Jaroslaw K. Radomski • Wed, Mar 23, 2011
There are a variety of emotional reactions concerning the status of churches founded by Polish emigrants in Buffalo and the Western New York area. Many parishes first were merged with other parishes and then closed, sold or demolished. Corpus Christi Church in Buffalo was on its way to closing just a few years ago. The Pauline Fathers came just in time for the rescue. Fathers Anzelm Chalupka and Matthew Wydmanski found not only the way to bring parishioners together, attract new parishioners, make the parish a strong Catholic center but also raised money for very ambitious plans of renovation and conservation of the church and the parish buildings.
The Pauline Order is widely recognized in Poland. “Jasna Gora” in Czestochowa, Poland, the headquarters of the order, is the destination of uncounted pilgrims coming each year to this holy place to see the famous worldwide picture of the Black Madonna – Queen of Poland and to pray. Czestochowa and the Pauline Fathers are the symbol of the successful defense of Catholicism and Poland in a time of complete disaster in the Polish Kingdom – invaded by the Swedish army which was occupying the whole territory of our country.
In Polish literature this time is known as “Potop” after the title of the novel written by Nobel Prize winner Henryk Sienkiewicz. The miracle of the last place of resistance – the Monastery of Jasna Gora with the picture of the Black Madonna had so strong a moral impact, that finally Poles woke up and stood together to fight for freedom. The King of Poland, who escaped abroad, returned and joined the whole country arising against the invaders. The picture of the Black Madonna is in each Polish church. The Pauline Fathers, in popular meaning, represent high devotion to Mary – Mother of God and defense of our faith.