Welcome May! Third of May! For the Poles a noble day! This month of beauty and love is dedicated to our Blessed Mother, our mothers, our Motherland, and the maternal mentors in our lives. A month of First Holy Communions and Graduations from Kindergarten through College. A month ending with a tribute to those who died while serving in the U.S. Armed forces. Let us hope that May brings the promised flowers of the April showers.


We look forward to so many beautiful events in May – from Day One with the 8th Grade and High School Graduations of our PRCUA sponsored schools: Henryk Sienkiewicz PS (5/1); St. John Paul II PS (5/5, 5/12); Holy Cross PS (5/10); St. Rafal Kalinowski PS, Maria Konopnicka PS, Jan Karski PS, and Ks. Zbigniew Cholewinski PS (5/18); and the Polish Teachers Association High School Graduation Mass at St. Hyacinth Basilica (5/19). The 2023-2024 PRCUA Dance Schools and Groups recital season will come to a close with Polonia Ensemble’s concert (5/12). Of course, the May Third Polish Constitution Day festivities throughout the country, but especially in Chicago, will be front and center, starting with the PNA wreath laying ceremony at the Kosciuszko Monument, the flag raising event at Daley Center and the Polish Consulate celebration on Polish Diaspora Day and Polish Flag Day (5/2); Polish American Police Association Banquet (5/3); the Chicago Society Brunch at the Hilton, followed by the Polish Constitution Day Parade (5/4); concluding with the PNA hosted Mass at St. John Brebeuf in Niles, IL and the Alliance of Polish Clubs Banquet (5/5). Michiganders, mark your calendar for the Polish American Heritage Night at Comerica Park with the Detroit Tigers vs Blue Jays on May 24. Please keep in your prayers all those who gave up their lives in the service of our country, as well as all our mothers here on earth and those in heaven, our First Holy Communicants and our Graduates!


The first PRCUA event of April was the annual Swieconka hosted by District 8 at Paradise Elegant Banquets in Bridgeview, Illinois on April 7. Krystyna Lech, President, and her committee not only organized a lovely afternoon, but showcased the talents of the District’s PRCUA Polish schools and dance groups. Richard Jaminski coordinated the talent show, emceed by Danielle Kroplewski. Attended by all three PRCUA officers, their spouses and families, local national directors, members of the Adult Culture Group, an entourage from the Polish Falcons of America and representatives of the schools, the guests were treated to a taste of the traditional Polish Easter fare and a fun-filled afternoon with Easter baskets galore. The April shower (more like a downpour) added the Dyngus tradition a day early.


On April 12, Sec-Treas. Agnieszka Bastrzyk invited the PRCUA and PMA employees to her birthday luncheon which was a wonderful way for all of us to celebrate this very wonderful individual. Of all the wishes, she received, I believe the post by the Holy Trinity Polish School sums up what we all think of Agnes – with her sweet disposition, she is a highly intelligent, professional woman whose contributions to the PRCUA heretofore have been exemplary. PRCUA is in good hands with Agnes. All the best, Agnieszka!


April’s weather was exceptionally irregular (or I just cannot warm up faster) as the “battle between warmer air trying to push farther north and the last of winter’s cold plunging south out of Canada” (Weather Channel), forced us to dress like onions. The weather during the 85th PRCUA National Bowling Tournament in Nashville (4/18-4/20) started with 86° on Thursday and by Saturday was 43°. Thankfully, this is an indoor sport. While on the subject, it was another successful bowling tournament coordinated by Valerie Brumm, assisted by Conrad Wiecek, and hosted by St. John Paul II Society 1593 with Christopher Ozog, President, and his committee. With an article and photos to detail the festivities in the works, we would like to extend our congratulations to the 2024 Joe Osmanski Bowler of the Year, Diane Godin, and to our bowling champions: Women’s Singles: Alexis Gorecki, Doubles: Allison Filipowski and Carole Filipowski, Team: Zabawne Matki; Men’s Singles: Mark Kapanowski, Doubles handicap: Dennis Butka and Michael Sopko, Double scratch: Edward Kapanowski Jr. and Mark Kapanowski, Team: Polski Boys IV. Thanks to those instrumental in organizing and bringing the tournament to Nashville! Thank you, bowlers and guests, for your participation and support! (P.S. Special thanks to my Pink Ladies Team – Darla, Landa, Lillie, Weronika and my sister coach, Jeanine!)


