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January 29, 2004 ...

Paderewski Festival begins

Edward S. Wiater
Poland has produced giants in fields of music, astronomy, literature, science, the military, religion - Chopin, Copernicus, Adam Mickiewicz, Madame Sklodowska-Curie, King Jan Sobieski, Pope John Paul II and others perhaps just as great but who have never been given proper acclaim by the world.
There is one who was great in many fields but has not been fully recognized in all but one. He is the phenomenal Ignacy Jan Paderewski, pianist, music composer, statesman, humanitarian, orator, linguist, patriot and philanthropist.
U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932 called Paderewski a "modern immortal." Two years later in his book "The Story of a Modern Immortal," Charles Philips wrote, "It is difficult to write of Paderewski without emotion.....he is a superlative man and his genius transcends that of anyone I have ever known. Those of us who love Poland are glad that she can claim him as a son but let her always remember that Ignacy Jan Paderewski belongs to all mankind."
Paderewski will be in the spotlight of a local festival organized by the Polish Cultural Foundation, Inc., in cooperation with University of Buffalo, the Warsaw (Poland) Theater Academy, the Tarnow (Poland) Municipal Theater and Western New York Polish American organizations.
The programs (listed below) will be concentrated for the most part in February, however, Wanda Slawinska, curator of the Dr. Fronczak Room at Buffalo State College, began the festival last Wednesday with a talk on the friendship of Dr. Fronczak with Paderewski.
Feb. 17 - Tuesday - 7 p.m.
A Tribute to Chopin, concert and reception celebrating Chopin?s birthday ? special guest appearance by Igor Lipinski, recipient of the Grand Prix for Young Pianists at the Paderewski Festival in Kasna, Poland. Free Admission. Event Sponsor: Chopin Singing Society. Location: Leonard Post Jr. Post No. 6251 VFW, 2450 Walden Ave., Cheektowaga.
Feb. 21- Saturday - 7 p.m.
The Life and Works of Paderewski, multi-media presentation by Dr. Kazimierz Braun, and a piano concert, with Igor Lipinski playing Chopin, Paderewski, and others. Tickets for adults are $15 at door ($10 pre-sale); students are $8 at door ($5 pre-sale). Call Ms. Grabowski 683-3413. Event Sponsor: Canisius College Chair of Polish Culture and Polish Cultural Foundation, Inc. Location: Montante Cultural Center, 2001 Main St., Buffalo.
Feb. 25 - Feb. 29
Paderewski's Children by Kazimierz Braun. A new play presenting the life and works of one of the greatest sons of Poland, and a leader of American Polonia, Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860-1941). The action of the play takes place at the Niagara-on-the-Lake military training camp of the Polish Kosciuszko Army during World War I and in Krakow, Poland, during World War II. Live piano music, including compositions of Chopin and Paderewski, will accompany the stage events. The play is directed by the author and produced by the Department of Theatre and Dance of the University at Buffalo, in cooperation with the Polish Cultural Foundation, Inc.
Performance Dates
Wed., Feb. 25 - 8 p.m.
Fri., Feb. 27 - 8 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 28 - 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 29 - 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Location: Center for the Arts, UB Amherst Campus. Tickets are available at Center for the Arts Box Office at 645-2787 or Ticketmaster at 852-5000, $15 non-students; $6 students and seniors (60+).
Feb. 26 - Thursday - 6 p.m.
Premiere Paderewski Festival Performance and Reception 6 p.m. Ticket Price: $35. Call Ms. Grabowski 683-3413. Event Sponsor: Polish Cultural Foundation.
Feb. 28 - Saturday - 11 a.m.
Panel Presentation & Luncheon
The Role of Art in the Cultural Life of American Polonia, Hon. Carl L. Bucki; Mr. Joseph Macielag; Dr. Thomas Witakowski, moderated by Dr. Kazimierz Braun,with Dr. Marek Waszkiel, vice-rector, Warsaw Theatre Academy, Warsaw, Poland; Wojciech Markiewicz, Paderewski Festival Producer, Kasna, Poland.
Event Sponsor: Polish Cultural Foundation. Location: Center for Tomorrow, UB Amherst Campus. All Tickets are $25. Call Ms. Grabowski, 683-3413.
Feb. 29 - Sunday - 12 Noon Mass
Concluding Liturgical Celebration: St. Stanislaus Church, featuring the I. J. Paderewski Singing Society and the St. Stanislaus Parish Choir, 124 Wilson St., Buffalo.

