The wait is over! The countdown ends! The PRCUA 150th national celebration is finally here! Since the festivities are on October 1, you will have to wait for the details until the next issue of the Narod Polski, or maybe not – after all, it is 2023 and social media brings us up-to-the minute reports of the PRCUA activities soon after they occur. “Stay tuned” to our PRCUA Facebook and Instagram pages for highlights of our sesquicentennial and then, “read all about it” in the November issue of the Naród.

As the September issue of the Naród Polski went to print, President Robaczewski’s birthday celebration (8/30) and luncheon followed. PHOTO 1a We wish him the best of health, happiness, success and good times spent with family and friends as he embarks on his “road to 60.”  Birthday celebrations continued throughout September, including President Emeritus Wallace M. Ozog (9/27); past Vice Presidents, Lori Rose Gorny (101 on 9/16) and Anna Sokolowski (9/6), National Chaplain, Most Rev. Canon Walter J. Ptak (9/20) and together with Director D-6 Andrew Lech, yours truly on September 17. Director of Marketing Elzbieta Sawczuk whose September 22nd birthday was past Vice President Regina Ocwieja’s birthday. According to a recent poll by the Almanac, about 21 million Americans, or nine percent of the population, have birthdays in August; 8.8 percent have July and September birthdays, and February is last, with 7 percent.

While on the subject, Polonia Ensemble (Anna Krysinski, Executive Director; Jaclyn Krysinski, Artistic Director and Choreographer) was asked to perform for past VP Lori Rose Gorny.

I would like to thank everyone for their birthday wishes – my 70th was celebrated with family, the PRCUA family, Wesoły Lud, SWCPD, and District 8. At the latter, I celebrated together with District 8 Vice President, Joanna (Asia) Niedzielski whose birthday was September 25. Sto lat, Asia!  Since a new month is upon us, let me take this opportunity to extend our best wishes to all October birthdays and anniversaries. STO LAT!

Now back to reflections of September 2023. The PRCUA-sponsored Polish language and dance schools are in full swing, and our fraternal agents are busy recruiting new members. The PRCUA 2023 Single Pay Life insurance promotion is ongoing until December 31, 2023 – so remember to give the gift of heritage and financial security to your family! This promotion is in lieu of a Christmas special. The New Year will be here sooner than later, and the 2023 promotion will be a thing of the past.

On Sunday, September 10, at the Salvatorian Fathers Shrine of Our Lady of Częstochowa in Merrillville, Indiana, the Union of Upper Silesians unveiled the Chapel of the Blessed Mother of Justice and Social Love, Our Lady of Piekary Śląskie, the first of its kind outside Silesia and Poland. This Blessing of this Chapel which is located at the outdoor altar was preceded by Holy Mass in the Church, officiated by the Custodian of the Sanctuary, Father Mikołaj Markiewicz SDS, assisted by the Chaplain of the Union of Silesians of North America in Chicago, Father Łukasz Pyk and Father Andrzej Waszczuk SDS. I had the privilege of representing PRCUA at this event and our PRCUA Wesoły Lud Polish Folk Dance Company was asked to adorn the Mass and festivities dressed in the costumes of the Upper Silesians. After Mass, all dignitaries, guests and dancers processed to the site of this Chapel. God blessed the event with beautiful weather. We congratulate the President of the Union of Upper Silesians in Chicago, Piotr Brzęk, and his entire committee for this beautiful tribute to the Silesian culture in America and for his invitation.

In commemoration of Polish Heritage Month, WGN-TV in Chicago aired a segment celebrating the Polish American business community on September 19. Sarah Jindra and Ji Suk Yi, hosts of the new show “Spotlight Chicago” featured the Polish American Chamber of Commerce and guests, Agnieszka Bastrzyk (PRCUA Secretary-Treasurer) who is PACC Treasurer and Phillippe Sobon, co-owner of Polombia Chicago, a PACC member company (PRCUA member and alumnus of Polonia Polish Folk Dance Ensemble). Our PRCUA stars shined brightly on television as they do in their personal and professional lives! Congratulations, Agnieszka and Phillippe!

On Sunday, September 24, representing the PRCUA, I attended the Cinderella-Prince Charming Ball Orientation Luncheon hosted by the Adult Culture Group of PRCUA (Elizabeth Dynowski, President) at Crystal Grand Banquets in Lemont, Illinois. Of course, Richard, as the Artistic Director and Choreographer of the Ball, accompanied me (or did I accompany him?) In any event, it was a lovely afternoon spent with a lovely group of people, including many former Cinderellas, Prince Charmings, and Candidates who are now either members of the Adult Culture Group and/or are parents of this year’s candidates. The 51st Cinderella-Prince Charming Ball will be held on Saturday, November 18, 2023, at Camelot Banquets.

The 26th Anniversary of the Resurrection Gala benefiting the Resurrection Fathers and Brothers took place on Sunday, September 24th at Allegra Banquets. Representing the PRCUA was S-T A.B. who, on the occasion of PRCUA’s 150th Anniversary, presented certificates of appreciation for outstanding support of the Polish American community to Rev. George Zieba, CR, Rev. Thomas Wojciechowski, CR, Rev. Joseph Glab, CR, Rev. Steven Thoma, CR, and Very Reverend Steven Bartczyszyn, CR during the beginning portion of the afternoon’s program. This special recognition was a surprise and was very well received by those present. One of the co-founders of PRCUA was Rev. Wincenty Barzyński, C.R.

Our condolences go out to the family of Irene Raczyński, mother of past District 10 Director Barbara Raczyński Toboy.  Mrs. Raczyński was a devoted fraternalist, as of the Rzeszów Dancers of the Alliance of Poles (which later merged with the PRCUA) and a long-time member and officer of the Pope John Paul Society 1593 of the PRCUA. May she rest in peace.

Congratulations to Elizabeth and Rafał Długopolski on the birth of their son, Nikodem Stanisław Długopolski, born September 2nd. Best wishes to Sylvia Kupiec (alumna of Wesoły Lud) and Michael Stefaniak on their September 16th wedding. Belated congratulations and best wishes to Magdalena Rożko (member of Polonia Ensemble) and Konrad Mokrzycki (member of Lajkonik Ensemble Chicago) on their August 11th nuptials.

September was also a month of Polish festivals – the annual Taste of Polonia hosted by the Copernicus Foundation during Labor Day weekend where Polonia Ensemble performed, one number together with Andrzej Rosiewicz, a popular singer from the 1970’s and 1980’s; PHOTO 15. Meanwhile in Michigan, our PRCUA dance groups performed at parish festivals. September will not soon be forgotten, but here it is October and, by the looks of the changing colors of Mother Nature, the beautiful fall season is upon us. Go out and enjoy the fall colors. “Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go” – Unknown.