On Sunday, August 26, 2018, the Solemnity of Our Lady of Czestochowa was celebrated with a 12:30 Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown, PA. Most Reverend Thomas G. Wenski, Archbishop, Archdiocese of Miami, was the main celebrant and the homilist was Rev. Prof. Dr. Hab. Antoni Debinski, Rector, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin (KUL). At the conclusion of the Mass, the 2018 Polish Apostolate Pride of Polonia Award was presented to Reverend Monsignor Anthony Czarnecki by Archbishop Wenski and Reverend Canon Miroslaw K. Krol, Chancellor of Orchard Lake Schools and the Polish Apostolate National Chairman.
The Pride of Polonia Award was established in 1992 by the Executive Board of the Polish Apostolate to recognize individuals who make unique contributions to the Polish community and are involved in philanthropic activites. The first recipient was John Cardinal Krol.
The recipient of this distinguished award, Rev. Msgr Anthony Czarnecki, was born in Czarna Poland, ordained a priest in 1966, joined the Worcester Diocese in 1971, served as assistant pastor at Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish in Worcester and St. Andrew Bobola in Dudley, holds a Master’s Degree in Liberal Arts from Assumption College in Worcester, MA and a JCL degree in Canon Law from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.
He worked at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, DC, in the office of Migration and Refugee Services and was responsible for developing and coordinating pastoral care of the migrant communities in the United States. He was given the responsibility to coordinate the pastoral ministry of all the Shrines in the U.S. and published several editions of a directory of all the shrines and places of pilgrimages in the U.S.
Msgr. Czarnecki served as a member of the Pilgrimage Committee for the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC, director of the National Office of the Polish Apostolate, Internatonal Committee of the Vatican JPII Foundation, helped organize several chapters of the foundation in the U.S. and served on the executive committee in establishing the JPII Cultural Center in Washington, DC. He was named a Monsignor by Pope John Paul II in 1994.
In 1993, he was appointed Pastor of Saint Joseph Parish in Webster, MA, where he currently serves. Through his efforts the church was renovated and elevated to the dignity of a Basilica in 1998. With the help of his parishioners and friends, he built a new gymnasium and parish center.
The Friends of John Paul II Foundation, St. Joseph Parishioners in Webster, MA, the Polish Apostolate Committee, along with the entire Polonia, congratulate Msgr. Czarnecki on receiving the 2018 “Pride of Polonia Award” and wish him good health and many blessings.