The public is invited to view the following exhibits celebrating the Paderewski Festival:
Jan. 5 - 30. Paderewski with Emphasis on his Buffalo Connection. Curated by Wanda Slawinska, the exhibition presents historical photographs and memorabilia from the Dr. Fronczak Collection and features an exhibition Paderewski: Portrait of a musician on loan from Polish Music Center, University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Maja Trochimczyk, curator. Location: Buffalo State College E H Butler Library.
Feb. 1-March 7. Paderewski: Portrait of a Musician, on loan from Polish Music Center, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Maja Trochimczyk, Curator
Event Sponsor: Polish Room, University at Buffalo
Location: Lockwood Library, Reference Area, UB Amherst Campus, Jean Dickson, curator of the Polish Collection.

Dr. Francis Fronczak, a great friend to Paderewski and Poland

Edward S. Wiater
It was a true friendship and not one of passing. So described Wanda Slawinska the friendship between the late eminent Dr. Francis Fronczak of Buffalo and the world's greatest pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski of Poland whose tracks were traced Wednesday in Butler Library at Buffalo State University by the curator of the university's Dr. Fronczak Room.
The talk was a prelude to the Ignacy Jan Paderewski Festival being set for February in various Polonia locations. Promoters are the Polish Cultural Foundation, Inc., in cooperation with the University of Buffalo, the Warsaw (Poland) Theater Academy, the Tarnów (Poland) Municipal Theater and various WNY Polish American organizations.
The audience found that Dr. Fronczak was heroic in no small terms not only locally but on the world stage as well. He admired the master of the piano and the two had much in common when it came to fighting for a totally free and independent Poland after World War I, not one with any ties to its former partitioners ? Austria, Russia and Prussia.
Slawinska pointed out that Dr. Fronczak and Paderewski had some similar trials and tribulations. Ignacy Jan Paderewski's wife died and left him with a one-year-old son who died of illness at age 19. Dr. Fronczak had a son who died also around age 19 of an ailment. Dr. Fronczak's wife suffered from tuberculosis.
Dr. Fronczak was born in 1874 and died in 1955. He was christened in St. Stanislaus church when the church was one year old. He graduated from Canisius high school and college and from the University of Buffalo medical school.
Dr. Fronczak dabbled in politics for a while and was married in 1900. The same year Paderewski wed. The Fronczaks' love for each other was matched by their love for Poland and they spent their honeymoon in Krakow attending the restoration and 500th anniversary of the Jagiellonian University.
Despite the tricky inter-winding of the lives of these two men, Slawinska managed to present not only the important phases in their lives but also those warm moments of which not many knew. For instance, Paderewski was heading for a concert in London, Ontario when the train he was riding lurched outside of Syracuse. The sudden movement threw Paderewski in such a manner that he suffered a severe nerve injury. At first examination, it was feared Paderewski would never play the piano again.
In Niagara Falls, Dr. Fronczak was summoned and attended to Paderewski during the entire trip up to Boston from where Paderewski was scheduled for return to Poland. Paderewski responded to Dr. Fronczak's treatments and later Dr. Fronczak received word from Poland that Paderewski was back to perfect health and playing better then ever.
Also, Dr. Fronczak was a fine tenor and sang to help pay for his college tuition. He also was a reporter for a Buffalo daily newspaper. Dr. Fronczak called Paderewski his "greatest" friend but more than that, he saw him as a "true patriot."
Paderewski held Dr. Fronczak in the highest esteem and once said that if he ever needed a doctor, it should be Dr. Fronczak.
During WW I, Dr. Fronczak became a member of the Polish National Committee in Paris. He was given the rank of major in the U.S. Medical Corps and assigned care for the medical needs of the Polish army.
Paderewski put his musical career aside when he crusaded in America for a free and independent Poland. With him in this crucial post World War I political battle was Dr. Fronczak. In this fight was also the great Polish writer Henryk Sienkiewicz. Together they fought valiantly and diplomatically and succeeded in getting the ear of then President Woodrow Wilson who carried the fight to the world stage via the League of Nations where a free and independent Polish state with an outlet to the Baltic Sea was created.
Dr. Fronczak was present with Paderewski at the unveiling and dedication of the monument to Poland's great victory over the powerful and feared Teutonic Knights, the Grunwald battle which freed Europe. The huge monument still stands majestically in Krakow just outside the grass and tree-lined park surrounding the Old Town.
Slawinska said Paderewski was the perfect man in the fight for Poland's independence and later as prime minister. Dr. Fronczak, a Buffalonian, deserves no less credit as a humanitarian for his work in America and in France on behalf of Poland.

