MB Częstochowska

75th Anniversary of the Founding of the Society of Christ.

Cardinal August Hlond established the Congregation of the Society of Christ for Polonia abroad in 1932. The goal of the congregation is the pastoral care for Polish emigrants.

Grace and good will allow us to prepare for this festive celebration - the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Society of Christ. It will take place in Poznań, on September 8, 2007. The year long preparation will allow us to return spiritually to our roots, by remembering the acts which God has achieved in the life of the Society and the Church through His Servants: Cardinal August Hlond and Fr. Ignacy Posadzy.

When the apostles received from Christ the mandate to teach "Go and preach the Gospel to the whole world", in that specific important moment, they didn't realize that in the course of ages, through their service the Good News would spread to all ends of the earth. It took time, for God through the actions of the Holy Spirit and the commitment of people summoned by God, to guide His Son's work through the ages and to bring the church to the ends of the world, to all the continents, to our times.

When the Society was formed, who could have guessed, that a new religious order family through the service of priests from the Society will take over the task of pastoral care for countrymen emigrating to so many countries. The Society had its Bethlehem in Potulice and its Calvary during WWII and in the years of Communism, but it can rejoice with the grace of Resurrection and life in service to countrymen in the homeland and abroad. Although the geography of our presence and service changes, nonetheless, our mission in the Church is always current. Of course, this demands listening to God's voice and His Spirit, so that we allow ourselves to be led by God's inspiration and His will. This requires an open mind and heart as well as discerning those responsible for this mission - to go there where we are most needed, "where Polish souls are wasting away".

An Outline of the History of the North American Province of the Priests of Society of Christ.

The first Society of Christ member on the American continent was Rev. Jan Otłowski. He began pioneer work for Polonia in 1957 in Calgary, which was fruitful in the building of a church. Later, priests began arriving, working as assistants in Polonian parishes and as Chaplains in convents. The first Provincial House was founded in March 1967 in Warren, RI. In 1974 Rev. Władysław Gowin moved the seat of the Vice-Province to Detroit. In December 1976 a house was purchased in Sterling Heights, MI which become the seat of the Province and of 2006 the Seat of the Province was moved to LOMBARD, ILLINOIS.
786 West Sunset Ave.
LOMBARD, IL 60148-1488
Tel. (630) 424-0401

The North American Province of the priests of the Society of Christ under the summons of Blessed Mother, Queen of Polonia Abroad, was founded by the Superior General Rev. Czesław Kamiński, on February 2, 1978.

The Servant of God in person of People John Paul added at this time a specific planting of Polish pastoral seeds beyond the borders of Poland. The history of this Province is the history closely connected with Pope John Paul II.

In the 1980's we hurried to help the post-Solidarność emigration, establishing new pastoral centers in: San Jose, CA; Houston, TX; and Toronto, Canada. New churches were built in San Diego, CA; Pompano Beach, FL; and Phoenix, AZ. Churches were purchased from other denominations to create Polish parishes in: Chicago, Il; Milwaukee, WI; Toledo, OH; Hamtramck, MI; Portland, OR; Dallas, TX; Seattle, and Tacoma, WA; Lawrenceville, GA; Poughkeepsie, NY; Guelph, Chatcham and Regina, Canada and we took over existing parishes with Polish and English parishioners. In Lombard, a new Provincial Center will be housed. In August 2006 building was begun on a church Divine Mercy.

Today after 29 years, our North American Province number 54 priests who work in 26 pastoral centers in the U.S. and Canada. "Christ Leader, Christ King, Christ Our Sovereign".

(Taken from letters of Rev. Tadeusz Winnicki, S.Chr. Superior General also Rev. Andrzej Maślejak, S.Chr. Provincial
documented by Rev. Klemens Dąbrowski S.Chr.)

Silver Spring, January 2007

św. Maksymilian