Friends of John Paul II Foundation
take part in Pope John Paul II
Polish Heritage Day at Center
On Saturday, October 25, 2008, the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center held a celebration of Polish heritage titled: Pope John Paul II Polish Heritage Day under the auspices of the National Polish Apostolate Committee.
The festival was held from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm followed by the celebration of Holy Mass at 4:00 pm, celebrated by Adam Cardinal Maida and con-celebrated by Bishop Stanislaw Budzik, Bishop Zygmunt Zimowski and Clergy. The chalice used during Mass is a gift of Pope John Paul II to the Cultural Center.
The program opening and interactive discussion was held in the lower level Pope lohn Paul II Theater (11:00 am to 12:15 pm). It was moderated by Ted Mirecki, participants were: Adam Cardinal Maida, Archbishop of Detroit Emeritus and President of the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center whose topic was "Greetings and Overview of the Center and the Papal and Polish Heritage Room". Mr. Wojciech Flera, Deputy Chief of Mission of Poland, Embassy of the Republic of Poland gave the Welcome; Bishop Stanislaw Budzik, General Secretary of the Polish Conference of Bishops spoke on "Fulfilling John Paul II's Legacy of Combating Secularism" and Bishop Zygmunt Zimowski, Delegate of the Polish Conference of Bishops for Polish speaking Catholics outside of Poland, spoke on "The Vision of Polish Conference of Bishops for Polonia."
The afternoon program held in the Center's Rotunda featured the: Krakowiaki Dance Group - Youth of Polish National Alliance Council 21 from Baltimore, MD; Aria Chorus #303 of the Polish Singers Alliance of America from Wallington, NJ, performing a variety of Polish songs. Alicja Rusewicz-Pagorek, Director; Polish songs by the Marcella Kochanska Sembrich female chorus of the Polish Singers Alliance of America and dances by Polskie Kolko Miedzykolegjalne from Philadelphia, PA; a dramatization by Catholic performing artist Nancy Simone "Messenger of Mercy" on the life of St. Faustina, based on the Diary of Sister Faustina with inspirational hymns and the program ended with piano selections of Frederick Chopin played by Francis Conlon, Music Minister, Annunciation Catholic Church, Washington, DC.
During the afternoon, visitors were able to wander around to visit some of the displays or get a bite to eat in the cafeteria. The Friends of John Paul II Foundation took part in the activities and had a table with John Paul II memorabilia and some Polish articles for sale.