The cold of Siberia is a cold one never forgets

Edward S. Wiater
During World War II great, heinous crimes were committed. Some have received more attention than others. One great crime that is almost completely overlooked by the free world was the uprooting by the Soviets of a million and a half Poles in Eastern Poland and forcing them into the white hell of Siberia. Only a half million returned. That's roughly a million deaths, the bulk from starvation. And, as in the case of the Katyn Forest massacre, not one person in the Soviets' hierarchy was ever judged for the crime.
But, the crime is remembered by Poles, a good many of them living in Western New York Polonia. Among those is Leszek Solecki who with his family survived years in below zero weather. The recent January weather we in Western New York call brutal, he says, was mild compared to what Poles experienced in Siberia.
Although WW II is history and even forgotten by many, Jews, rightfully have not allowed the tragedy that befell them to be forgotten. Unfortunately, Poles have not exercised such determination for what the Soviets did to Poles in that mass murder. Lech (short for Leszek), who sports a handsome mustache like that once worn by Lech Walesa in his Solidarity days, said he has not forgotten the horrors.
The ordeal for the Solecki family began at 3 a.m. Feb. 10, 1940.
"There was a knock on the window," Lech recalls. My father jumped out of bed and at the window was a neighbor's son, Kazimierz Szymanski who was 10 years old. He said bandits had come to the house and his family needed help.
"My father went to the neighbor's house only to find Soviet soldiers and two Jews wearing red arm bands. He knew the Jews. But, they coldly told him to go back home and get his family ready for transport to Russia.
"Dad went home and told the family to get dressed. In 10 minutes, the soldiers came and "arrested" us. We committed no crime. But, we were arrested and told to take our clothes and go outside where we waited until a horse drawn sleigh came and took us to a railway "station" where we were dumped into cattle cars. It took a three or four-week ride locked up in the cattle cars to get us to the camp in Siberia. People died on that death train but my family ? father, mother, brother Zbigniew who was about 18, sister Krysia who was 10 or 11 and I at 16 ? survived."
(Jews wearing red arm bands coming into Poland with Soviet troops has been a sore point with Poles who were arrested after being fingered by people with whom they once were friends. On the other hand, Krystyna Nalezinski recalled her jailed father being saved because of actions by a Jew. She wrote about the incident in her book "Nightmares.")
Polish Gen. Wladyslaw Sikorski managed to arrange with Stalin the release of Poles from the Siberian camps to form an army which the Soviets needed to fight the invading German armies. The Poles refused to become an arm of the Soviet forces but formed their own army corps. The best known was the 2nd Army Corps which captured Monte Cassino in Italy.
In Solecki's case, as was the case of others, their release was not the end of their torture in Russia. They were forced to walk days to a rail station for passage across the Ural mountains, as the Germans were advancing, making eastward passage impossible.
For food, bread and water (melted snow) kept many alive. Russian peasants? Lech said the Russians had nothing to give as they were also starving.
"Who was destined to die, died," Lech said. "Who was destined to live, lived. Our family lived because God, for whatever reason He had, hovered over us."
Lech, his father and brother made their way out of Russia and joined Polish armed units. For father Antoni it meant army service in two world wars. Lech and brother Zbigniew didn't want to be in the army but preferred the air force.
Mother Anastazja and Lech's sister Krystyna made their way to Africa and then to England. The family was reunited in England. There, Krystyna met a man with whom she fell in love. Also, Lech met a woman and there was a double wedding.
The family emigrated to America through the intercession of mother's brother, Fr. Frank Bolek who was in Buffalo. Fr. Bolek first brought the parents to America and then the rest of the family.
"Life is good in America," Lech said. "But, on this 64th anniversary date of that horrible morning and day of Feb. 10, 1940, I will never forget. Nor, will I ever forget the tortures of Siberian weather to which I, my family and a million and a half Poles were subjected. And, we will, of course, always retell people that out of one and a half million Poles who were forcibly taken to Siberia, only a half million returned. This the world should never forget. Russians still should be made to answer for that crime."

