On August 25, 2013, during the annual pilgrimage of Polonia to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, in Doylestown, PA, Dr. Zenon Szlyk was honored with the 2013 “Pride of Polonia” Award. The award was presented by Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, FL, the main celebrant of the Liturgy, on behalf of Cardinal Adam Maida, and Msgr. Anthony Czarnecki, National Chairman of the Polish Apostolate Committee, in the presence of clergy, Pauline Fathers and family members.
|Archbishop Thomas Wenski, Msgr. Anthony Czarnecki, and children dressed in Polish attire present the 2013 Pride of Polonia Award to Dr. Zenon Szlyk.
The recipient of this distinguished award, Dr. Szlyk was born on January 1, 1927 to Polish Catholic immigrants John and Antoinette Szlyk in Worcester, MA, as the youngest son of their six children. The family adhered to the Polish spiritual and cultural heritage but always considered being blessed to live in America.
Dr. Szlyk began his early Catholic education at St. Mary’s School of Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish in Worcester. Upon completion of his military service in the Army during World War II, Zenon earned his BA at Harvard University and his medical degree at Georgetown Medical School. There he met his future wife, Florence who was a nurse at Georgetown University Hospital. They were wed in June 1953 in the Chapel of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. They moved to Worcester, MA where Zenon practiced his professional training at Worcester City Hospital and became Chief Surgical Resident in 1958.
Then, he moved to Dudley with his wife and children to assume his surgical practice in a heavily Polish populated area. He was a well known doctor in the region, a very skillful surgeon who responded generously to every emergency. His famous saying was “I perform the surgery, but God supplies the healing.”
Dr. Szlyk, an active member of the Webster First Federal Credit Union since 1968, served as chairman many times, most recently in 2012. The Credit Union was established in 1928 by a small but unified group of men of Polish descent. He is also a charter member of the Quo Vadis Club. The Quo Vadis Club supports excellence in education through student scholarships for college and graduate studies and teacher appreciation awards. He has been involved in various community projects serving on the Dudley School Committee, the committee on school planning and construction of the regional high school and corporator of the hospital. He, also, served as president of the Pope John Paul II Foundation of New England.