Polish Constitution Day

May 3, 1791

You should be exceptionally proud and remember your Polish forefathers. It was in Poland that this battle was fought back in the late 1700s when Europe's first written constitution was signed! It embodied many of the same democratic principles contained in our U.S. constitution. In fact, some of the U.S. Constitution's language can be traced back to Polish philosophers whose books were on the shelf in Jefferson's library. Unfortunately, we shall never know whether the Polish Constitution might have provided the structure for true reform in Poland. Sadly, it was in effect for only a short time. Russia, Austria and Prussia acted quickly to occupy the territories of Poland, and by 1795, Poland had ceased to exist, except in the hearts of its people. However, Poles never lost their devotion to the cause of liberty and freedom and finally are enjoying it today. You can honor this effort by learning more about the important document here and sharing this story with your neighbors and colleagues.

Want to celebrate? Krakusy members do too!
The recently invigorated Free Polish Krakusy Society is using the occasion to host one of their famous dinner dances. For years this was a remarkable event...seriously, a buy-a-new-dress kind of event for anyone involved in the Mahoning Valley Polish-American community. Organizers are promising this one will replicate that spirit with dinner, dancing, raffles and fellowship. There will be a large display of Krakusy Hall memorabilia, too! ZAPRASZAMY Saturday, May 30, 2016, 7 PM at The Embassy 5030 Youngstown Poland Rd, Mahoning, Ohio 44514 $35 pp in advance $40 pp at the door.  More info is available here or by calling (330)757-8752.

Cleveland offers two options, too
Join our Polonia friends near the lake as they rejoice in the principles of freedom that the Polish Constitution represents to all people! There's something for every taste during Constitution Weekend April 29 - May 1 - Happy Hour, Bi-lingual Patriotic Mass, Miss Polonia Contest; Veteran Wreath Laying, Chopin Concert, a soccer match and, of course, the parade so great they have to host it twice! Check out the schedule for Slavic Village here and one hosted for more than a half century by the Polish American Congress in Parma here.

Get involved in your own citywide festival
When I developed the idea for Simply Slavic Heritage Festival in 2010, the goal was to create a means of collaborative celebration that was bigger than one ethnic organization or parish. The hope was that by creating a unified event, despite limited manpower and funds, each of the Slavic groups would have a way to educate both the region's large number of Slavic descendants and the community-at-large about Greater Youngstown's colorful Slavic heritage. As the event enters its sixth year, I couldn't be prouder that the Mahoning County Convention & Visitors Bureau AND the City of Youngstown have singled out this event as the one upon which they want to build their summer tourism calendar and plan their riverfront entertainment space. However, as we grow, so do our costs and need for staffing. Please consider sponsoring, volunteering and attending this year by emailing or calling 330-333-1441. You can help make it great!  ZAPRASZAMY Saturday, June 18, 2016 Noon- 11 PM Downtown Youngstown.

Poland tour will allow exploration of roots
Travel has been among the many endeavors that we use to connect us to our shared heritage and help us to get a better sense of who we are. With the help of our own Rev. Joseph Rudjak, this year we have customized a tour appealing to anyone considering a trip to Poland. Our tour hits the highlights of Poland with a unique journey through central and southern Poland, with a special emphasis on the most colorful history, important customs and diverse cultures, while still leaving time for personal exploration and family experiences.  Our tour will include the top-rated attractions on everyone's must-see list of traditional sights in Warsaw and Krakow, in addition to the mountain resort of Zakopane, the concentration camp at Auschwitz, the UNESCO World Heritage-designated salt mine at Wieliczka, and the birthplace of our beloved John Paul II at Wadowice. ZAPRASZAMY YOUR Polish Heritage Tour September 18 - October 1, 2016. More info is available HERE or by calling 800-388-0988.

News from Poland
Polish priest calls to deny Communion to government protestors
Poland's ruling right-wing, nationalist Law and Justice Party has raised a lot of eyebrows from governments around the world since it won a majority of seats in the Polish parliament last October. Now that concern is turning to serious alarm.  Press reports are saying government actions "have moved the government in the direction of authoritarian rule, undermining the institutional checks and balances that are critical to a functioning democracy and dismissing the rule of law by ignoring a key decision of the Polish Constitutional Tribunal."  As the party's actions have drawn strong opposition within Poland, the Catholic Church is getting involved. A prominent Catholic priest, Fr. Stanislaw Malkowski, recently ignited a firestorm when he said that the conduct of protesters "cannot be reconciled with the practice of the Catholic faith and of taking holy Communion," in effect saying that those who demonstrate against the government should be denied Communion. This comment is following an equally inflammatory comment by a priest about Islam. It is widely known that Poland's church hierarchy supports the ruling party. Learn more here

Calendar Highlights
Thursday, May 12 Polish Happy Hour @ B&O - MAJOWKA... Saturday, May 21, 5:30 PM St. Casimir, Cleveland Mass and Social with Fr. Christopher Wieliczko, OSPPE, a Pauline from Czestochowa who is administrator of the St. John Paul II Foundation in Rome... Thursday, May 12 Polish Happy Hour @ Christopher's - Slavic Dance Lessons... Saturday, June 18 Simply Slavic... Sunday, June 19 3 PM St. John Cantius, Cleveland Millennium + 50, a celebration of the 1050th anniversary of Christianity in Poland. Special Guest Celebrant Bishop Witold Mroziewski from Brooklyn, New York... July 9-10 YSU Festival of the Arts... July 17 Polish Happy Hour @ Polish New Castle - Polski Piknik,... July 24 DOY to World Youth Day in Krakow... August 5-7 Taste of St. Casimir, Cleveland... August 11-14 Walking Pilgrimage to Czestochowa, Doylestown... SATURDAY, August 27 Polish Heritage Day... September 18 - October 1 Tour to Poland w Fr. Joseph Rudjak... And you know there will be more to come!

Do Zobaczenia!
Aundréa and Your PolishYoungstown Team