January 15, 2004 ...

"Quo Vadis" Choir sings to celebrate a Malczewski miracle

Do you believe in miracles? The family and friends of Dorothy Malczewski do. Malczewski, owner of Malczewski's Poultry at the Broadway Market in Buffalo for 43 years, was clinically dead after breaking her neck in a fall and thanks God every day for the miracle of life after being resuscitated and regaining 85 percent of her mobility.
Malczewski, who now has normal speaking ability, recently participated in a Mass of Thanksgiving with patients and staff at the Harris Hill Nursing Home. She enjoyed the celebration of the Epiphany of the Lord on Jan. 4 and the performance of the "Quo Vadis" Choir which sang in Polish, Latin and English for Dorothy, family members, guests and the patients.
Her ordeal began on Aug. 10, 2003, while attending her son's wedding. Malczewski collapsed in a hallway, hitting her head on a doorway to one of the rooms.
Like an angel, Diane Anson, a patient registrar at TRC's Dunkirk Primary Care Clinic, appeared on the scene only to find that Dorothy was dead. Her neck was broken, there was no pulse and she wasn't breathing. Her eyes were fixed and she was blue in the face.
At this point, Anson administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation as no one present was trained to do so. After the seventh try, Dorothy's color began to come back. That's when the emergency medical technicians came in and said, "She's got a pulse."
Dorothy was rushed to Erie County Medical Center by helicopter. She was completely paralyzed with four breaks in her neck. Malczewski spent two months at ECMC receiving excellent care. She was then transferred to the Harris Hill Nursing Facility on Wehrle Drive for two and a half months. There Malczewski received priceless therapy and loving care.
Surgeons at ECMC reported that Malczewski's broken neck was the same type as suffered by actor Christopher Reeves, who had played Superman in the movies.
Malczewski, who is now at home and continuing her therapy, is well known in Western New York and Pennsylvania for her Broadway Market poultry stand and butter lamb creations.
Submitted by Victoria Jarnot

Poland is America's most loyal ally.

