them while have some time on your hands. See page 3 of Naród Polski, June edition.

My articles are inspired by the people I meet at the different events hosted by our members and friends in the community. The shelter-in-place ordered to curb the current pandemic has limited this stimulus, so I must look elsewhere for inspiration. For example, in a recent phone conversation with Director D-7 Joanna (Ewa) Cholewinski, I found out that her daughter (a PRCUA member and Polonia Ensemble alumna), Monica Cholewinski, M.D., a third year resident at Stroger Hospital’s Emergency Room in Chicago, was one of two guides of the nine-member Polish medical team which arrived in Chicago at the end of April. “Armed with best practices and lessons learned from treating COVID-19 patients in both Poland and in Lombardy, Italy,” the team exchanged their experiences with many of the personnel at hospitals throughout the Chicago area and through webinars. “Medicine is international. The human condition is international, so we need to share the best practices,” said Col. Dr. Eric Vaughn, a trauma surgeon at St. Alexius and an officer of the Illinois National Guard. The relationship between the Illinois National Guard and the Polish military has existed for the last 17 years, serving together in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Stacy St. Claire, Tribune, April 30, 2020).

Speaking of Polonia Ensemble (Anna Krysinski, Director; Jaclyn Krysinski, Choreographer and Dance Instructor), congratulations are in order for receiving the 2020 Oskar Kolberg award from Poland’s Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. Bravo!

Polish Folk Dance Groups are one of PRCUA’s strongest marketing tools and we showcased them in our Parade of PRCUA dance groups throughout the month of May on our social media to honor the May Third Polish Constitution of 1791, Polonia Day and Polish Flag Day. We hope you “liked” us and “shared” with your family and friends. This was the best we could do in lieu of the recitals cancelled by the pandemic.

Our social media celebration also included our tribute to the 2020 graduates on May 17th. Our “hats off” to all the students, especially to those from the Polish Schools of St. John Paul II (Lemont, IL), Maria Konopnicka (Oak Lawn, IL), Jan Karski (Palos Heights, IL) and Holy Cross (Joliet, IL), as well as Victoria Gavaghan who graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Pharmacy earning her Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree (see photo strip on page 17). Congratulations also go to Joey Robaczewski who graduated from St. Monica’s Academy (proud parents, President and Mrs. James Robaczewski and brother, Tommy).

On the day of the hundredth anniversary of the birth of St. John Paul II (May 18th), at the Papal Altar at the church of Five Holy Martyrs, Chicago, IL, a small group led by Angie Bartoszek met together to celebrate God’s gift of the Polish Pope and his heritage. Prayers were said in Polish, English and Spanish, including the Litany to Our Lady of Loretto, as well as the songs sung including the Pontiff’s favorite, “Lord, when you came to the Seashore” (“Barka”).

The month of our Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother’s Day and the highest rainfall in the history of Illinois welcomes in the month of our PRCUA Patron – the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Father’s Day and hopefully sunny days and blue skies in June. Please join us virtually at our online Sacred Heart Mass hosted by District 7 (Anna Krysinski and Ewa Cholewinski, Directors). Rev. Zdzislaw Torba – Pastor of St. Ferdinand Parish in Chicago will celebrate the Mass in English on Sunday, June 7 at 5 p.m. CST, for the deceased members of the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America on the occasion of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, its Patron. We invite all PRCUA members to join us for the PRCUA Sacred Heart Mass online.

Our deepest sympathies go to the family of Stella Sobilo, mother of former PRCUA D-9 Director Richard Sobilo, who passed away on May 9th at the age of 96, and to all who have recently passed. May she and the dearly departed rest in peace. Amen.

On the home front, I would like to congratulate my niece, Kayla Leonhard, on her acceptance to the Nursing Program and my grandson Cole (“graduating” elementary school, now on to Junior High). Happy Birthday to all celebrating their special day including our family and friends in the PRCUA and PMA (Claudine Wicker, Anna Grabowski, Agata Wilgocki – big 40, Michael Perzynski, Malgosia Kot and Halina Misterka) among others. Special wishes to my beautiful daughter, Niki; my little granddaughter, Mila, on her golden #3 birthday; my sister Jeanine; my sister-in-law Anna; my husband Richard and my lovely mother-in-law Maria Jaminska who is celebrating her 80th. Sto Lat! Sto Lat! Niech żyją, żyją nam!

Medical mission from Poland, visiting Stroger Hospital during COVID-19 pandemic

Monica Cholewinski, MD, at work

Monica Cholewinski in her folk costume

Joey Robaczewski

Robaczewski Family. Elaine and James, proud parents of Tommy and Joey

My daughter Niki with my granddaughter Mila

Richard Jaminski with his mother Maria and his cousins: Krzysztof, Ania and Jacek