While President Robaczewski and I were in Nashville, Sec.-Treas. Agnieszka Bastrzyk attended the 30th Anniversary Celebration of the Polish American Chamber of Commerce, an organization she has been involved in for many years and served as an officer in various positions, currently as treasurer (5/19). Congratulations to the PACC and Sto Lat! Congratulations also to the Polish Highlanders Alliance of North America on its 95th Anniversary – the celebration took place on April 21 and was attended by many, including our D-7 Director Ewa Cholewinski! “Dwieście Lat, bo Sto Lat to za mało!”


This same weekend, D-8 Director Myron Cislo represented PRCUA at two events. On Friday (4/19), he attended the PRCUA sponsored Ice Cream Social at the St. John Paul II Polish School in Lemont, IL (Halina Szyrzyna, Principal; Grzegorz Karkoszka, President) for all the participants of the School’s Spring Art Contest. Myron represented the PRCUA at the Graduation of the Zbigniew Herbert Polish Language and Culture School (Irena Wozniak, Principal) on Saturday, April 20. Congratulations to all the awardees, graduates, principals and staff! A big thank you to Myron Cislo for always stepping in to represent the PRCUA and District 8 (Myron will be celebrating his birthday on May 24th. Happy Birthday and Sto Lat!).


Of the PRCUA Dance School Spring recitals held since the April Naród Polski went to print, several celebrated milestones, or their director or dance instructors did. We would like to acknowledge these and direct you to their individual articles and photos in this and future issues. At the March 24th Tatry Recital (Gail Esker – Director), Karen Lubiarz was honored for 35 years as the school’s dance instructor. Both the Rogalin Dance Troupe (Lisa Brandt – Director, Janet Vilag and Basia Toboy – Instructors) and Halka Dance School (Laura Hejza – Director; Tom Lisiecki – Instructor) celebrated their 55th Anniversaries on April 14. Whereas, Maria Jalkiewicz celebrated her 25th Anniversary as School Director of Polskie Maki at the April 21st Recital – #48 for the dance school (Kelly Malinowski – Instructor).  Congratulations to the dancers, staff, families and friends for the successes of these and all our PRCUA Schools!


The Wieliczka Dancers (Kristi Mihalic – Director, Tommy Schemansky – Instructor) held their recital on April 21 and a week later, the Southwest Center of Polish Song and Dance (Anna Kraszewski-Winkler – Managing Director) with a guest appearance by the Wesoły Lud Polish Folk Dance Company (Artistic Director and Choreographer of both SWCPSD and Wesoły Lud) presented their Spring concert closing out the month of April. An unexpected tribute to Richard’s mother, Maria Jaminska, tugged at our hearts. Looking forward to details and photos of these events in the upcoming issue of the Naród Polski.


Congratulations to PRCUA Member, Anna Polkowski, a high school graduate of the St. Rafal Kalinowski Polish School in Munster, Indiana, on placing First in the Frederic Chopin Inter-School Piano Competition “Music of Frederic Chopin.”


As stated at the beginning of this article, there is so much happening in the month of Mary, and each deserves its own attention and God’s blessings. To all Confirmands, especially Aleks Bastrzyk: Congratulations on your confirmation! May you continue to grow spiritually, and may your faith always be strong (4/28). To all Communicants, especially our beautiful granddaughter, Ariana, may your First Holy Communion (5/4) bring you closer to God’s love and always keep joy in your heart (5/4). To all our Graduates, especially Natalya Bonkowski, Joey Robaczewski, Anna Toboy, and Trafford Turkiewicz – congratulations and here’s wishing you all a bright, successful future! Birthday and anniversary wishes to all celebrating in May, especially Mary Brzezniak of the Adult Culture Group of PRCUA who is celebrating her 90th birthday on May 17, our daughter Nicole Bencik-Turkiewicz (5/31), and from the Home Office: Mary Jane Czypura (5/1), Jolanta Zachara and Roberta Brewster (5/20), and Claudine Wicker and Richard Sutton (5/31).

Hope your month is positively aMAYzing!