Frank Milewski
Polish American Congress
Poland is America's most loyal ally. Polish Americans have said that for many years. Actually, for decades. To be more precise, for centuries. The latest Polish American to say it is a member of the Downstate N.Y. Division of the Polish American Congress. He?s Alex Storozynski who also happens to be editor-in-chief of New York City's newest newspaper, amNew York.
Storozynski was on the editorial board of the New York Daily News until he came to amNew York this autumn. Alex knows what he's talking about because he was a Pulitzer Prize winning member of the News? editorial board when he was on its staff.
Here's what Storozynski wrote in his Jan. 6 editorial on Poland titled: Freedom fighters:
One of the greatest ironies in the war on terrorism is the way the United States treats its most loyal ally. Before the war in Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld denounced France and Germany as the "old Europe" because they tried to derail American efforts to oust Saddam Hussein. Rumsfeld praised the "new Europe" that supported the U.S. ? the cornerstone of which is Poland.
But even though Poland is loyal enough to be part of NATO and send troops to Iraq, Polish citizens still need visas to come to the U.S., while citizens of the "old Europe" do not.
Yesterday, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said that foreigners arriving in the U.S. must be fingerprinted and photographed on arrival. However, there's an exemption for 27 countries whose people can come to this country without visas. French and German citizens go through the E-ZPass lane at American borders, while Poles must wait months and even years for visas. This is no way to treat this country's most loyal ally. That's right ? most loyal ally.
While some claim Great Britain deserves that title, remember, when President Bush traveled to London in November, it took 14,000 Bobbies to keep the Brits away from him. He was heckled by protesters and attacked in the British press. When Bush visited Krakow in May, Poles welcomed him with open arms. As a result, French President Jacques Chirac threatened to block Poland's entry into the European Union.
Like Britain, Poland also sent troops to Iraq. Poland sent its elite commando unit, GROM, which means thunder. It helped secure the port at Umm Qasr, which was vital to delivering aid to Iraq. The unit also secured nearby oil platforms before they could be sabotaged.
In this new phase of the war, Iraq has been divided into three zones: American, British and Polish. GROM and regular Polish units helped in the search for Saddam and his loyalists. The Polish troops receive high marks from American military officers. One U.S. special forces commander was quoted in Jane's Intelligence Review saying that GROM's founder, Gen. S³awomir Petelicki, was a cross between "James Bond and Rambo wrapped neatly into one daunting package."
In the first Gulf War, Polish intelligence officers snuck into Iraq to rescue a group of CIA operatives trapped behind enemy lines. Poland's secret agents disguised CIA agents as Polish construction workers and smuggled them out of Baghdad.
This was not the first time Polish soldiers risked their lives for our freedom. Generals Casimir Pulaski and Tadeusz Kosciuszko were two of the first foreigners to fight in the American Revolution. Kosciuszko designed and oversaw the construction of West Point. After that, he returned to Poland, where he led a democratic uprising. As a result of that fight, Poland had the first written democratic constitution in Europe, second in the world only to the U.S.
Over the centuries Poland has proven its dedication to freedom and friendship for America. It's time for the U.S. to lift the visa requirements for its most faithful ally.

January 07, 2004 ...

Hey Polonia we have so many things we can show and be proud of!

Jacek Mazur
I would like to share with you some of my thoughts about Polish heritage, a set of values defined by allegiance to family, community and church.
Here, in Buffalo, we have lost most of our traditional Polish neighborhoods. Some of our Polish parishes, once the centers of Polish life, are either closed or hang on by a thread. Most of the Polish stores - if still open - have moved to suburban plazas and malls. There are only two restaurants serving Polish food and sometimes we can have some pierogi and kielbasa for special occasions. Polish newspapers and radio shows struggle to keep alive. We could probably say that being Polish is not as easy as it once was.
I am a witness of the fall of communism in Poland when the Church began to exert considerable pressure on the government to re-establish religious education in public schools. I was at a seminary in Poland for five years. In 2000, I came to the States and in 2003 graduated from Saints Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake, Michigan - one of America's biggest repositories of Polish-American culture. Set up in the late 19th century to train priests for Polonia, the institution now comprises a boarding high-school, college, seminary, art gallery, several museums and the Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame.
I came to Buffalo for good. I decided to stay here and serve as a priest for those who would need me. One man said to me: "Do not be afraid to come to Buffalo! We have some cold weather but we have warm hearts!" Later , I found it very true.
I came from a different Poland - the country that is modern, the country rich with opera houses in many of its cities; the country with its royal castles, palaces and cathedrals, its medieval universities; the country where the priests and bishops are held in great respect, preaching about the most controversial areas targeted by the Church - religious education, abortion, euthanasia, elections and the media. I came from the country that is rich in vocations to the priesthood and religious life. I came from the country where the bishops urge all Catholics to judge each candidate running for presidency, based on her or his attitude toward the protection of the unborn.
I came here, and what do I see? I learned that the word "Polack" has a negative meaning! "Don't say you are Polack! It doesn't sound good! You know... those jokes about Polacks." Hmmm,... there's something wrong in here...
Sometimes I have an impression that our contributions to the world of science, history, art, religion, sports, and so on are largely overlooked or simply ignored, and Polish culture is narrowed to pierogi, kielbasa and polka (originally not even Polish?!). The sacrifices we have made are not considered as significant as those made by other ethnic groups. Why? What does this tell us?
Poles in Poland have moved forward! Everything has changed. We did even better than other countries in Europe. I am not saying we are better than other groups because we have had to endure more. I am simply saying that we have taken more than our fair share of beatings and yet we are still able to stand proud and proclaim our presence and our beliefs. That's what makes us Poles. That's what defines our ethnicity. That's what we must pass on to our children and grandchildren, to those who come after us. That's why I want to encourage all people in Buffalo who have any Polish roots to be proud of their Polish heritage! Hej Polonia! Do you hear me?
Introduce your children, grandchildren and your friends to the music of Fryderyk Chopin, Stanislaw Moniuszko, Karol Szymanowski, Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki and the words of Henryk Sienkiewicz, Juliusz Slowacki, Adam Mickiewicz, Cyprian Norwid, Boleslaw Prus!
Show them the beautiful paintings of Jan Matejko and Jan Styka! Teach them Polish Christmas carols (koledy) sung in Polish! I am sure they will appreciate it later in life. You cannot expect your child to cherish Polish traditions if you do not share oplatek at Christmas with your family! Do not let our rich Polish culture be narrowed only into kielbasa, golabki and polka! We have so many things we can show and be proud of!
America is a nation composed of many colors, cultures, races, and creeds. We have to remember about our roots! Maybe we should start to shape more intensively the role of Polish ethnic groups in America. I know that there were and there still are tensions, fights about leadership, and different answers to fundamental questions - what Polonia in the United States really should be.
I am glad that I have met some people in Buffalo who really care about Polish heritage, traditions and customs. I am glad that I was able to participate in Polish Heritage Day in Cheektowaga. How much joy it brought into my heart! I would like to thank all of those who support that festival. We have so much to show. And, so much more to show.
We have to remember that for centuries Roman Catholicism has been an important part of the Polish national identity, of Polish culture, patriotism and the Church has been a symbol of freedom. I think we should cooperate more closely in many areas to let it survive. We should help those who try to keep our Polish traditions alive! I know we can do that. We are Polish! Polonia semper fidelis! Let it show!

Rybczynski named executive director of Building & Construction Trades Council

Glenn Gramigna
For the first time in its 60-year history, the Buffalo Building & Construction Trades Council - whose 18 member unions combine to represent more than 10,000 working men and women in Western New York - has hired an executive director. His name is Brad Rybczynski, a Hamburg resident with a diverse background in Erie County government, business and local politics.
"I'm very pleased the Trades Council has, once again hired an executive director. Brad is an extremely professional individual who's full of energy and has a lot of great ideas. We look forward to a lot of positive things happening for the Trades," Buffalo Building & Construction Trades President Daniel Boody said.
Rybczynski, a St. Frances High School and Mercyhurst College graduate, started his career as an account executive for local radio stations. His mother is Catherine Rybczynski, the Town Clerk of Hamburg. He joined the Democratic majority of the Erie County Legislature in 1999, and served as clerk on four legislative committees: Community Enrichment, Government Affairs, Energy and Environment, and Finance and Management. For the past year he served as confidential aide to Erie County Legislator Edward J. Kuwik, and was responsible for constituent services, public and media relations/communications and research.
"The Building Trades needed a person who's constantly out there speaking on behalf of our organization, reaching out and meeting with private owners and the decision-makers involved in major construction projects before they are put out for bid to explain the benefits of using the Trades and the highly-skilled workforce our member unions represent," Boody said. "That is going to be Brad's responsibility."
"As long as I can remember I've been involved and interested in unions and politics," Rybczynski told the Am-Pol Eagle after his appointment. "My father was with the United Transportation Workers as an engineer on the railroad, and he was also employed at Republic Steel. My grandmother was a union steward while she worked for Erie County. You don't grow up in that kind of environment and not notice the great contributions unions have made."
As its executive director, Rybczynski will work to broaden the awareness of the Building Trades and its member unions throughout the private and public business sectors, speaking with decision-makers, such as business leaders, corporations, developers, and school boards about the services and economic benefits of working with organized labor. In addition, Rybczynski hopes to dispel the stereotypes associated with unions.
"There's the feeling that unions have outlived their usefulness, and it couldn't be further from the truth," he contends. "What we are known for is finishing jobs on time and under budget, using skilled workers who are continually being trained through their union. For example, the operating engineers put their members through a regimen of one week of school alternating with one week of work for their first four years. You don't find that with non-union workers."
Rybczynski is a 1993 graduate of St. Francis High School and a 1997 cum laude graduate of Mercyhurst College, with a bachelor of arts degree in political science. He and his wife, Andrea, and their 18-month old twins, Walt and Madeline, live in the Town of Hamburg. He is the son of Julian and Catherine Rybczynski, also of Hamburg.

Fox-TV removes ethnic slur from "Simple Life"

Anti-Bigotry Committee
Polish American Congress
Fox Broadcasting Company advised the Anti-Bigotry Committee of the Polish American Congress it has edited out a derogatory ethnic reference from its new series, "The Simple Life."
After receiving many complaints from Polish American viewers, the anti-bias arm of the Congress brought the problem to the attention of Rupert Murdoch, head of Newscorp, Fox's parent company.
"Mr. Murdoch then took immediate action. When the show was aired again, the offensive part was gone," said Frank Milewski who chairs the committee.
As reported by those who watched the show, the dialogue contained a statement about a "Polish pickup." It later turned out the pickup was not a truck but a wheelbarrow, clearly a putdown of Polish ethnics.
In contacting Murdoch, the Polish American Congress told him, "there are many individuals in our community who survived World War II and the German occupation of Poland. Even if they had been fortunate enough to escape the physical brutality of the Nazis, there was no possible way for them to avoid the arrogance and contempt the Germans continually expressed about them or others like the Jews or the Gypsies. It is understandable why they take particular offense when they see something like this on American television."
The anti-bigotry group said it was pleased with Murdoch's understanding of its position and with his prompt response in resolving the matter.

Paulines begin new era at Corpus Christi

Glenn Gramigna
Nearly 1,000 people attended a special Mass at Corpus Christi Church in Buffalo last Sunday to mark the takeover of the parish by the Pauline Fathers and Brothers. The Paulines had agreed to take over responsibility for Corpus Christi after the Franciscan Order, which had run the church for 106 years, announced last year that it was leaving.
Auxiliary Bishop Edward Grosz led a group of five priests who served as celebrants of the Mass that included readings in Polish, Latin, and English.
Bishop Grosz called the Paulines, "men of hospitality (who are) totally dedicated to Christ and the Church."
In response, Rev. Anselm Chalupka, the new pastor of Corpus Christi pledged to work hard to solve the parish's financial problems. "We will do our best to help you find God in this place," he promised.
Those present gave the Paulines a standing ovation to thank them for their decision to take over Corpus Christi.
"I have many dreams, many hopes for Corpus Christi," says Rev. Chalupka, 34, a native of Poland who was raised not far from Czestochowa. "Of course, accomplishing them is something different. It's true that we Paulines have experience in inner city churches. However, more important than that is the fact that we have good will and care about the people. If you genuinely care about people and want to help them, they will see that and they will help you. In this world, you get what you give. If you give more, you will get more in return."
Ordained in 1995, Rev. Chalupka served for five years at the 600 year old Our Lady of Czestochowa Shrine in Poland, home to a monastery which houses 110 Pauline priests and brothers. After that, he served as a parish priest in Hartford, CT, before being assigned to the Czestochowa Shrine in Doylestown, PA.
In Buffalo less than a week before taking his new post, Rev. Chalupka has many aspirations for Corpus Christi. For one thing, he hopes to establish a free music school for neighborhood children in the Corpus Christi complex. He also intends to approach the new bishop about the possibility of scheduling an annual diocese-wide Youth Day at the church.
"I know we all want to have more people at Mass on Sundays, but, the first thing we have to do to reach out is the basic things," he says. "We have to run food programs and clothing programs for the neighborhood people. I want to work with Sister Johnice at the Response to Love Center to help her and so that she can help us. Assisted by parochial vicar, Rev. Sebastian Hanks, we hope to accomplish a great deal. We all know what we want to do at Corpus Christi. Now it is time to do it."

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